Queenslanders need that hour badly. Picture: iStock
Queenslanders need that hour badly. Picture: iStock

Make no mistake, Queensland is ready for daylight saving

IT'S that time of year: blooming jacarandas, afternoon thunderstorms and league players overdoing it on the off-season.

It's also, like clockwork, the time of year when an exhausted section of society are barely capable of dragging themselves through their daily operations.

They can be seen staggering through workplaces like zombie extras from The Walking Dead, with intravenous caffeine lines hanging from their veins, capable of only grunts for communication. For we are, thanks to our young progeny and pets, are the people who rise at 4.30am.

Yes, it's that time of year when Queensland needs to talk about daylight saving. Again.

For the record, I am a proud born and bred Queenslander. But every morning as I lay in bed with humidity pressing down on me and birds hollering outside my window, I turn to the clock and read 4.45am and seriously consider moving to Melbourne.

I can get over their obnoxious cultural snobbery and questionable sense of fashion, I assure myself. I'll get an edgy haircut and wear clogs with socks. I'll even try and pretend to understand AFL if only, for the love of God, I can have one more hour of sleep.

For the love of God, can I just have one more hour of seep? Picture: iStock
For the love of God, can I just have one more hour of seep? Picture: iStock

I still ache for those balmy summer evenings when I lived in Sydney, where after work there was still plenty of light left to plop into the Clovelly Baths and soak up the sun on the warm cement.

In Brisbane, we currently commute home in darkness, courtesy of a 5.47pm sunset.

In the mornings, my early-rising children who are in need of a 9am nap, are instead pushed off to start a full day of childcare.

It is cruel, exhausting, and damaging to productivity, family dynamics and personal health.

And for what? The farmers? The early rising dairy farmers of Victoria seem to cope.

The curtains? Who even draws curtains in the afternoons? It's not the 1950s.

These bizarre myths and outdated excuses need to end.

Prioritising north and western Queensland's opinion on the issue also needs to stop.

Of course they don't desperately need daylight saving time like southeast Queenslanders do.

On December 1 this year, the sun will come up in Brisbane at 4.44am. On that same day in Mount Isa, sunrise is at 5.52am.

That is more than an hour after Brisbane's sunrise. And even later than Sydney's that day at 5.37am.

So the majority of Queensland's population has to suffer debilitating pre-5am sunrises while regional Queensland selfishly gets a sleep in.

Rachel English and her two children want daylight saving in Queensland. Picture: Luke Marsden
Rachel English and her two children want daylight saving in Queensland. Picture: Luke Marsden

Surely given it's the Sunshine State, we should be allowed to enjoy our sunshine?

Mayor of the City of Gold Coast and prominent daylight saving supporter Tom Tate says it's time to let the people have their say.

He proposes a single question on the ballot paper at next year's Queensland state election asking 'Should we have daylight saving time?'

"I'm not saying give it to us, I'm saying let the people have their say," he tells me.

And the outcome? Two thirds in support, Mr Tate predicts. "Give us, the people who enjoy life, give us a chance to unite with the rest of the eastern states of Australia," he says.

"The curtains won't fade and the cows will still milk."

The benefits of switching our clocks forward an hour are obvious.

There is the boost to local hospitality businesses with more people socialising in the early evening.

With obvious concerns over obesity and skin cancer, there's the added benefit of exercising in the softer early evening light.

But it is far more than just convenience and leisure.

It’s time to bury the difference once and for all. Picture: iStock
It’s time to bury the difference once and for all. Picture: iStock

There is the financial benefit of using less energy. After all, daylight saving time first came about in Europe to save fuel in the first world war.

There is also the damage to businesses from being out of sync with the eastern states.

Some studies claim Queensland's refusal to join daylight saving costs $4 billion.

We are travelling interstate more than ever before. But to make a 9am meeting or conference in Sydney you would need to get up at 4am to catch a 6am flight out of Brisbane.

The support is clearly there: A 2017 poll of over 7000 respondents by The Courier-Mail showed 88 per cent of people wanted daylight saving. The Facebook group Daylight Saving 4 QLD has over 42,700 likes.

So why not give us a referendum, a trial, or simply put the clocks forward permanently for the whole year?

And yet gutless politicians, who are clearly too scared to tackle the issue, say daylight saving time is not a priority and people are tired of talking about it.

Yes, we are exhausted. But that doesn't mean we've given up and accepted it will never happen.

Now, 30 years after Queensland's daylight saving trial started, it's time we woke up.

Lucy Carne is editor of Rendezview.com.au