Clock’s ticking for daylight savings push
There are fresh calls for a daylight savings 'border bubble' as the annual time zone nightmare clocks on for another year.
Queensland will awaken on Sunday one hour behind the times of the rest of the east coast amid predictions the disruption will cost the state's economy more than $4 billion in lost productivity.
It comes as a lobby group campaigns for a petition to gather 100,000 signatures calling for a fresh trial of daylight savings just four weeks out from a Queensland election where neither major party is keen to discuss the issue.
Daylight savings advocate and University of Queensland senior lecturer in human geography, Doctor Thomas Sigler, said as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc with the economy, there had 'never been a better time' to reignite the debate.
"The Queensland economy needs a rocket and daylight savings is free - it doesn't cost a cent," he said.
"The industries hardest hit by the pandemic - tourism, hospitality, retail, are precisely the sectors that would benefit the most from daylight savings."
He said the advent of the border bubble to allow seamless movements between northern NSW and southern Queensland during the COVID-19 pandemic was proof the regions could work together under one time zone if there was no statewide adoption of daylight savings.
"We advocate for both positions, either Queensland-wide or just the southeast corner, whichever suits the politicians better."
David Jones from the lobby group DS4SEQ said the state had evolved since the 1992 referendum and it was 'ludicrous' to deny Queenslanders another say on the issue.
"Anyone born after 1974 or anyone who has moved to Queensland in the last 28 years has not had a say on this," he said.
"Southeast Queensland has a million more people than it did in 1992 and that's a million people whose views haven't been taken in to account."
He said the longitude of western Queensland - often the most vocal critics of daylight savings, was more in line with SA than the southeast which relied on ties to the rest of the east coast.
He said he did not expect either major political party to take the issue to the election, but believed the new four-year term of government would be the perfect platform to trial daylight savings again.
"They (political parties) have made a political football out of this, but with four-year terms there's no reason why you can't have a trial in the middle of a term and it wouldn't affect any election because the next one is still years away."
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland general manager of advocacy and policy Amanda Rohan said different parts of the state had different views on DST.
"The vast size of Queensland means there are differing priorities for regions, including the impact and need for daylight saving on business needs and operations," she said.
Not surprisingly, a spokesman for the Premier said the government would not 'be changing its position on Daylight Saving'.
Nor would the LNP.
Originally published as Clock's ticking for daylight savings push