Home' Scoop : Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Contents 32 scoop SPRING 2010
It’s not unusual for a parent to shed a few tears
themselves as they present their newborn for
their first immunisations. But in recent months,
something much more serious has been weighing
on the minds of parents.
Their trust in vaccines has been shaken by a
problem with a children’s flu vaccine accompanied
by an all-out scare campaign by the anti-vaccine
lobby. My fear is that well-intentioned parents,
who want to do the right thing by their child, will
choose not to vaccinate – but this is a reaction that
will inevitably cost young lives.
Let’s look at the facts. There was a problem with
the flu vaccine made for children by one company
this year. It was withdrawn from the market as
soon as this issue was recognised. However, let’s
remember why the flu vaccine was introduced for
children. It followed the deaths of three children
in WA in a particularly bad flu season in 2007. We
also know that children are the prime spreaders
of the disease within the community. Other
brands of the flu vaccine have been shown to
be safe and effective after more than two million
doses around the world. Vaccines against serious
childhood illnesses such as whooping cough, polio,
tetanus, diptheria, and hepatitis are absolutely
essential in preventing the spread of these diseases
which, unchecked, would lead to thousands of
children becoming very ill or dying. I can assure
you that vaccines do not cause autism. This very
irresponsible piece of research has been thoroughly
debunked and the author convicted of misconduct
by the UK General Medical Council.
Nor do vaccines overload a child’s immune
system. If you think of the number of bacteria
and viruses that we are all exposed to in everyday
life, the amount of antigen in a vaccine is tiny.
By inducing a small, controlled reaction to
the antigen, you are protecting your child from a
disease that, if they sur vive it, could leave them
with life long disability. Vaccines are the most
important inter vention for the prevention of
disease in children and adults. In a climate of
misinformation and scare tactics, let’s not wait for
a deadly epidemic to remind parents of the proven
safety and effectiveness of immunisation.
Prof essor Fiona Stanley AC
Director, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
THE LATEST polling results (July 2010) show
that nearly seven out of 10 people within the
Perth metropolitan area want extended trading
hours whether it’s weeknights to 9pm or Sunday
trading (11am to 5pm). Even more explicit is the
response from those 35 years and younger where
figures now well exceed eight out of 10.
At long last some reform in this matter is close to hand with the expectation of three new Special
Trading Precincts – at Joondalup (from September 5), with Midland and Armadale to follow. These are in
addition to the current, but now re-named Perth and Fremantle Special Trading Precincts.
It is also understood that the Liberal and Labor parties have come to a compromise deal whereby
the rest of the Perth metro area will also be allowed to enjoy weeknight trading to 9pm. But they will
be sorely disadvantag ed by only having ‘durable consumer goods’ or ‘bulky goods’ retailers open on
Sundays. A Small Business Commissioner and the compulsory registration of retail lease agreements are
part of the trading hours’ legislation compromise but these additions will take time to work through –
especially the obvious confusion over the ‘bulky goods’ definition.
The Retail Trading Association welcomes these Government reforms, but we can only hope that all
WA Parliamentarians will come to understand that for fairness and democracy to be upheld, all retailers
within the Perth metropolitan area should have the same freedom to choose when to trade.
Consumers are demanding change; they have been long awaiting this reform.
But unfortunately, there will be consequences for those retailers whose premises lie outside the
designated Special Trading Precincts. They will lose trade and profits, face unemployment and possible
business closures and a decrease in their property values. There will be a decrease in council revenues and
community spirit, and business support will be dramatically reduced.
But the extent of these consequences depends on how long it takes our MPs to act responsibly on this
matter. Our concerns are amplified by the speed in which customers have taken up the additional trading
hours and extended trading areas in the city and Fremantle. Customers have flocked to these areas and
the chosen few in them have seen spectacular growth figures.
Consumers are demanding more time to trade outside ‘traditional hours’. It doesn’t take rocket science
to work this out, simply look at the rapid change in Perth’s demographics, the number of double income
families, shift workers, single parent families, singles, people who work long hours, and then ask yourself...
when do they get to shop under our existing archaic system? When do they have the luxury and comfort
of time to acquire all their needs?
All the RTA seeks is a level playing field for all retailers no matter where they are or what they sell. It is
essential that opening times cover all days of the week, allowing all retailers within the WA retail industry the
freedom to select, in conjunction with their customers, the best times to be available to meet their needs.
Change is truly upon us, yet retailers are prevented from pursuing their customers because of ‘red
tape’, laws that are antiquated and parliamentarians that have no comprehension of the retail industry.
The retail industry MUST be allowed to determine its own future, to make choices to sustain its
direction and profitability, to become customer driven.
This RTA believes this is not a matter for politicians, or politics, it is an industry decision to be
individually determined by each retailer with their respective clientele.
Shops need to be able to open
and close as their customers
demand, says Wayne Spencer,
Retail Trading Association
Consumers demand extended retail trading hours
As of August 18 there had been 86 illegal boat arrivals in this
calendar year. Since the election of the Labor government in
2007, 154 boats have now arrived, with 7349 people on board.
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