Shopping hours may rise

LISMORE shops will stick to traditional Easter closing times this weekend.

But a NSW Government review of retail trading laws could mean more shops will be open on public holidays in future.

"Most people are shutting over the actual public holidays, Good Friday and Easter Monday," said Lismore City Centre manager Katie O'Rourke.

"And some will do Sunday trading if that is what they normally do, and it looks like Easter Saturday will be normal trading hours."

Submissions received by the NSW Department of Finance and Services, which is reviewing the Retail Trading Act 2008, have revealed that the majority of retailer and employer associations support either a comprehensive deregulation of the retail trading regime, or a reduction in the number of restricted trading days from four-and-a-half to two-and-a-half.

Vicki Telfer, executive director of NSW Industrial Relations, said under current legislation, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day (till one o'clock), Christmas Day and Boxing Day were restricted trading days. Submissions received by the review team support reducing restricted days to Christmas Day, Good Friday and the morning of Anzac Day.

"At the moment you can only trade on restricted days if you have a specific exemption," Ms Telfer said. Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said while the North Coast was flooded with visitors at Easter, Good Friday was a big day on the Christian calendar, and it was important that people took time off to spend with their families.

"There's an expectation in Lismore that shops will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and I would wish all people who work in those shops a very Happy Easter and a good, restful time," she said. "I understand there are films being shown at the Star Court Theatre on Good Friday, and there are a couple of things for people to do, but it's very much a family time."