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2007 QLD Govt
research: review

Why is Brisbane
afraid of the dark?


Dual time zone or 'double standard' time

When a faded curtain is not a joke

Hold back the night

Light without progress

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News pre-2007

News and views from the anti-daylight saving front

The following are a small selection of anti-daylight saving developments, drawn from readers' emails, public domain media releases, and other related websites and information sources.


October 2006, Queensland

Curtain-hysteria spin as media roast Premier on skin cancer comment

Premier Peter Beattie was forced into damage control last week as his warning on a potential relationship between skin cancer and daylight saving received the full force of the media's faded-curtain ridicule.

First reported in the Courier Mail's 'Cancer the latest scare' (25 October), the Premier was quoted as saying:

'One of the issues in a state where we've got the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world – an extra hour of daylight is going to make that worse.'

When patronisingly questioned about whether he realised daylight saving 'did not actually add another hour to the day', the Premier went on to say that 'his argument had to do with the time kids would play in the hottest part of the day'.

This all-important distinction was completely overshadowed, however, by the spin of the rest of the article. Before the reader even got a chance to get to the Premier's remarks, the article had begun with:

'FORGET the curtains fading or the cows being confused, the Premier's latest excuse for not introducing daylight saving is that it would increase the risk of skin cancer.'

Immediately after the Premier's all-too-brief quotes, the article went on to extensively counter-quote from the Queensland Cancer Fund director, Professor Joanne Aitken:

'I can say that there's no evidence to suggest any increased risk of skin cancer as a result (of daylight saving).' Professor Aitken claimed that daylight saving does not increase the amount of UV in the day and that there was 'no evidence' to suggest that daylight saving had an impact on skin cancer rates in other states.

The following day, the Premier did a semi-retraction of his comments by saying he was just 'having a go' at journalists for asking all the same questions about daylight saving at this time every year ('Premier red-faced as cancer joke fails,' Gold Coast Bulletin, 26 October).

Yet the Premier has since stood by his comments. In the ABC World Today program on 27 October, he had this to say: 'One of the things I want to ask the mums and dads are, how do they feel about their children, for example, leaving school [at] what would amount to in Eastern Standard Time an hour earlier in the heat of the day when UV rays are the highest.'

[LoD comment:

1. See 'When a faded curtain is not a joke' for the Light of Day position on the daylight saving/skin cancer issue. Also, go to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) website, 'UV Index Reports', for data on average daily UV indexes state by state.

2. Despite all the howling faded-curtain ridicule and numerous letters and blog posts saying that the Premier 'had gone nuts', was a 'raving moron' and 'proved what a backward place the Smart State really was', at least the Premier got the issue out there. On the blog sites, about 10 per cent of comments fully understood the UV implications of moving children's daily outdoor activity forward in the day on a permanent basis. And that's 10 per cent more public domain space than in past years! Good on you, Pete.

3. Regarding the comments of Prof. Aitken, she seems to assume, as did the journalists and many C-M readers, that the Premier was referring to the extra daylight at the end of the day. None of her comments related to the permanent shift in children's daily outdoor activity caused by a forward clock-change.

Also, her claim that there was 'no evidence' that daylight saving had any impact on skin cancer rates and that there was 'no evidence' to suggest daylight saving had an impact on skin cancer rates in other states, are a Catch 22. Because there have been no studies on either of these hypotheses, of course there is 'no evidence'. (I would also add that when I lived in NSW, alarming and mysterious increases in skin cancer rates were regularly being reported in the media during the mid-nineties. This marked roughly 25 years since daylight saving was introduced in NSW.)

We have the data to measure the increased risk of UV exposure caused by a permanent forward clock-change for part of the year, and thus provide the 'evidence' - we just need the political will to do so.]

