Daylight saving time for 2008–2009 will start three weeks earlier in South Australia as part of an ongoing trial. The trial period, which is from October 5, 2008 to April 5, 2009, sees a total extension of four weeks compared with the state’s previous daylight saving schedule. This will be three weeks earlier and a week later than usual, matching the daylight saving dates of some Australian states and one territory.
However, in light of this trial, the South Australian government will not accept any plans to have the state move to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which is observed by most parts of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory, when the trial ends.
In Synchronization with Eastern Parts of Australia
South Australia has now joined three Australian states and one territory in observing the same daylight saving schedule. In the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, people will turn the clocks forward at 2am to 3am in their local times on October 5, 2008. People living in these states and territory will turn their clocks one hour back at 3am back to 2am in their local times when daylight saving ends on April 5, 2009.
Daylight saving time will not occur in Western Australia until 2am in the state’s local time on October 26, 2008, when the clocks move one hour forward to Australian Western Daylight Time (AWDT). The clocks will then turn back from 3am to 2am on March 29, 2009, bringing it back to Australian Western Standard Time (AWST). Queensland and the Northern Territory do not observe daylight saving time.
Despite these changes, the South Australian government will not shift the state’s time zone to AEST when the daylight saving trial ends just to align the state’s time with the time of its eastern counterparts. Organizations such as Business SA will continue to lobby for South Australian daylight saving to be aligned with the eastern states permanently so that businesses in the state can enjoy greater convenience, cost savings and less confusion with regard to time differences.
Minister Announces Daylight Saving Extension
South Australia’s Industrial Relations Minister Paul Caica said that under the regulations, daylight saving would start on the first Sunday in October in 2008. The extra four weeks would bring South Australia into line with the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania, and Victoria.
“This trial period, from October 5, 2008, to April 5, 2009, is now a total extension of four weeks on the previous period of daylight saving in South Australia, bringing us into line with NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania,” Mr Caica said. A consultation process resulted in submissions received from nearly 7000 people and indicated that two-thirds of South Australians supported the extended daylight saving.
“The feedback from our consultation told us that extended daylight saving would help boost tourism and community recreation, with more events able to be held in the evening and more daylight time to participate in outdoor sport and other family and social activities,” Mr Caica said. “We are also mindful of the detrimental effects on SA (South Australian) businesses as well as airline and other scheduling, if we were to remain 90 minutes behind the eastern states for four weeks.”
Mr Caica said SafeWork SA (South Australia's new Occupational Health and Safety agency) would ensure the community was well informed of the changes and would seek feedback on the trial’s success. Mr Caica said that the government would gather community feedback to decide on the future of the extended daylight saving period.
There are three time zones in Australia:
- Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which is equal to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) plus 10 hours ahead (UTC+10). AEST applies to: New South Wales except Yancowinna County, which includes the city of Broken Hill; Victoria; Queensland; Tasmania; and the Australian Capital Territory. During daylight saving time, AEST becomes Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) and clocks are advanced to UTC+11. Not all states (eg. Queensland) observe daylight saving time.
- Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), which is UTC+9:30, and applies to: South Australia; the Northern Territory; and Yancowinna County, which includes the city of Broken Hill, in New South Wales. During daylight saving time, ACST becomes Australian Central Daylight Time (ACDT), and clocks are advanced to UTC +10:30. The Northern Territory does not observe daylight saving time.
- Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), which is UTC+8, and applies to Western Australia. During daylight saving time, AWST becomes Australian Western Daylight Time (AWDT), and clocks are advanced to UTC +9.
Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland
Western Australia is trialing daylight saving time for a three-year period, which concludes in 2009. The daylight saving schedule will begin at 2am on the last Sunday in October (October 26) in 2008, when the clocks move one hour forward to Australian Western Daylight Time (AWDT). The clocks will then revert from 3am to 2am, bringing it back to Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) on the last Sunday in March (March 29) in 2009.
A referendum will be held in Western Australia in 2009 to decide if daylight saving time should become permanent in the state. The referendum will be no earlier than May 10 and no later than 13 September 13 in 2009. If there are more “Yes” than “No” votes, daylight saving time will be introduced permanently. Opposition against daylight saving time has already been on the rise, with former Liberal Party politician Anthony Fels quitting the party to launch a rival party on anti-daylight saving time.
The Northern Territory and Queensland do not observe daylight saving time. The Queensland government, which is ministered by Labor Party members, will not hold a referendum to re-introduce daylight saving time despite pressure from various community and business groups. Moreover, the Queensland Liberals, including many who supported daylight saving time, recently merged with the Queensland Nationals, forming one state political party – the LNP. The Queensland Nationals have the majority in the new party, and many of them support Queenslanders in rural regions who do not support daylight saving time. However, a party spokesperson recently indicated that the issue was not a priority.
In light of these events, a group of Brisbane business people plan to form a new political party to support a proposal for daylight saving time to be partially observed in Queensland. As part of the plan, the group would like to see daylight saving re-introduced in 67 electorates within the state.