Time is right for daylight saving

TODAY marks 19 years since Queenslanders rejected daylight saving – but pressure from the Tweed region to create dual time zones in the state appears to be stronger than ever.

The 1992 referendum saw a 54.5% “no” vote to a three-year trial, but Daylight Saving for South-East Queensland leader Jason Furze said the vote did not reflect current demographics.

Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Gail O'Neill shares the view.

The chamber has been actively advocating daylight saving for a number of years, with a former president taking out full-page advertisements in newspapers.

Ms O'Neill said implementing daylight saving in south-east Queensland was crucial for tourism in the Tweed region and all areas of the Gold Coast.

“I run a resort in Coolangatta and so many people arrive early to get into their rooms, it's completely confusing,” she said.

“Daylight saving will be good for business on the coast, so we'll give our endorsement to anyone and everyone that's trying to make it happen.”

Ms O'Neill said business and tourism operators from the border region were keen to see another referendum on dual time zones in Queensland.

“We certainly think it's time to bring the state into line with the rest of Australia,” she said.

“We're so close to Queensland that we need to be on the same page.

“We realise that there's a case for the north and west of Queensland, but we're advocating a change for the south-east. I think the majority of Queenslanders would be happy with that.”

Mr Furze said the state was geographically divided and introducing daylight saving to the state's south-east would be a workable solution.

“Premier Anna Bligh's June 2010 public consultation found that two-thirds of Queenslanders support a trial and a referendum on introducing daylight saving in the south-east and therefore dual time zones to Queensland,” he said.

“Introducing dual time zones would maintain a respectful view towards regional and rural Queenslanders, whilst also giving fair consideration to the views of those residing in south-east Queensland.”

Daylight Saving for South East Queensland is collecting signatures on a petition to the Queensland Government, ahead of a parliamentary debate on the issue early this year.

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