Below is a flashback of the Light of Day News item that we published in November 2004, which covered similar comments by the Premier and a response from the QCF:


[Flashback] November 2004, Sydney, New South Wales:

Queensland Premier acknowledges possible daylight saving–skin cancer link

A small article, ‘Extra daylight kills: Premier’, which appeared in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on 17 November, includes what could be the first public acknowledgement by a prominent Australian politician of a possible link between daylight saving and skin cancer rates. In the article, Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, is indirectly quoted as saying that the absence of daylight saving in Queensland helped people 'avoid skin cancer' because it ‘reduced the number of hours [they] spent in the sun’. However, the article goes on to indirectly quote the Queensland Cancer Council as saying that daylight saving ‘made no difference to the risks of getting skin cancer’.

A Light of Day reader contacted the Queensland Cancer Fund (Council) to confirm whether the organisation had been properly quoted in the Daily Telegraph article and to enquire as to what research had been done to enable them to take this stance. According to the reader, a QCF spokesperson told her that the council had been misquoted. The spokesperson claimed that the QCF had not researched any daylight saving–skin cancer link and does not have an opinion either way on the subject.

[LoD comment: We at Light of Day do not entirely agree with Premier Beattie’s argument (assuming of course that he wasn’t also misquoted); however, he is on the right track. LoD argues that the link between daylight saving and skin cancer does not concern the amount of time people spend in the sun, but the period of the day in which that time is spent. By bringing forward daily outdoor activities from the afternoon into the middle of the day, daylight saving can make a huge difference to people's UVR (ultra-violet radiation) exposure, especially among school children.

Even though the lead sentence of the Daily Telegraph article: ‘Daylight saving doesn’t just fade the curtains – it can kill you’, leaves the reader in no doubt as to the journalist’s opinion on the subject, the fact that this potentially serious health issue has been flagged by a prominent Australian politician is a sign that it may finally be receiving the long overdue attention it deserves.]

Related reading:

‘Extra daylight kills: Premier’, The Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2004


October 2006

Democrats youth poll show slight majority favour QLD status quo

The Australian Democrats 2006 national youth poll reveals that a slight majority of Queensland respondents – 51 per cent – are against the introduction of daylight saving. The poll is conducted annually on a range of issues and covers the age group 15-20. Respondents come from all the states and live in urban, regional and remote areas. Male respondents in the 2006 poll outnumbered female respondents 55 to 45 per cent.

The daylight saving question was specific to Queensland participants.

[LoD comment: Considering this generation has grown up in the post-referendum era, with virtually blanket pro-daylight saving media coverage, this is a significant result. It flies in the face of prevailing mythology that the young traditionally favour daylight saving. It also brings a reality check to ongoing pro-daylight claims that those who were too young to vote in the 1992 referendum would automatically vote 'yes' in a current referendum. More importantly, it strongly indicates that the realities of climate and seasonal daylight patterns slightly win out over exaggerated timezone uniformity hype – at least in the minds of Queensland’s youth.]

Related reading:

Australian Democrats Youth Poll 2006


October 2006

Dark times ahead as WA MPs close ranks to rush daylight legislation

Western Australian premier, Alan Carpenter, announced a week ago that state MPs are to be allowed a 'conscience vote' on a private members' bill currently before state parliament to introduce a 3-year daylight saving trial, supposedly followed by a referendum in 2009.

As 70 per cent of state MPs want daylight saving - a situation that is at odds with surveys that have mostly shown strong opposition to daylight saving in at least half the population since the state's third referendum defeat in 1992 - the Bill is almost certain to be passed.

Independent MP, John D'Orazio, the driving force behind the Bill, claimed that there was no need to hold a daylight saving referendum at the present time as it would only 'muddy the waters'.

[LoD comment: If the referendum goes ahead in 2009 (and it's a big IF), it will be the fourth in just over thirty years. This is a coercive manipulation of the democratic process. The WA parliamentary behaviour of the last week, egged on by a cheerleading media who make no secret of their breathless excitement at getting this legislation over the line, is symptomatic of the extent of the MPs' frustration at having to deal with a population whose wishes are at odds with what is politically desirable.

