Is It Time Queensland Got Daylight Saving?

55 per cent say yes!


4 October 2018

Article heading image for Is It Time Queensland Got Daylight Saving?

As most Australians get ready to wind their clocks forward, some in the states left behind say it's high time daylight saving was put back on the agenda.

In Queensland, the last referendum was held 26 years ago in 1992 and peak industry bodies are agitating for political leaders to re-evaluate the economic cost on the state.

"It's rare that you have two leading political parties opposing what the industry wants, Director of Australian Industry Group Shane Rodgers told AAP.

"There's a whole generation of Australians who haven't had a say on this, all we ask is that this divisive issue is put back on the public agenda to be properly debated."

Daylight saving always falls on the first Sunday of October, which for all states bar Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia occurs on Sunday 7 October from 2am.

Following an opinion poll in the Courier-Mail indicating 55 per cent of Queenslanders supported the introduction of daylight saving, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ruled it out stating the numbers weren't strong enough for change.

David Prerau has written books on the topic and been a consultant to the US Congress around daylight saving law.

He believes moving the hour forward results in numerous benefits.

"Daylight saving time will generally promote public health and physical fitness, reduce outdoor crime like breaking and entering and mugging, reduce energy usage, increase economic activity and provide most people a better quality of life," Dr Prerau told AAP.

Dr Prerau acknowledged farmers are generally opposed to the change but less so in areas where techniques and equipment aren't dependent on the sun.

Economic and urban geographer Timothy Sigler agrees an extra hour of sunlight would promote a healthy lifestyle.

"Queensland has the highest rate of obesity out of all the states in Australia and most workers are now office-bound," Dr Sigler told AAP.

"Changing this will happen through lifestyle and being active after work is a good step forward; I'm not saying it will completely solve it but it will certainly help."

For those in the states that will lose an hour over the weekend, sleep experts advise people adequately prepare for the changing circadian rhythms in the body.

Strategies include rising earlier on the days leading up to Sunday and getting access to daylight immediately after to suppress melatonin - the sleep regulating hormone.

"Research in the past has shown an increase in accidents in the first 24 hours after the clock changes," Dr Moira Junge from the Sleep Health Foundation told AAP.

"This highlights the importance of losing an hour's sleep and the importance of being aware of your own levels of sleepiness."

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