IT'S been one of the hottest topics on the lips of Bundaberg residents and business owners for many months, but after plenty of conversation and plenty of delays, the fate of seven-day trading in the region is still unknown.
While it was predicted the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission would make a decision on the application for Sunday trading by January, the process was put back when the body requested more information be put before it.
National Retail Association executive director Gary Black said the commission was concerned about Bargara being included in the application because the coastal community had already been rejected for Sunday trading previously.
"It's not a submission that's likely to be sustained, but it was one of the issues they said they wanted to hear further on," Mr Black said.
"That wasn't finished until January or February, so the delay is explained to some extent."
Mr Black said he hoped, now that the commission had all the information needed, a resolution was not far off.
"Given there was still argument being presented in January-February, the tribunal was still going to take a month or two to make a decision," he said.
"The decision would probably not be too far away.
"Logic and common sense would have it that given Rockhampton and Gladstone enjoy the benefit, that a major regional population centre like Bundaberg be brought in line."
Mr Black said the lack of Sunday trading in Bundaberg could put tourists off visiting the area.
"You've got people coming up and down the eastern seaboard and it's very unproductive to have this enclave (of six-day trading)," he said.
Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce president Dion Taylor agreed.
"I think there are big benefits there for the tourism industry with seven-day trading and there is that direct link between tourism and hospitality," he said.
"The smaller enterprises will still be able to close if they want to, so it's the bigger shopping centres being held to ransom with seven-day trading."
Mr Taylor said the community was split about who would benefit from seven-day trading.
"But if you keep an open mind about seven-day trading, you can see that it does create flexibility for consumers," he said.