WA's daylight saving history is almost identical to Queensland's. It has an extremely vocal and influential pro-daylight saving minority, that forms a localised majority in the state's metropolitan area. Like Qld, the metropolitan sector is positioned within the most southerly, temperate latitudes of the state. Like Qld, the media coverage of the issue is almost entirely dominated by pro-daylight metropolitan business interests. Like Qld, it has a history of insecurity about its isolation from Sydney and Melbourne and a sense of inferiority about its much smaller population size - two sensitive buttons that the pro-daylight lobby ruthlessly pushes on a regular basis. And sadly, like Qld, it has horrendous UV levels and a corresponding skin cancer risk - which would be adversely affected by the change in the daily pattern of children's outdoor activity that a forward clock-change would bring.

Also, the events in WA are very reminiscent of the way in which the 2005 Indiana daylight saving vote was conducted. (See '2005 daylight saving time debacle,' HoosiersForCentralTime.com) I wonder if WA MPs used it as a blueprint?]


September 2006, United States

Indiana poll finds more people against, than for, statewide adoption of daylight saving

In a statewide poll taken by Indiana's WISH-TV, it was found that 49 per cent of residents polled opposed the state's adoption of daylight saving last year, while only 44 were in favour. About 7 per cent were not sure.

Flying in the face of traditional mythology that daylight saving opposition is the domain of conservative politics, Republicans polled supported daylight saving time 47 per cent to 45 per cent, while Democrats opposed it 53 per cent to 41 per cent. Of independents, 51 per cent opposed it while 43 per cent supported it.

The telephone poll of 800 voters was conducted on 5-8 September by Maryland-based Research 2000. The poll has a statewide sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Related reading:

'Poll finds majority against Indiana Toll Road Lease,' News Sentinel, FortWayne.com, 16 September 2006

[LoD comment: This website provides fascinating background reading on the Indiana House of Representatives daylight saving vote (highly recommended): '2005 daylight saving time debacle,' HoosiersForCentralTime.com (no date)]


April 2006

Daylight saving off Queensland Libs' agenda - for now

In a baffling move, the Queensland Liberals announced they were dropping daylight saving as a priority issue for the party. A party spokesperson said it would not be an issue in the upcoming state election.

The move comes on the heels of one of the most intensive pro-daylight saving media campaigns ever run in Queensland, which threw the issue well and truly into the spotlight during the 2005-6 daylight saving period. The Libs' decision was almost certainly made in the context of their ongoing embattled coalition relationship with the Queensland Nationals, who are strongly opposed to daylight saving.

The Liberals remain the only political party in Queensland who officially support its introduction.

Related reading:

'Daylight saving off Libs' agenda,' ABC On-line, 13 April 2006


29 March, 2006

Insurance statistics indicate higher accident rates after forward clock change

A US biologist has recently added fuel to the medical case against daylight saving. An article published by ABC News (US), 'Steps Help Brain Adjust to Daylight Saving', reports on the findings of Kent State University biologist David Glass, who has studied the human body clock for 15 years.

Glass refers to a study he made of actuarial tables from the insurance industry: 'If you look at accident rates, one of the highest days for an increase in accidents on the highways or in the workplace or whatever occurs on Monday after the Sunday [daylight saving] phase advance.'

[LoD comment: This is hardly news to those people in daylight saving populations who have to cope with feelings of sluggishness, fatigue and disorientation for up to two weeks after the forward clock change every year.

Glass' comments also validate the findings of sleep researcher Stanley Coren in his book Sleep Thieves (1996). Coren found that, over a period of three years, there was an average 8 per cent increase in road accidents in the week following the forward clock change, and a corresponding average 8 per cent decrease after the clocks went back again.]

Related reading:

'Sleep Deficit, Fatal Accidents, and the Spring Shift to Daylight Savings Time’, Stanley Coren, Inabis ’98

'Daylight saving time sure bet for increase in accidents, fatigue' Self Help, 1 November 1994

'Battling the effects of daylight saving', Blackmores, 31 March 2004, www.blackmores.com.au


15 March 2006, Iran

Iranian government drops daylight saving

On 15 March, the Iranian Cabinet ratified a decision to drop daylight saving.

According to a government spokesperson, the decision was based on findings that the time change did not significantly reduce energy consumption. The other official reason given was that the yearly time change creates confusion in most parts of the country.

