Queensland, it’s time for daylight saving

 

It's time for a national approach to daylight saving. If Queensland can't get on the same page as NSW and Victoria, let's legislate to make daylight saving mandatory throughout the country.

A national referendum is the only way forward. How can we as a country, fighting to recover from a pandemic, be splintered and divided by the clock? In a few weeks, the clocks will once again be synchronised, but during summer it's a nightmare for the Australian business community.

Flights are missed, appointments botched, TV scheduling gets confusing … the list goes on.

Just like we were all on the same time zone during the First and Second World Wars, Australia needs to be on the same page as we try to get the economy back on track after a once-in-a-century pandemic.

That means Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory should either adopt daylight saving, or it is abandoned in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. If Queensland is serious about hosting the 2032 Olympics, it needs to get into step with the rest of the country on time zones.

In 1917 and from 1942-44, the entire country went onto daylight saving. According to those who lived through those periods, no curtains faded, no cows became confused (they took their watches away) and children were not forced to leave school during the hottest part of the day.

In Queensland during the 1992 referendum, which rejected daylight saving, those proposing DST said the extra hour would allow more usable outdoor leisure time after work, it would be easier to do business with other states and less electricity would be used during peak periods.

The "no'' case suggested the sun already sets in the north and west an hour later because of its geographical location.

If Queensland is serious about hosting the 2032 Olympics, it needs to get into step with the rest of the country on time zones.
If Queensland is serious about hosting the 2032 Olympics, it needs to get into step with the rest of the country on time zones.


The "no'' case also said rural industries would be disadvantaged due to lack of daylight in the morning when they performed critical tasks.

I'm a big fan of daylight saving. I've lived with and without DST and there's no comparison.

Daylight saving creates an easier, more comfortable lifestyle, it promotes leisure at a time when we all need work-life balance.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is personally in favour of daylight saving but says she will never divide the state. In other words, there's too many votes to be lost in the regions if she adopts DST.

COVID-19 has produced many anomalies between the Commonwealth and the states and territories. The border closures in some states have been ridiculous and the tourism industry continues to be severely impacted.

That's why we need a national summit to produce rules and protocols for the next major global health crisis.

It's not a matter of if but when we get the next big disaster.

The disparate, disjointed decision-making by state and territory leaders - at the expense of the national interest - raises questions around why we need a uniform, disciplined approach by the Commonwealth.

That is not a criticism of PM Scott Morrison. Keeping state and territory leaders working together during this pandemic has been akin to herding cats. He has done the best he can in challenging and unprecedented times.

But surely we have learned from this experience. The "every man or woman for themselves'' policy can't continue.

Let's start with daylight saving. The country needs to be united. It's time.

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Originally published as Queensland, it's time for daylight saving


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