Premier has seen light, but won't bring in daylight saving
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk admits she likes daylight saving, but has refused to act on the issue because of fears it will alienate regional Queenslanders.
Ms Palaszczuk yesterday ruled out splitting the state into two time zones so daylight saving could be introduced in the southeast corner without affecting the rest of the state.
Her comments came as several of her senior ministers also backed calls for daylight saving.
A spokeswoman for Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman told The Courier-Mail she would support daylight saving for "southeast Queensland".
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has previously supported daylight saving, but said the State Government must govern for all Queenslanders.
She was yesterday joined by Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath and Police Minister Mark Ryan. "But right now we need to focus on the things that unite us as a state, such as delivering jobs for all of Queensland and boosting our economy," Mr Ryan said.
The initiative again gained momentum after Brisbane Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner submitted a petition to Parliament this week calling for a referendum on the issue.
The petition, which had gained more than 7000 supporters yesterday, suggested a trial before having another vote.
Queenslanders opposed daylight saving at a referendum in 1992 following a three-year trial of winding the clock forward one hour in the hotter months.
"The 1992 referendum on this matter was narrowly lost by less than 150,000 votes," Cr Schrinner's petition reads.
"Since then, the state's population has grown by at least 1.5 million residents, meaning the 1992 vote is now entirely outdated and irrelevant."
The Premier yesterday said daylight saving would divide Queensland.
"Queensland is a very, very large state and, whilst the people in the southeast would like it, I know a lot of people across regional Queensland would oppose it,'' she said.
Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne has previously spoken out against daylight saving. He was yesterday supported by colleagues Coralee O'Rourke, Curtis Pitt and Stirling Hinchliffe, who said: "My personal view is that daylight saving is not ideal for tropical and subtropical climates that don't enjoy the same cooling twilight period that the southern states often do."
Federal Tourism Minister and Gold Coast MP Steve Ciobo said the State Government must "listen to the voices of the Gold Coast", adding that as one of the country's easternmost points "daylight saving makes more sense" there.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls ruled out holding a referendum on the issue if the LNP won the next election.