The government denies claims from critics that the move was made for religious reasons.
Iran introduced daylight saving in the late seventies, but it was dropped after the 1979 revolution, then reintroduced in 1991 in an effort to save energy.

Related reading:

‘Iran nullifies decision on daylight saving time’
,
Payvand’s Iran News, 19 March 2006


29 October 2005

Premier Peter Beattie urges flexibility on daylight saving

QUEENSLAND Premier, Peter Beattie, has suggested that the real daylight saving problem concerns the 'state's southern border'. He proposed that northern New South Wales could elect to go on to Queensland time during the daylight saving months and that the Gold Coast business community 'runs a voluntary daylight saving for those businesses it impacts'.

Related reading:

'Daylight saving solution for border', News.com (AAP)


October 2005, United States

US government online poll: 54 per cent 'hate' daylight saving

In an online poll conducted by About.com, a US government information website, the question was asked: "How do you like DST?". Out of a total of 1710 respondents to date, 54 per cent have answered 'Hate it', while only 31 per cent are in favour (the rest don't seem to care).

This is by no means a representative sample, and the categories ('Hate it', 'Love it, 'Take it or leave it' and 'What time is it?') may err on the side of frivolous. However, the sheer strength of the 'Hate it' vote should not be underestimated.


April 2005, Nevada, United States

Fifth anti-daylight saving bill to go before Nevada Assemby

Assembleyman Bob McCleary D-North Las Vegas has brought a bill before the Nevada Assembly to abolish daylight saving. The bill is due to be heard this month. Although it is unlikely to be passed, this will be the fifth attempt made in the Nevada legislature to abolish daylight saving. According to Mr McCleary, the main opposition to the bill comes from sporting interests.

Related reading:

Lawmaker tries to end time change', Anjeanette Damon, Reno Gazette-Journal, 4 April, 2005


15 March, 2005, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan abolishes daylight saving

The Government of Kazakhstan passed a resolution on March 15 abolishing daylight saving time. The resolution cited mainly health issues (sleep problems, biological disturbances), a lack of economic or energy-saving benefits and the results of opinion polls.

According to a press release from the Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington DC: 'In abolishing daylight savings time, Kazakhstan follows the example of China, Estonia, Japan, Singapore, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.'


November 2004, Sydney, New South Wales

Queensland Premier acknowledges possible daylight saving–skin cancer link

A small article, ‘Extra daylight kills: Premier’, which appeared in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on 17 November, includes what could be the first public acknowledgement by a prominent Australian politician of a possible link between daylight saving and skin cancer rates. In the article, Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, is indirectly quoted as saying that the absence of daylight saving in Queensland helped people 'avoid skin cancer' because it ‘reduced the number of hours [they] spent in the sun’. However, the article goes on to indirectly quote the Queensland Cancer Council as saying that daylight saving ‘made no difference to the risks of getting skin cancer’.

A Light of Day reader contacted the Queensland Cancer Fund (Council) to confirm whether the organisation had been properly quoted in the Daily Telegraph article and to enquire as to what research had been done to enable them to take this stance. According to the reader, a QCF spokesperson told her that the council had been misquoted. The spokesperson claimed that the QCF had not researched any daylight saving–skin cancer link and does not have an opinion either way on the subject.

[LoD comment: We at Light of Day do not entirely agree with Premier Beattie’s argument (assuming of course that he wasn’t also misquoted); however, he is on the right track. LoD argues that the link between daylight saving and skin cancer does not concern the amount of time people spend in the sun, but the period of the day in which that time is spent. By bringing forward daily outdoor activities from the afternoon into the middle of the day, daylight saving can make a huge difference to people's UVR (ultra-violet radiation) exposure, especially among school children.

Even though the lead sentence of the Daily Telegraph article: ‘Daylight saving doesn’t just fade the curtains – it can kill you’, leaves the reader in no doubt as to the journalist’s opinion on the subject, the fact that this potentially serious health issue has been flagged by a prominent Australian politician is a sign that it may finally be receiving the long overdue attention it deserves.]

