From the moment we hit the snooze button on our alarms in the morning, we are attached to the notion of time for the remainder of the day.
With a glance at our wristwatch or a gaze at the wall mounted clock, we rush out the door to join the weekday rat race, jump on a bus, or work on the farm.
In our desire to keep up with the world around us, whether we need to phone in for that important conference call, or race home to catch the footy game – time controls our every move.
South Australia’s half-hour time difference to the eastern states and 90 minute difference to Western Australia has long caused confusion and inconvenience – from sporting fixtures to public service administration and business transactions.
Now 30 minutes may seem like a short amount of time, but in reality we are out of step with the majority of Australia. It’s a constant frustration and a barrier to our social and economic calendar.
Now is the time for those arguments to be put to the test – South Australians have been asked to consider the merits of changing our time-zone.
South Australia’s time-zone hasn’t been changed since 1899 – two years before the States united into a Federation.
But before we turn our clocks back for good, we need to discuss what impact the changes will have on our lives. This will involve the business sector, major sporting bodies, health practitioners, tourists, people in the regions and the broader community.
It has been argued for years that synchronising our watches with the majority of Australians will attract investment, jobs and allow South Australia to thrive – we need to do whatever is necessary to stimulate this economic activity.
Let’s consider how changing our time-zone would renew confidence in our State.
Let’s consider how it would provide new opportunities for tourism.
Let’s consider how it would improve our public services, and the scheduling of major events and sporting fixtures.
Let’s consider removing the frustrations for business.
Finally we could all watch Q&A or the finale of My Kitchen Rules without having the outcome wrecked by social media or unwelcome texts from interstate.
South Australians wouldn’t have to wait another 30 minutes to hear the latest history-making news as they sit down at the dinner table.
The lighter evenings would leave more time for kids to play sport and families to enjoy the end of the day.
Others argue that the current situation leaves kids in the dark on their way to school, so we should go out on our own, moving an hour from the eastern states.
A one hour time-zone difference could just as easily reduce international confusion.
South Australia’s time-zone is one of only seven places in the world with a half-hour reference point against the international standard.
This puts us in the company of Venezuela, Nepal and Afghanistan.
Whether we choose to change our time-zone for the simple pleasure of basking for longer in the sun’s glow, or to be in step with the rest of the world; convenience is the key.
Martin Hamilton-Smith is the South Australian Minister for Investment and Trade. He is leading consultation on the time zone issue.
The Government is taking comments on the proposal at www.yoursay.com.au
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