The trading hours of shops in Queensland are regulated by the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 and supported by the Trading (Allowable Hours) Regulation 2014.
There is currently a moratorium on the creation and amendment of trading hours within Queensland which, is due to end on 31 August 2023. This means that the Commission is not currently making any orders with regards to non-exempt shops.
Shop trading hours in Queensland are dependent upon the type of shop. The Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 outlines two main categories of shops:
These shops have unrestricted trading hours. Independent retail shops are generally classed as exempt shops, however there are limitations on the number of staff working in these shops.
Shops operating within a specified area for an event which is declared to be a 'special event' are, for the declared period, exempt shops and may trade for the entirety of the period.
For more information on exempt shops, please see below under the heading 'Exempt Shops'.
Non- exempt Shops
These shops include large retailers including supermarkets and department stores (for example, Coles, Woolworths, Myers, David Jones).
Hours of trade may also be restricted by other regulations. Licensed premises must comply with the Liquor Act 1992 and the Wine Industry Act 1994.
Special trading hours also apply to public holidays such as Anzac Day, Easter, Labour Day and Christmas Day.
For specific information regarding trading hours in Queensland, including public holidays, please contact the Industrial Relations Infoline on 07 3406 9999.
The 2017 Trading Hours Order and the Repealed Car Yards Order, although not currently in force, are referred to for the purposes of area definitions only.
Applications for orders previously sought under repealed section 22 of the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 are now classified as exempt shops and provided for in either section 5(1)(a) or 5(1)(c). Exempt shops have unrestricted trading hours – for more information about what an exempt shop is, see below.
Exempt shops have unrestricted trading hours. Independent retail shops are generally classed as exempt shops, however there are limitations on the number of staff working in these shops.
The Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990, at section 5, defines an exempt shop as:
Schedule 1AA lists the following as exempt shops:
1. antique shop
2. art gallery or arts and crafts shop
3. aquarium, aquarium accessories or pet shop
4. bait and tackle or marine shop
5. bookseller's or newsagent's shop
6. bread, cake or pastry shop
7. butcher's shop
8. camping equipment shop
9. chemist shop
10. confectionery shop or ice-cream parlour
11. cooked provisions shop (where the provisions are cooked or heated on the premises immediately before sale), milk bar, restaurant, cafe or refreshment shop
13. fish shop
14. flower shop
15. fruit and vegetable shop
16. funeral director's premises
17. hairdresser's, beautician's or barber's shop
18. licensed premises under the Liquor Act 1992 or the Wine Industry Act 1994
19. nursery (plant) shop for selling garden plants and shrubs, seeds, garden and landscaping supplies or equipment, and associated products
20. photographic shop
21. premises in relation to which a pawnbrokers licence under the Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 2003 is in force
22. service station
23. subject to section 5(2), shop of a class declared by regulation to be a class of exempt shop
24. shop for selling motor vehicle spare parts or motorcycle spare parts, or both
25. shop in an international airport terminal, cruise terminal, casino, or tourist resort on an off-shore island
26. soap shop
27. souvenir shop
28. special exhibition or display of goods (for example, an annual three-day caravan, camping and fishing expo, or a one-off launch of a new model campervan held at a shopping centre)
29. sporting goods shop
30. tobacconist's shop
31. toy shop
32. veterinary supplies shop
Applications may be made to the Commission by a chief executive, local government, organisation or any other person to declare an event to be a 'special event'. Shops in the defined area of the event may therefore be declared to be a class of exempt shops for the duration of the event.
In deciding whether to declare an event to be a 'special event', the industrial commission must consider:
In considering the matters mentioned above, the industrial commission must also have regard to the following:
In accordance with section 31A(1) of the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990, the Commission has recently declared the following as being 'special events':
In accordance with the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990, previous section 5(2) the Commission declared the following as being 'special events':
The following Trading Hours Orders were repealed under s 57 of the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 following the 31 August 2017 commencement of the Trading (Allowable Hours) Amendment Act 2017.
Officially published decisions since 2009 are available on the Supreme Court Library website.