Let the sunshine in: Brisbane Lord Mayor wants daylight saving vote within two years

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner is calling for a new referendum on introducing daylight saving time in Queensland within two years.

Feb 22, 2022, updated Feb 22, 2022
Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. (Photo: AAP Image/Albert Perez)

Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. (Photo: AAP Image/Albert Perez)

The state is the only jurisdiction on Australia’s east coast that doesn’t wind the clock forward by one hour in spring or back by one hour in autumn.

First light in Queensland can occur as early as 4.15am during the summer months.

Queenslanders voted against permanently introducing daylight saving time after a three-year trial back in 1992.

Schrinner says most people under the age of 48 and anyone who moved to the state in the last 30 years hasn’t had a say on adjusting time zones.

“That means that over three million out of the five million people in Queensland didn’t get a say,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

“So a (there’s) lot of people out there who never got the opportunity to have a say, and I’m actually one of them.”

Schrinner suggested a new referendum could be held at the same time as the next state election in 2024.

Thirty years ago, 54.5 per cent of Queenslanders voted against daylight saving and 45.5 voted in favour.

Schrinner said having a uniform east coast timezone year-round would make it easier to do business interstate and give people more daylight hours for leisure and work later in the day.

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He believes more than 70 per cent of the state’s southeast, where more than half the state’s population lives, support introducing daylight saving time.

Splitting Queensland into different time zones is another option, but Schrinner said it would be better if everyone in the state was on the same time.

Daylight saving is hotly debated in Queensland every summer with people living in the state’s tropics, where there’s less variation in daylight hours as seasons change, opposing it.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman responded to an anti-day saving time petition to parliament in December, saying was “not currently” under consideration.

“The government believes there are other priorities facing Queenslanders that require attention, including delivering initiatives in response to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, as outlined in our Economic Recovery Plan,” she said.

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