I wrote a piece here nearly ten years ago about how I personally wasn’t a big fan of daylight saving – mainly because I’m a bit more of a night owl than most people. But it’s an issue that repeatedly raises it’s head in Queensland, and I’ve certainly had countless people mention to me that bringing Queensland into line with the rest of the eastern states would be beneficial for many businesses; not least the tourism industry, even – as this example shows – in areas in the far north like Port Douglas where it is assumed that everyone is opposed to daylight saving. Having said that, there is little doubt that support for daylight saving in Queensland is strongest in the Gold Coast region, and gradually declines as you get further north – particularly into the Tropics.
But after more than twenty years where Queensland has tried going without daylight saving, the Greens have released an election policy proposing that we have a couple of years trialing the other approach and see what it is like. During that time, we can gather all the evidence about whether it does boost tourism, improve recreation, lessen energy consumption (and/or increase solar energy generated) and the many other positives which daylight saving advocates have suggested.
Seeing it’s more than twenty years since Queensland last tried it, it seems fair enough to give people a chance to experience it – many for the first time – and then given them a say on whether they’d like to keep it or not.
Of course, as some journos have noted, opposing another shot at daylight saving seems like one of the few issues on which the LNP and ALP agree, so it’s not likely to happen straight away. But if lots of people decide to use this issue to send a message by voting Greens 1 and then 2 for their preferred larger party, then the momentum could well build – particularly if the tourism and other industries decide to publicly get behind the Greens’ proposal.