Managing director of Watpac Ltd Martin Monro with contract administrator Will Isaac and project assistant Rebecca Skehan in support of daylight saving. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning
Managing director of Watpac Ltd Martin Monro with contract administrator Will Isaac and project assistant Rebecca Skehan in support of daylight saving. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning

Brisbane, you’re being kept in the dark

THE boss of one of the nation's biggest builders says Brisbane can't claim to be a "world city" until it addresses daylight saving.

Brisbane-based Watpac CEO Martin Monro says it is time for a mature debate around daylight saving, without the hysteria of faded curtains or sleep-deprived cows. He believes not being on the same timezone as the rest of the east coast is costing Queensland businesses time and money.

"It creates massive inefficiencies," he said. "It just defies logic."

Mr Monro said it was time for Queenslanders to consider another referendum on the subject, a notion supported by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

The push comes after News Queensland yesterday revealed results of a new survey which found 55 per cent of respondents favour the reintroduction of daylight saving.

"If Brisbane really wants to be a new world city then the city needs to be mature enough to have a genuine conversation about it," said Mr Monro.

"It's 26 years since this was put to a referendum, so that fact alone absolutely justifies revisiting."

He says no daylight saving creates huge inefficiencies for Queensland companies.

"The amount of time spent clearing up confusion about what time meetings start, or how early to get to an airport, or to book flights to make sure you get to your destination on time, it is massively inefficient," he said.

He said he understood the regions of north or western Queensland might have different views and was open to the idea of split timezones for the state.

But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said daylight saving would split the state regardless of which model was adopted and ruled out a new referendum.

"I am not going to divide this state," she said. "There are very strong views on daylight saving. People in the southeast generally are more in favour, those who live out in west and regional Queensland are against.

If Brisbane truly wants to be a new world city it needs daylight saving, says construction boss Martin Munro. Picture: Marc Robertson
If Brisbane truly wants to be a new world city it needs daylight saving, says construction boss Martin Munro. Picture: Marc Robertson

"I strongly believe that we want to keep Queensland as one, not split it into two.

"It is not on my agenda. Let me say that again, (there will be) no referendum."

Small Business Minister Shannon Fentiman repeated her support for daylight saving and believed any challenges surrounding it could be overcome.

"Having grown up on the Gold Coast and now representing an electorate in Logan I think it would be so critical particularly for the east coast to have daylight savings," she said.

"And particularly for benefits in tourism. I understand there are challenges, particularly in western Queensland but I'm confident that if we looked at this issue we could overcome some of those challenges."

Agricultural Minister Mark Furner said he would be 'looking to have a conversation' with the Premier about daylight saving.

"At this stage we have greater things on the radar in terms of matters related to things like the drought," he said.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington ruled out a referendum on daylight saving should the LNP win power.



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