Narrogin is a step closer to seven-day trading, with council backing a request by Coles Narrogin to extend retail trading hours in the shire. Councillors voted to apply to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety for retail shops to be allowed to trade until 9pm on weekdays and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays and public holidays. The motion passed five to three at last week’s council meeting after heated debate in the chambers. Among those against was Cr Clive Bartron. “Coles senior management somewhere in Sydney or wherever certainly didn’t think, ‘let’s help Narrogin’,” he said. “They just want to make profit out of the town. “I don’t think it’s good to base this on the fact that Coles are the ones telling us they want it, not Narrogin’s small business.” In October, the Shire advertised the proposal for public comment, receiving four submissions in favour and 13 against. At last week’s council meeting, president Leigh Ballard, Cr Graham Broad, Cr Jacqui Early, Cr Brian Seale and Cr Tim Wiese voted in favour of seven-day trading. Cr Wiese said he felt allowing Coles to open seven days would present the town in a progressive and positive light. “I know a lot of people who are shocked at how Narrogin looks like a ghost town on a Sunday,” he said. “I believe as a whole, all of the businesses in town will benefit.” Cr Ballard said he believed extended trading hours would help Narrogin attract a chain store to fill the void left by Target. At last week’s meeting, some of the town’s businesses got up and left the chamber, expressing their disapproval at the decision. Narrogin Fresh owner Alan Yang said the decision could spell the end of his business. He said not enough attention was given to a petition signed by more than 300 of his customers who said they did not want Coles opening on Sundays. “I totally do not agree with it, and I’m scared for my business,” he said. The council’s decision has the support of the Narrogin Chamber of Commerce, which has more than 160 financial members. NCC chief executive Kerry Bryant said she hoped small businesses would see it as an opportunity, rather than a setback. “While we respect that not all small businesses will choose to open on the Sunday, we know it will draw people into Narrogin, and we hope that other small businesses want to open and tag on with those potential customers” she said. “Our mantra is free enterprise. We would encourage those who shop at small businesses to continue supporting them, and not see it as one or the other.” The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is expected to determine the rule on in the coming weeks.