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08/23/2006, Australia - "Plan to extend daylight saving", The Border Morning Mail

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VICTORIA, NSW, South Australia and the ACT are considering a proposal to adopt a common daylight timetable operating six months of the year.

The plan would extend daylight saving by 35 more days to bring them in line with Tasmania.

The new timetable would begin on the first Sunday in October and end on the first Sunday in April.

Mainland southeast Australian states usually run daylight saving from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in March — or the first Sunday in April as it was this year.

Queensland, which has not adopted daylight saving, has opted out of the plan.

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks announced the plan in State Parliament yesterday.

He said the states had already given “in principle” approval when it was suggested by Prime Minister John Howard at the last Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

“This would have significant benefits in relation to transmission of business between states,” Mr Bracks said.

“You’re talking effectively about 70 per cent of Australia’s population and economy. Also it would have significant benefits for families.”

Mr Bracks said he had written to his counterparts in south-east Australia and, if they agreed, the plan could be adopted for the summer of 2007-2008.

A spokesman for Premier Morris Iemma said NSW would consider the proposal.

“The NSW Government will be considering the proposal in line with the commitment (Mr Iemma) gave at COAG,” the spokesman said.

But NSW Nationals leader Andrew Stoner said the plan might be supported by some people who lived on the coast, but it would go down “like a lead balloon” in the west and in some eastern areas of NSW.

“They’re getting up in the dark and the sun’s blazing late in the evening as it is in the midst of summer,” he said.

A spokeswoman for South Australian Premier, Mike Rann, denied in principle support had already been given to proposal.

The ACT supports harmonising daylight saving arrangements but would wait and see what NSW did before deciding, a spokeswoman for Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said.

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