Is it time for a referendum on daylight savings?

HOUR: Ipswich City councillor, Paul Tully, has long argued for daylight saving to be introduced in the sunshine state.
HOUR: Ipswich City councillor, Paul Tully, has long argued for daylight saving to be introduced in the sunshine state. Lyndon Keane

IPSWICH'S resident daylight saving pioneer has thrown his support behind a Gold Coast plan to hold a referendum on the controversial issue.

Tom Tate, mayor of the glitter strip, called on both sides of Queensland politics to back a plan for a binding poll on moving clocks back an hour.

Cr Tate's cause for change comes after continued problems with constituents living at the border towns of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads.

Ipswich City councillor, Paul Tully, has long argued for daylight saving to be introduced in the sunshine state.

"I think it would be a good idea," he said.

He said Queenslanders should experience the benefits of ticking the clocks forward.

"I think it would be a trial of at least three years," he said.

"Having a trial of one year tends to mask some of the benefits that can emerge."

In 2005 Cr Tully drafted a Bill that would see the Parliament become responsible for setting standard times and daylight saving for all of Australia.

More than a decade later the division two councillor said it was a "matter of time".

Cr Tully said shifting the sunlight hour from the morning to the evening would provide not only lifestyle benefits but could facilitate economic ones too.

"There is mass confusion around border areas and it's difficult for interstate communications and businesses," he said.

Cr Tully called on the business community to lead the charge for a change to the clocks.

In Australia, daylight saving is observed in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am on the first Sunday in October, when clocks are put forward one hour.

It ends at 2am, 3am Daylight Saving Time, on the first Sunday in April, when clocks are put back one hour.

From 1989 Queensland trialled daylight saving for three years.

At a referendum held in February 1992, 54.50% said they were not in favour of daylight saving.

Cr Tully believes a vote today, almost 26 years later, would return a yes result.

"People I meet who have lived with daylight saving, from southern states, New Zealand or England, are almost unanimously in support of daylight saving," he said.

Cr Tate said the "cultural dynamics of the people of Queensland has changed since the last referendum", and he was only asking the state politicians to listen.

A referendum is not needed to introduce daylight saving to Queensland, but Cr Tully acknowledged it was a debate the public was likely to have.

"It's a bit like certain issues such as same-sex marriage; governments want to put it back to the people," he said.

"Daylight saving is one of those issues."

Residents in North Queensland have traditionally been opposed to the introduction of daylight saving.

Cr Tully said a time zone split could solve the problem and believed changing the time would occur.

"It's a matter of time, it's a difficult issue," he said.

"The vote would be so strong in the southeast it would overtake a negative vote in rural or regional Queensland."

If daylight saving was introduced, Cr Tully said he would use the time gardening and relaxing.

Topics:  daylight saving general-seniors-news paul tully referendum tom tate

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