Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Spring Forward, Fall Back ... Stand Still?

It's nearly that time of year when everybody's clocks change, backwards one hour up north and forwards an hour down here as summertime begins.

Well, I say everybody: not everybody here in Perth. Western Australia, for some bizarre reason, doesn't recognise daylight saving time, and plods on regardless no matter what the season, its clocks untouched by that sixty minute variation.

Quite why WA refuses to play ball isn't clear - at least not to me. My wife (a West Australian by birth) muttered something about the large number of farmers in the state, who are used to early starts having a problem with taking the system on board. Meanwhile
The West Australian newspaper says that:

'WA businesses have long claimed they are inconvenienced by daylight saving and are expected to become even more vocal in their push to have it adopted.'

Three times in the last 30 years there have been referenda to decide on whether or not daylight saving should be adopted. On each occasion the winning margin has been rather small, coming down in favour of the no-thank-you-very-muchs in the order of 54% to 46%.

But with moves to standardise daylight savings across the south and east of the country (don't forget, Australia's so big it crosses several time zones) WA could soon find itself up to three hours behind the eastern states.

A daylight saving 'trial run' is therefore being pushed through the state's law-making apparatus, one which could mean our clocks will go forward an hour come early December. For two years after that, the clocks will change in time with everyone else, from the end of October to early March. Then there'll be another referendum to see if the scheme sticks.

Well, the system may be grinding slowly towards a decision, but me, I made my mind up weeks ago. My bloody son's waking up at 5.30 every morning ...


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