Easter shopping: Ballarat traders have choice

WHILE thousands of Victorian retail and hospitality workers could have their Easter break marred by work, Ballarat businesses will make their own choice on whether to open.The state opposition wants to change the Public Holidays Act so Easter Sunday is gazetted as a public holiday.Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the Baillieu government had failed to safeguard Victorian workers from being pressured or coerced to work on Easter Sunday.He said that, traditionally, Easter Sunday was a non-trading day and not a designated public holiday.“Now that Ted Baillieu is planning to force retail workers to work on Easter Sunday it’s only fair and reasonable that it be made a public holiday,” Mr Andrews said.Stockland Wendouree’s marketing manager Stevie Wright said the centre as a whole would follow government legislation, but individual businesses would decide if they would open for the day. One business that won’t be changing its employees’ holiday plans is Lenard’s Poultry.Owner Jason Kuehn said his business would be closed on Easter Sunday.“It’s a family day the same as Christmas Day and other religious days and I don’t think it would be worth us opening from a business point of view,” Mr Kuehn said.The business employs about 20 full-time and part-time staff and Mr Kuehn thinks it will be enough to pay public holiday rates for Anzac Day on Monday and Easter Tuesday.Novo Shoes manager Michelle Anusich said while many Novo stores would be open on the day the Stockland store would stay closed.“It’s not worth our while opening on Easter Sunday until it becomes a habit for shoppers,” Ms Anusich said. “I think it will be fairly quiet and people will keep it as a family day.”Dick Smith manager Patrick Passler said he expects to be trading. “From my understanding we will probably be open as we generally are from 11am until 3pm.”