A LOCAL Nationals branch has renewed calls for the government to cut daylight saving time by a third, claiming it was having a negative impact on rural communities.
At a special meeting last weekend, the Walcha Nationals branch demanded the NSW government trim the daylight saving period from six months to four, running from November to February.
The period runs from October to March.
Walcha Nationals branch secretary Sonia O’Keefe said it had been a hot issue among her members for more than three years.
“The branch believes the issues surrounding the current length has gone on for too long and that it should be reduced to at least four months,” Mrs O’Keefe said.
The branch has a powerful ally – Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson – who recently raised the issue with Cross Border Commissioner Steve Toms.
“If there is one issue that is continually raised with me from across the electorate, it is the issue of daylight saving,” Mr Anderson said.
“The trouble is, when it goes all the way to March, the days get shorter and farmers are forced to work in the dark and kids are getting up for school in the dark.
“We don’t need daylight saving from October to March.
“It’s way too long.
“We enjoy the longer days in summer, but once that’s over, we should change back to normal time.”
The government is currently reviewing the length of daylight saving in NSW and is expected to release its position soon.
NSW daylight saving is synchronised with Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, largely to ensure consistent business operating conditions with the other states.
Both the Victorian and Queensland governments have indicated that changing daylight saving arrangements is not a priority.
Moving our clocks forward to provide extra daylight hours after normal working hours was originally introduced to provide new business opportunities for retail, hospitality, sport and tourism businesses and more time for family activities.