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May Newsletter 2021

In this newsletter we will be starting with a press release we sent out about the government's proposed referendum on shopping hours in South Australia, before following up with our members' news and 'Out and About' section.

Proposed State Government Referendum on Shopping Hours

The Millicent Business Community Association (MBCA) is concerned about the proposal for a

statewide referendum on shopping hours. The Millicent township is one of three locations across the state (the other two being Mallala and the Hundred of Binnum) where shopping hours are restricted through the Shopping Hours Trading Act 1977.

These regulations affect large supermarkets with a floor area of greater than 400

square metres, and some selected shops that exceed 200 square metres. Generally, this means that the large supermarkets do not open on Sundays unless when an exemption is granted for special events such as the Easter and Christmas holiday trading periods.

The Millicent Business Community Association is mindful of the community's views, with the last survey about shopping hours facilitated through the Wattle Range Council in 2017. The majority of the community wanted the hours to stay restricted. A similar result was returned in a 2006 survey about shopping hours.

A statewide referendum would amount to a blanket view of the total South Australian population, and would not necessarily reflect the views of Millicent.

However, we, the MBCA, have noted that shopping habits have changed somewhat with increased purchases via the internet, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Millicent's demographics have also changed recently with hundreds of properties sold to new residents over the past few years.

The Millicent community will need to ultimately weigh up the profits and losses that would come from supermarkets being open seven days a week.

Instead of a referendum, the Millicent Business Community Association believes that it would be better for the State Government to directly consult with the Millicent community rather than applying a provocative approach of applying a ‘blanket’ view through a statewide referendum.

The State Government recently released its Regional Development Strategy which recommended governments working collaboratively with regional communities to drive local solutions. We believe that the government’s announcement proposing a referendum contradicts this recommendation.

Other MBCA News

Please note that the State Government has released its Regional Development Strategy, referenced above. Recommendations include value adding to our primary produce, with emphasis placed on the circular economy and our tourism experiences being enhanced. The link is as follows:

We will discuss this in a bit more detail in next months newsletter, together with details about the MBCA’s Business Awards process. Please note that the awards night is scheduled for 21 August 2021 so pencil this in your diary.


TAFE SA is committed to providing outstanding customer service to schools, industries, government, and the communities throughout the region. The following courses have been sent to the MBCA for promotion. Note this is not a complete list and further details can be obtained via the website or by phone 87351555.

Courses include Retail Traineeships and Programmable Logic Contollers (Introductory Level).

Wattle Range Council News

A draft Millicent Town Centre Concept Design has been developed by consultants WAX Design, based on community nput gathered in a survey and workshop sessions held in 2020.

The project aims to enhance and protect the unique character of the town’s main street, providing a welcoming space for residents, businesses and visitors.

WAX Design will host a community presentation and Q&A session on the draft on Monday 17 May 2021 in the Millicent Civic & Arts Centre from 5.30pm - 6.30pm. Please register your attendance with Wattle Range Council. Submissions are due by Monday 24 May 2021.

Nominations close on Monday 17 May 2021 for the Youth Recognition Awards. Categories include:

  • Contributions to the community

  • Overcoming challenging situation

  • Inspiring innovation

  • Achievement through arts & culture

  • Learning success

Regional Development Australia News

RDALC recently held a visitor economy workshop for small business. Steve Davis provided an entertaining session on marketing, and Hayden Zammit on how to accelerate tourism. A key way for tourism operators to maximise their revenue is to have an active website and to reinforce their digital presence through social media.

Another important step is to register your tourist facility on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse website.

In staff news, Evan Flint is now the Chair of the RDALC, whilst Alan Richardson will continue as Deputy for another 3 years.

Lastly, ATO has a range of online payment facilities to support businesses to meet their quarterly BAS Obligations. For more info:

Out and About

Wattle Range Council Mayor Des Noll caught up with Murray Randell from Meals and Wheels and Chair Lee Morgan at the Millicent & Surrounds Health Support Group (MaSHSG) Expo. This successful event was driven by Simone Berry & Darrell Looker (also MBCA Committee members) and introduced new residents to community groups, sporting clubs, health and wellbeing services, and local government providers, in one informal gathering with the aim of them getting ready to settle into their new lifestyle. Well done MaSHSG and especially Simone & Darrell!

And Secretary / Treasurer Sandy Melrose met up with Bronwyn Barker from the Millicent Medical Centre during the ‘The Border Watch Business Leaders Forum’ at Mad Penguin Café on the 27 April 2021.

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