MYTH : Daylight Saving will fade curtains…
Along the lines of the recent Queensland Government The Myths vs The Facts brochure, I have decided to dispel some of the Daylight Saving myths that seem to perpetually do the rounds. But try not to be too disappointed that I have not included anything on “faded curtains” or “confused cows”.
Hopefully you will find the following guide interesting and informative, and with any luck, both Premier Bligh and Mr Langbroek will also find this information useful when updating their policy stance toward Daylight Saving.
We have already had a number of referendums (referenda), which said ‘no’ to Daylight Saving, so we don’t need to have another vote.
Queensland has only ever had one Referendum on Daylight Saving – which was held in February 1992. The result of this ballot illustrated that 54.5% of the voting population were against having state-wide Daylight Saving.
This one and only Referendum was held nearly 18 years ago. Since then, more than 1.1 million voters have been added to the Queensland electoral roll, and are eligible to have a say on the issue of Daylight Saving.
A result from 18 years ago is outdated and does not reflect current demographics. Times have changed and attitudes have changed, to a more favourable position toward Daylight Saving. Therefore the issue of Daylight Saving within Queensland should be revisited and addressed appropriately, in order to reflect current community opinion.
Interesting to note, constituents vote to elect a Government at least once every 3 years, in order to reflect changing community attitudes.
The majority of Queenslanders are against Daylight Saving.
In 1992, the majority of Queensland constituents were against Daylight Saving.
In 2007, the Queensland Government commissioned research which indicated that the majority of residents are in favour of Daylight Saving. Support is gauged at about 55% of Queenslanders who favour the introduction of Daylight Saving.
The current stance of not adopting Daylight Saving within Queensland displays “governing for all of the state”.
The recent Government research indicates that only 34% of state-wide constituents are against Daylight Saving within Queensland. Therefore the current Daylight Saving policy stance does not reflect a position of “governing for all of the state”, but instead reflects governing for the minority on this issue.
Given that the Government’s own research indicates a majority of the state’s residents are in favour of Daylight Saving, with support concentrated in the South East region, a dual time zone would display a policy position that would truly be “governing for all of the state”.
There is no workable model for daylight saving within Queensland that would be supported by a majority of Queenslanders.
A workable model for Daylight Saving within Queensland would be to introduce a dual time zone that would satisfy the majority of all Queenslanders.
Whilst the Government research indicated a dual time zone was not the most favoured option, a defined boundary was not provided to survey respondents, nor was a full explanation of why a dual time zone should be considered.
Since the survey was undertaken, better community awareness, has resulted in a greater understanding of the reasons why a dual time zone should be considered as a viable option for Queensland. This has been reflected in more recent polls, with residents illustrating that they would be willing to trial a dual time zone within the state.
Interesting to note, dual time zones have proven to be workable throughout many states and provinces within the USA, Canada and Europe.
There are more important issues facing Queensland that require Government funding, rather than to deal with Daylight Saving.
There are many important issues currently facing the state of Queensland that the Government needs to focus their funding, and include road infrastructure, water infrastructure, schools and hospitals. These are definitely all important issues that require ongoing financial support and large capital investments, but that is no excuse to ignore such an important issue like Daylight Saving that requires a much smaller outlay.
Daylight Saving could be introduced for less than 2% of the funding required to build a new hospital – not much more than one year’s financial support that the Queensland Government provided to the Gold Coast Indy Grand Prix.
Introducing Daylight Saving into South East Queensland would provide financial benefits to businesses, equating to $ billions within the region’s economy. Added to this, would be the invaluable social benefits and increased lifestyle opportunities available to the community – something you can’t put a price on.
The issue of Daylight Saving within Queensland is not a political issue, it is a geographic issue.
The issue of Daylight Saving within Queensland is actually both a political issue, and a geographic issue.
Given that the decision to adopt Daylight Saving is one that has to be made by the Government, it must be considered as a genuine political issue.
This support for Daylight Saving is geographically divided, with the majority of residents in South East Queensland supportive of its introduction, while the majority of Queenslanders residing outside this region are against it.
As Daylight Saving is a political geographic issue for Queensland, then a political geographic solution, by way of a dual time zone, should be implemented by the Government, to resolve this issue.
We don’t need Daylight Saving in South East Queensland, as the sunlight in the morning is already well used by residents in the region and sunsets are late enough.
The very early sunrise in the South East Queensland region, does not allow people to utilise the natural light, to enjoy many outdoor activities. With a sunrise at around 5am, it is not practical to take children to the park to kick a footy around before school, nor is it legal to start mowing your lawn – only around 10% of people are actually awake at that time. The available sunlight in the early morning is underutilised and with sunsets at around 6:30pm, a large number of people do not gain any benefit, as they have only just arrived home from work.
With Daylight Saving in South East Queensland, the available sunlight in the morning would be better aligned to the lifestyles of the majority of residents in the region; and would further allow for greater opportunities to utilise the natural light that would extend the afternoon into the evening.
As the issue of Daylight Saving within Queensland is one that is both topical and emotive, it certainly lends itself to have so many myths attached to it. It is for these very reasons, that it is only a matter of time until the Queensland Government and state Opposition will both recognise that the issue of Daylight Saving within Queensland is not a myth. The fact is, that this issue must be revisited and addressed appropriately, to accurately reflect current community attitudes, and a dual time zone is the solution.
By the way, I know I promised not to mention anything about “faded curtains” or “confused cows”, but these are most certainly myths too.
Remember – ‘It’s About Time!’