Byline: KIERAN CAMPBELL
RETAIL giants Coles and Woolworths are behind a bid for big Sunshine Coast businesses to open until 9 o'clock every night, including weekends and public holidays.
A coalition of small businesses will stage a mammoth fight against the retail giants, labelling the move aanother cash grab to wipe out family-owned businesses on the Coasta.
Businesses that employ more than 20 staff have to close at 5.30pm on Saturdays and 6pm on Sundays and public holidays.
THE application to the Industrial Relations Commission also calls to allow big supermarkets to open an hour earlier at 8am on weekends and public holidays.
The National Retail Association, which represents big businesses including Coles and Woolworths, is behind the application.
Corporate services director Jed Moore said similar trading hours had already been approved for areas of the Gold Coast and Cairns CBD.
The NRA will argue tourism in the region demands supermarkets open later on weekends.
The application involves extending trade hours for big retailers along the coastline and does not include inland suburbs such as Buderim, Bli Bli and Nambour.
The United Retail Federation a representing local, family and small businesses a will put up the strongest battle it can manage against the giant retailers.
The federation's national president, Scott Driscoll, said the new application on the Coast was a acash graba by big businesses like Woolworths and Coles.
He accused the NRA of flooding the Industrial Relations Commission with applications that would lead to a strangle-hold on the retail sector by shopping giants.
aWhy would we trust what they have to say about anyone's interests other than their own bottom line?a Mr Driscoll said.
aThey can trot out any of the spin they like but at the end of the day it's for them. …