Anzac Day trade ban to end 'creeping commercialisation'

Retail trade will be banned on Anzac Day in NSW, giving the state some of the nation's most restrictive rules in a move to counter the "creeping commercialism" of the date.

Most stores have been barred from opening until 1pm, but the extended ban will keep retailers closed all day from 2025.

Premier Chris Minns said the inconvenience for shoppers would be a small price to pay to ensure Anzac Day remained an important commemorative date on the state calendar.

NSW is extending its Anzac Day retail trading ban to encourage more people to commemorate veterans.

"We believe there's been a creeping commercialism of Anzac Day over a long period of time to the detriment of the importance of the day," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"There's many things that divide our communities in NSW and Australia, and the truth of the matter is Anzac Day is Australia's national day."

Retail trading restrictions vary across Australian states and territories, with only Western Australia having a total ban on Anzac Day shopping.

Victoria and Queensland allow trading from 1pm, while the ACT and the Northern Territory have no restrictions.

RSL NSW president Mick Bainbridge said the decision would allow veterans and their families to attend commemorations together.

President of RSL NSW Mick Bainbridge
President of RSL NSW Mick Bainbridge believes the change will protect the sanctity of Anzac Day.

"It's a great way to ensure we protect the sanctity of Anzac Day, our most important veterans' day," he said.

Only businesses like cafes, restaurants, and chemists will get the tick in NSW - a move that the retail workers union the SDA says is supported by its members.

"It's not much to ask for retail workers to give up half a day of penalty rates, or for the community to give up half a day of shopping, when ... veterans have given up so much for all of us," NSW branch secretary Bernie Smith said.

But the nation's peak retail body said the change would impact workers unnecessarily, while also making it harder for people to shop for food in regional and remote areas.

“Changing this legislation will not change the way Australians come together on this important day," Australian Retailers Association chief Paul Zahra said.

Veterans from the Vietnam war during the Anzac Day March in Sydney
It's hoped more people will commemorate veterans on Anzac day if shops stay closed.

“Many workers are relying on public holiday rates to make ends meet during this incredibly challenging economic period."

Mr Minns defended the continuation of commercial sporting events on Anzac Day, such as the long-standing NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra.

"We don't want our Anzac Day to be a solitary day," he said.

Opposition Leader Mark Speakman backed the extended trading ban, which he said ensured that veterans were properly honoured.

"It's a day of national significance and we must give everyone the chance to take part in commemorative services," he said.

Wreaths and messages to loved ones during Anzac Day in Sydney
Anzac Day is marked by dawn and sunset services, veteran marches and wreath-laying ceremonies.

The premier also announced that $2 million would be spent to build the state's first major memorial for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan military campaigns.

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action involving Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.


Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
AU$10
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
AU$5
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
AU$99
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

SEVEN DAYS FREE
Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store