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01/29/2009, New Jersey, USA - "Western Australia DST- To be or not to be?",
WorldTimeZone.com, Alexander Krivenyshev


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Western Australia DST- To be or not to be?

After three years of trial, on the 16th of May, 2009 Western Australia will conduct a referendum.
The decision: To be or not to be ... Daylight Saving Time in 2009/2010 and the years beyond. One online poll conducted by thewest.com.au shows that public opinion on this decision is divided roughly in half.

Oddly enough the question that this referendum would resolve was formed 3 years ago and seems outdated, possibly requiring some correction to the ballot question itself.

For the past three years the states and territories which are using DST decided to synchronize the beginning and ending of DST with the State of Tasmania and have additionally extended DST for four calendar weeks.

For example: The states/territories ACT (Canberra), New South Wales (Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne), Tasmania (Hobart) South Australia (Adelaide) all move together to Summer Time (DST) beginning on the FIRST Sunday in October and end DST on the FIRST Sunday in April.

However, the timelines detailed in the upcoming Western Australia referendum question does not reflect the changes that have already taken place for the rest of the country. The referendum question currently reads as follows:

"Are you in favor of daylight saving being introduced in Western Australia by standard time in the State being advanced one hour from the last Sunday in October 2009 until the last Sunday in March 2010 and in similar fashion for each following year?"
(See http://wa.gov.au/daylightsavingfaq/).

If this referendum is passed (as it is currently worded) in favor of DST, the beginning and ending of DST in Western Australia will not be in synch with rest of the states for 4 weeks.

If the result of the referendum is a rejection of DST- then Western Australia will again find itself out of synch with states observing DST for half of the year.

Ultimately it would be wiser and make more sense that the DST referendum question be rephrased slightly, reflecting the current new DST rules for the rest of Australia, reading as follows:

"Are you in favor of daylight saving being introduced in Western Australia by standard time in the State being advanced one hour from the FIRST Sunday in October 2009 until the First Sunday in April 2010 and in similar fashion for each following year?"

The calendar below visually depicts the upcoming transition to DST in Australia for 2009/2010.

DST Calendar for Australia 2009-2010
As one can see- most Australian states/territories that will observe DST, starting on October 4, 2009 (Yellow color) and will end DST on April 4, 2010.

Should Western Australia decide to introduce DST- with the referendum question as it is currently written - DST will start on October 25, 2009 (orange color) - [3 weeks after rest of the Australia] and will end DST on March 28, 2010 (orange color)- [1 week before the rest of Australia] in total 4 weeks shorter then rest of the Australian states/territories.

Well, we did our homework on behalf of the Western Aussies and have suggested a solution. Hopefully the people and government of Western Australia will better understand the impact of the decision about to be made and both sides will act wisely.

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