Daylight Savings - All In or All Out
As the sun rises on the annual daylight savings debate, Queenslanders are once again faced with the dispute over daylight saving in the sunshine state.
Despite much of the commentary about daylight saving focusing on the lifestyle benefits, there are also significant economic implications for business.
Without daylight savings, Queensland businesses face increased costs associated with interstate travel and communications and increased hours of operation for interstate customers.
In addition to these, there are detrimental impacts on specific industry sectors such as tourism, as daylight hours are reduced and therefore detract from the overall Queensland tourism experience and associated spending habits.
Unsurprisingly, business community support for daylight savings in Queensland differs substantially depending on the location of business, with 77 per cent of South-East Queensland (SEQ) businesses supporting a change to daylight saving.
When looked at State-wide support for daylight saving, this reduces to 59.3 per cent. Only 34.8 per cent of businesses in regional Queensland support daylight savings.
While three in five Queensland businesses support the introduction of statewide daylight saving, only one in three support the introduction of a split time zone that gives daylight savings to SEQ.
A huge 88.2 per cent of survey respondents in regional Queensland indicated they would not support the introduction of split time zones. It was almost evenly split in SEQ, with only a slim 50.7 per cent indicating they would support a split time zone.
The key message from our data indicates that a split time zone that segregates SEQ from regional and rural areas will simply shift the business cost and business difficulties associated with daylight saving from SEQ to regional Queensland but at the same time significantly increase these costs in net terms.
If Queensland wants to be taken seriously as a business destination that offers a competitive operating environment, we need to think hard about embracing daylight saving so our struggling small and medium business sectors across all of Queensland can compete with other States.
In the meantime, it is safe to assume the following: SEQ is overwhelmingly in favour of introducing daylight saving. However CCIQ values all members views equally.
Regional and rural Queenslanders and businesses are yet to be convinced of the benefits – lifestyle, economic and otherwise – of daylight saving. Until we can bridge this gap, SEQ is destined to continue the early mornings and early evenings.
What is most important in this debate however is that business interests are considered on top of what is largely a debate about lifestyle.
CCIQ conducted a survey of more than 2300 Queensland businesses about daylight saving.