Related reading:

‘Extra daylight kills: Premier’, The Daily Telegraph, 17 November 2004

Recommended reading:

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 'UV Index Reports', http://www.arpansa.gov.au/index.htm


November 2004, Brisbane, Queensland

Another daylight saving poll reveals weak 'Yes' vote.

Brisbane Radio 4BC's 'John and Ross' program held a daylight saving phone poll on Tuesday 9 November (which the station cheekily referred to as a 'referendum'). The lines were open from 6 am to midnight and the results announced the following day.

For a poll that drew the bulk of its respondents from the epicentre of Queensland's pro-daylight saving support base (that is, south-east Queensland), a 'Yes' victory was a certainty. Listeners did not disappoint - out of approximately 5000 respondents, the final Yes/No result was 52/48 per cent.

[LoD comment: What would have disappointed many pro-daylight savers was the lukewarm strength of the 'Yes' vote. This result compares quite unfavourably with the '60/40' per cent Yes/No referendum result for the same catchment area in 1992. Although the poll respondents would not have comprised a representative sample of the south-east Queensland population, any distortion should have actually favoured the 'Yes' vote.]


17 September 2004, Brisbane, Queensland

Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, says no to daylight saving ... again (...and again).

Premier Peter Beattie dismissed calls by Nationals MP Larry Anthony to introduce daylight saving in Queensland. Mr Anthony, whose NSW electorate of Richmond borders Queensland, called for another referendum on the issue and for more pressure to be put on Queensland by the Deputy Prime Minister, and leader of the Australian Nationals, John Anderson.

Premier Beattie responded that the argument for daylight saving is 'dated'. Speaking on Brisbane Radio 4BC, Beattie stated that 'an hour does not make as much difference as it used to', as 'business leaders now deal around the world with different time zones' (more...).

[LoD comment: Here we go again. The annual season of grilling Peter Beattie over daylight saving usually kicks in about this time and will continue, no doubt, until the last Sunday in March. And next year it will start all over again.

However, Mr Beattie is not alone... the West Australian government is being equally lobbied to introduce daylight saving (in order to be two, not three, hours 'behind' the east coast); the Victorian and New South Wales governments are being lobbied to extend daylight saving to six months (to get in sync with Tasmania, and to be more like the northern hemisphere); overseas, the United States and European governments are being lobbied to extend daylight saving all year (supposedly to save electricity, while corrupt energy corporations waste it); and the British government is being lobbied to both extend daylight saving all year and double it (to be on the same time zone as Europe - and so that children can start school an hour before sunrise in winter and go to bed three hours before sunset in summer).

Wherever daylight saving goes, insecurity and discontent are sure to follow...]


April 2004, Alaska

Survey shows majority of Alaskans do not want daylight saving

A statewide poll, conducted across what appears to be a genuine representative sample of the Alaskan population, reveals that 58 per cent wants to repeal the state's daylight saving legislation.

Details of the poll appear at Repeal Daylight Saving Time in Alaska. The survey reveals little distinction between political preference, gender or age. However, it does show significantly more support for daylight saving in the south-east of the state, which is on its most temperate latitude. Despite this, two anti-daylight saving Bills have been introduced to the Alaskan state legislature, in 1999 and 2002 respectively, but both 'died in committee'.

Light of Day update: On 7 April 2005, a bipartisan bill to exempt Alaska from daylight saving (the third in six years) passed the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee in the Alaska State Congress. However, according to Repeal Daylight Saving Time in Alaska, the bill was later stalled in the Legislature. The bill was introduced and sponsored by four State representatives - three Democrats and one Republican.

[LoD comment: The main argument maintained by the Light of Day website is that daylight saving is of no benefit to populations living on very low latitudes (approximately 30 degrees or less). A similar argument applies to populations living on very high latitudes (60 degrees plus). In the 'land of the midnight sun' you really have to wonder what part of the day the Alaskan government is so keen to save.

Also, like Queensland, Alaska is a very large state. Alaska straddles four 'natural' time zones which were merged into one time zone in 1983, leading to the bizarre situation of having noon at '3 pm' in some parts of the state and forcing most Alaskans to live on 'double' daylight saving time.

