By Andy Young

Dr Tim Cooper has joined many South Australian businesses in requesting that the state's government drops the half-hour time difference with Australia's east coast states.

South Australian premier, Jay Weatherill, has said that he wants to move the state's time zone forward and the move has been backed by Coopers and the general South Australian business community.

Dr Cooper told TheShout: "It is something which the current government is looking at actively at the moment and it's something that those of us in business have talked about, probably for decades.

"We have been the butt of jokes for years for having this half hour time difference, which is a bit of an anachronism these days.

"It is good that the government is actively thinking about it now and for those of us in business we think it's good for South Australia to align ourselves with the eastern states. So we would be with the greater weight of businesses in the eastern states, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney.

"I think it would be good for those of us in business in South Australia to be in the same timezone so that it would aid communications with the companies in the Eastern states."

Dr Cooper is supported by Business SA, which highlighted a South Australian Centre for Economic Studies cost benefit analysis that showed an estimated $2.7 billion net economic benefit over thirty years should the state move to EST.

Business SA CEO Nigel McBride said: "Business SA has a long history of campaigning for a move to EST. We are pleased that the State Government has listened to the voice of business in South Australia and is seriously considering this important change.

"As a state we are facing extraordinary economic challenges and anything that can assist South Australian businesses to be more competitive and lower the cost of doing business must now be considered and acted upon."

Dr cooper added: "In SA we've got fairly high unemployment and we are still facing the onslaught that will come with the cessation of Holden's activities in a couple of years' time.

"So we do need to think how to readjust to the loss of manufacturing in South Australia and we could take advantage of the fact that we do have a lower cost of living in SA, which might help us be able to attract work from national companies through providing back office work and that would be aided by being on the same timezone."

Premier Weatherill has said the change would most likely happen when people switch their clocks for daylight savings. The earliest practical time for that would be April 2017 because of international flight scheduling.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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