The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has today expressed its shock and dismay at a change to Western Australia’s regulations that will significantly affect tobacco retailing across the state from next week.
Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said, the ARA were advised late on Wednesday night of the changes, which will require price boards in retailers to be reduced from one square metre to an A4 sheet size. The changes also require as new graphic images to be placed next to price boards.
“Our members will always comply with new regulations; however, they require reasonable time frames to make changes. These changes have been poorly managed, and have been implemented without proper consultation and notification,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Retailers across the state are waking up to the news this morning that they have just a few days to implement the changes and are scratching their heads as to why they weren’t consulted or advised of the changes through proper process.”
The ARA have written to Roger Cook MLA, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, urgently requesting clarification to ensure retailers are not slapped with non-compliant notices, and unnecessary fines from Monday – especially given the uncertainty of what the fines are at this point in time.
“It is beyond my comprehension how significant changes of this nature can be passed without any consultation. I don’t see what the purpose of reducing price boards are, and how this can be justified in the realms of good public policy,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Mr Zimmerman’s letter to Roger Cook MLA, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health can be found here: ARA Minister Roger Cook WA Tobacco Regulation Letter