As with Mexico in 1996, which underwent a merging of three time zones into one, and was obliged to join daylight saving as a condition of the North American Free Trade Agreement, daylight saving Alaskan style seems to have virtually nothing to do the state's genuine daylight needs, and even less to do with democracy.]


31 March 2004, Australia

Got that tired, screwed-up-body-clock kinda feeling?

An online article/advertisment, Battling the effects of daylight saving, appears at the website of Blackmores, a leading Australian natural health products company. Timed to coincide with Australia's autumn daylight saving clock change - the article claims that:

'... disruption to our body clock can work to the detriment of our health and well-being, with upset sleep patterns and energy loss ... The impacts of daylight saving on our body and morale can often be overlooked, but a few simple steps can help you combat any adverse effects'.

To address these negative effects, the article goes on to recommend that readers bolster their immune system, exercise, drink lots of water, boost their energy, relax, and renew their life goals ...

[LoD comment: While Light of Day welcomes any public acknowledgement of the health problems caused by daylight saving, commercial or otherwise, our experience suggests that these problems have not been 'overlooked' as the article claims. Rather, they have been actively ignored, ridiculed and dismissed.]


March 2004, Gunnedah/Tamworth, New South Wales

NSW Premier declines invitation to End of Daylight Saving Celebration.

The Gunnedah/Tamworth branch of the Abolish Daylight Saving Committee of New South Wales invited several NSW politicians to attend a public celebration to herald the end of daylight saving for the year 2003-4.

Among those invited were Bob Carr, NSW Premier; John Brogden, NSW Leaderof the Liberal Party; Andrew Stoner, NSW Leader of the Nationals; Bob Debus, NSW Attorney-General (whose department covers daylight saving) and Michael Coster, NSW Minister for Transport.

Gunnedah branch secretary, Mrs Judith Law, invited the Premier and MPs to a breakfast celebration at Woolsley Park, Gunnedah, on Friday 26 March, followed by a bus trip to Tamworth for lunch. The official 2004 end to daylight saving for NSW occurred at 2 am the following Sunday, 28 March.

Mr Carr's secretary declined the invitation by phone. Mr Stoner declined but said that he did 'empathise with its intent'. The other MPs did not acknowledge the invitation.

The NSW Abolish Daylight Saving Committee, which claims to have about 4000 members, is a network of anti-daylight saving community groups who have consistently lobbied against daylight saving in NSW and appealed for a national enquiry into its effects.

Contacts (NSW Abolish Daylight Saving Committee):

Judith O'Brien +612 6864 3286
Judith Law +612 6742 2161

 


January 2004, Brisbane, Queensland

Despite the hype, survey reveals no change on daylight saving support.

A pre-election readers' survey taken by Brisbane's Courier-Mail reveals no significant change to daylight saving attitudes in the state since the 1992 referendum.

The 'State of the State' survey, comprising a voluntary questionnaire from the newspaper's 6 January edition, asked for readers' opinions on a range of election issues. (Their names then went into a draw to win some picnic products.) Regarding the daylight saving question, '62 per cent' of respondents favoured its introduction. On this basis, a follow-up editorial of 19 January declared, in somewhat slippery fashion, that ‘a substantial majority of Queenslanders [now] believe we should have daylight saving'. In the same edition, another feature article analysing the survey results gave the issue prime coverage (even though other issues were discussed, including child protection and frequency of elections), and appeared under a big, bold, top-centre headline: 'Most of us want daylight saving'.

What the editorial and feature article did not declare is that the survey's respondents would have been pooled from the Courier-Mail's main catchment area, which is the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor – the area in which daylight saving support is by far the state's highest. Admittedly, the publication is sold statewide but regional-rural readers mostly prefer to read their local rag.

What the 62 per cent survey figure does indicate is that there has been hardly any shift in attitudes to daylight saving since the 1992 referendum. According to the Daylight Saving Referendum Statistical Returns 1992, the Brisbane-Gold Coast ‘yes' vote was just over 60 per cent – a figure almost identical to the 2004 'State of the State' survey.

