Fine feuds: Knolls butt heads over deregulation policy

PROMINENT Barossa businessman Franz Knoll and his son, Member for Schubert Stephan Knoll, have publicly butted heads over the State Government’s plans to deregulate shop trading hours.

The State Government has committed to its election promise of amending the Shop Trading Hours Act to give businesses the freedom to  choose when they are open, a move Premier Steven Marshall said he has an election mandate to push ahead with.

Small independent retailers across different industries are opposed to the policy, concerned it would place them at a commercial disadvantage against larger chain retailers with larger workforces.

A number of independent retailers have banded together with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) to run an advertising campaign against the changes, called Stop Deregulation Adelaide.

At the campaign launch on Sunday, Barossa Fine Foods owner Franz Knoll – father of government minister Stephan – declared his support, arguing his business would need “at least 10 customers per hour per person” to be able to afford increased trading hours.

Despite this, the senior Knoll told reporters he respected his son’s position.

“I’ve said I’m against deregulation and that’s a government policy and we’re allowed to differ,” he said.

“We have political parties because we have differences of opinions.

“The objective is always to (reach) a best outcome, and that varies according to every circumstance.”

In response, the Member for Schubert took to social media to defend his government’s policy.

“Deregulating shop trading hours will create jobs and provide a level field for all businesses,” Mr Knoll wrote.

“Dad and I have been disagreeing about this policy for years, I will use the next few family dinners to try and change his mind!”

The local MP worked for Barossa Fine Foods as a general manager before running for parliament in 2014.

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Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.

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