New South Wales is letting retailers trade 24 hours a day for two weeks before Christmas

Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The New South Wales government has given retailers the option of opening 24 hours daily for a fortnight in the lead up to Christmas.

Planning minister Rob Stokes said the government wanted to extend trading hours so “time-deprived mums and dads can buy their gifts, and avoid the hassle of busy carparks and long queues”.

“This is also an opportunity for shops to boost sales and maximise the economic benefits of this busy time of year,” he said.

The move comes amid a fierce debate about paying workers penalty rates outside of normal hours.

Retailers will be able to operate 24 hours a day from 12am on Friday 11 December until 12am on Thursday 24 December, but have to comply with three conditions.

They must be located with a business zone, are not a licensed food and drinks premise and not located with one floor of a residential property in a mixed use building.

Traders must also have an existing approval and comply with all other conditions of the approval such as loading or delivery of goods and waste removal.

The NSW Retail Council figures found that a quarter of the state’s retail sales, around $10 billion, were made in the 30 days leading up to Christmas 2014.

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