To be fair, the C-M later published a reader's letter pointing out its cavalier attitude to the facts, but tucked the correspondence away in the 'In Brief' section of the letters page.

Related reading:

'Our readers tell politicians their views', Courier-Mail, 19 January 2004

'Most of us want daylight saving', Courier-Mail, 19 January 2004


November 2003, Perth, Western Australia

Forget democracy … jigger the clocks anyway!

What part of the word ‘No’ don’t politicians understand? A move by a West Australian MP seeks to trash the results of no less than three state referendums by introducing a daylight saving private member's bill into parliament. The MP is seeking to bypass the referendum process and have it voted on in parliament. This means that the people who have resoundingly rejected it would not get a say. However, the bill cannot be raised in parliament unless it receives the required support (more...)


October 2003, Victoria

‘Cannot tolerate any more …’

Victorian Opposition rejects government plans to extend daylight saving (more...).


September 2003

Daylight saving may be harmful to health.

'New and surprising economic research suggests that daylight saving may be one of the more harmful things we inflict upon ourselves.' Life Matters, ABC Radio National, 13 September 03 (more...).

[LoD comment: The only reason this research is 'surprising' is that there has been a virtual media blackout throughout the Western world on the health problems caused by daylight saving. After reading and hearing thirty years of ridiculously undeserved and exaggerated praise for the practice, there is very little left to 'surprise' the average daylight saving opponent.]


October 2001, Gold Coast, Queensland

Lukewarm daylight saving interest in 'state of revolt'

Gold Coast Labor MP, Christine Smith, State Member for Burleigh, recently conducted a survey to find out the extent to which daylight saving is an issue of concern in her electorate.

In an ABC News Online report of 31 October, Ms Smith said that only 131 people out of 17,000 returned her survey forms and, of those, a mere 74 wanted daylight saving. This represents the extent of concern in an electorate that polled the state's fourth highest pro-daylight vote in the 1992 referendum (more...).

[LoD comment: Ms Smith's findings are starkly at odds with years of conveyor-belt media rhetoric from the Gold Coast business sector, which would have us believe that south-east Queensland is in a veritable state of revolt over daylight saving.]

Update:

Ms Smith also made a brilliant speech in Queensland Parliament in October 2002 on the subject of daylight saving. Despite the fact that almost 70 per cent of her electorate wants daylight saving, her speech in parliament came out against its introduction as being disadvantageous to the whole state (more ... scroll down to 'Daylight saving'. Warning: This link contains honest rhetoric from a brave politician).


October 2001, Gold Coast, Queensland

Gold Coast moves to change business hours not clocks.

The Gold Coast City Council and Gold Coast City Combined Chamber of Commerce have voted to operate on 'daylight saving time' this year.

Contrary to misleading reports, Gold Coast clocks will not move forward. Rather, they will start their 'official' working day at 8.00 am standard time instead of 9.00 am.

As most Gold Coast council offices and businesses open at 8.00 am anyway, the reality will not change. However, there are many unnecessary regulations - from alcohol licences to contracts and leases - that penalise businesses for operating on earlier business hours and this needs to be addressed at government level. An official change to Gold Coast opening hours may pave the way for these regulatory reforms to occur.

Although Premier Peter Beattie and former Premier Wayne Goss have publicly stated that their governments would support businesses who wish to operate in line with daylight saving hours in southern states, there has been little done at an official level to clear the way for this to happen.

Typically, the media has either ridiculed the move or presented it as a thin edge of the wedge victory for Queensland's minority daylight saving lobby. In reality, it is a victory for the state's standard time majority. Adjustments to business hours, rather than clocks, have been a staple anti-daylight saving argument in Queensland for three decades.

The Gold Coast move may help shift the daylight saving lobby's emphasis away from its counterproductive 'dual time zone' scenario to a more workable and flexible blending of business hours between the Gold Coast and northern NSW, and between Brisbane and southern capitals.


October 2000, South Australia

South Australian MP rejects moves to merge with Eastern Daylight Time.

Member of the SA House of Assembly, Liz Penfold, called for an end to daylight saving in South Australia. In a speech in state parliament, Ms Penfold attacked daylight saving in the context of renewed calls for South Australia to join Eastern Time.

