The IGA supermarket at Emu Park has its doors shut. Photo Austin King / The Morning Bulletin
The IGA supermarket at Emu Park has its doors shut. Photo Austin King / The Morning Bulletin Austin King

Emu Park town angry over Drakes IGA shut on Sundays

HE'S lived in Emu Park 28 years, but Jeff Quigley has "never seen the town so angry".

Jeff Quigley. Photo Contributed
Jeff Quigley. Photo Contributed Contributed

Compliance problems had forced the store to close on the day.

Watching the shop for about 15 minutes on Sunday, Jeff saw a "steady flow" of 50 to 80 people trying to get access.

With no other general or corner stores in the town, Jeff said Drakes IGA was a vital part of the small community.

Keppel MP Bruce Young yesterday issued a statement saying the change in business hours was the result of a compliance issue.

"The Attorney-General's Department has advised me Emu Park Drakes IGA has been trading illegally on Sundays because they did not go through the right approval process in the first place," he said.

Mr Young said businesses wishing to trade on Sunday could apply to the independent Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, something he believes Drakes IGA are in the process of doing.

Does Emu Park need a supermarket open seven days a week?

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Across the country Drakes operate 50 stores, employing 4500 with 20 businesses in Queensland.

"I am very conscious of the services provided by small retailers in small towns such as Emu Park, but at the same time firms have to be compliant," Mr Young said. "The government considers the (current) system to be both fair and independent and there are no plans to make any changes.

"I am happy to work with Drakes IGA Emu Park, as I am with all business, but they have to be compliant.

"There wouldn't be anyone in Emu Park and surrounds that would put in a submission to say they could not trade on Sunday."

The Morning Bulletin contacted Drakes management yesterday, but they were unable to comment on the change in hours.