According to Ms Penfold, daylight saving already caused distress for the western part of the state, which is forced to commute to school and work in the dark, leaving many children 'sickly, inattentive at school, tired and lacking initiative' by the end of daylight saving each year. To push the South Australian time zone even further 'west' by joining Eastern Time would make these difficulties even worse.

Ms Penfold rejected arguments favouring time zone uniformity with the eastern states, arguing that South Australia needed to retain its own time zone. Central Australian time gave the state an equal time difference between the east and west coasts, as well as easier contact with south-east Asia (more...).


October 2000, Florida, United States *

Florida anti-daylight saving bill breaks 'committee' barrier.

Two Florida legislators, Senator George Kirkpatrick (Gainesville) and Rep. Suzanne Jacobs, (Delray Beach) introduced bills during the 2000 session of congress to exempt Florida from daylight saving time.

Jacobs' bill was out-voted in its first session, but Kirkpatrick's bill made it through one Senate committee - a hopeful sign.

Other US states that have introduced anti-daylight saving bills since 1997 (albeit unsuccessfully) include Kansas, Kentucky and Nevada.

Related reading:

http://www.gainesvillesun.com/news/articles/04-01-00b.shtml


September 2000, Fiji *

Fiji drops daylight saving.

The Interim Government of Fiji has officially dropped daylight saving, citing disruptions caused to school children and commercial businesses.

The decision was taken following strong daylight saving opposition from some commercial enterprises and the Ministry of Education.

While there is no indication whether this will be a permanent move, this is the first time a nation has officially dropped daylight saving since Japan in 1952.


March 2000, Mexico *

Mexican states sue Federal government over daylight saving.

Sixteen of Mexico's 31 states, as well as the Federal District of Mexico City, are demanding an end to daylight saving time. Two major opposition parties, the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the National Action Party (PAN) have asked Congress to abolish the time change.  

Despite overwhelming opposition, the Federal Government of Mexico adopted daylight saving in 1996, to be in sync with its major trading partners, the US and Canada.

Ironically, the northern state of Sonora borders Arizona - one of the few US states to use standard time all year. So much for time zone uniformity! (more...)


March 1999, New South Wales

NSW opposition leader fails to rule out repeal of daylight saving extension.

In the lead-up to the NSW state election, New South Wales Liberal Party Opposition Leader, Kerry Chikarovski, indicated on ABC radio that some members of the Coalition would seek to end daylight saving earlier - in early March.

Such a move would reverse the 1996 state government decision to extend daylight saving from four to five months. However, Mrs Chikarovski declared herself 'a bit of a fan' of the practice and stressed that the Coalition had no plans to abolish daylight saving altogether.

[Background: In 1996, the NSW government extended daylight saving from the beginning, to the end, of March. The government introduced the extension in response to a vigorous campaign by Sydney business groups to extend daylight saving in order to be in sync with Victoria's dates. The campaign was bitterly and overwhelmingly fought by the NSW rural sector and rejected by the then Fahey Coalition Government on the basis that the business community did not have a strong enough case. Despite a Herald-Saulwick Poll in April 1994, that showed only 51 per cent of NSW residents favoured the change if the bush didn't want it, the unpopular extension was immediately introduced by the newly elected Carr Labor Government in 1996.]

Related reading:

ABC Online: www.abc.net.au/news/nsw99/diary


19961997, France

French move to drop daylight saving overruled by EU

At a meeting of European Union transport ministers in 1996, France made a bid to scrap daylight saving among EU nations. The bid was out-voted but France called for a major study into daylight saving's social, farming and economic impact.

In 1997, France then applied to the EU for an exemption from daylight saving, but backed down in the face of threatened legal action. Ironically, France was the first European nation to introduce the practice.

Prime Minister Alain Juppe cited general dissatisfaction among the population with the twice-yearly clock change, saying that any advantages were outweighed by the 'disturbance to the rhythm of life'.


* Mexico, Florida and Fiji are on an identical latitude range to that of Queensland.

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