The one to understand daylight savings in Perth

How misleading of a blog title. Why? Well, Perth does not go through the biannual tradition of “springing forward” and “falling back” an hour. I remember asking some Australian friends if they did DST here and was met with incredulity and scorn – “What’s the point?” was their anthem.

What’s interesting (which I guess is in the eye of the beholder) about daylight savings time in Australia is that some  states do change their clocks, while others (like WA, the Northern Territory and Queensland) refrain. So on the first week in October, Sydney, Melbourne, and the rest of the DST-practing Aussie cities sprung forward (it is spring here after all).

The Australian states, for your reference

After doing a bit of research, I can see why some native Perth folk get heated and opinionated on the subject of DST here: the issue of whether or not Western Australia should engage in daylight savings has come up in referendum and put to a vote multiple times in recent memory (most recently 2009, but similar experiments and subsequent votes took place in 1974, 1985, and 1992). In 2006, the Western Australian government put forth a 3 year trial period whereby Western Australia would practice daylight savings for 3 years and after that period, would vote on the referendum.

In the weeks leading up to the vote in 2009, apparently the campaigning was relentless (timely given upcoming election day in the states – stay strong, North Carolinians who I am sure are sick and tired of hearing campaign ads!). Those in favor of DST were primarily business people, who maintained that it would make dealing with businesses from the east of Australia easier during the summer as it would reduce the time difference. On the other side, those opposed were farmers and many in rural areas of WA, as well as a good chunk of people who just thought it wasn’t relevant in this day and age.

Finally, in what I can call Western Australia’s “hanging chad moment“, the vote was upon them – it was such a big deal that non-voters were fined $20-$50 and the government ending up making a cool $622,000 on said fines. Anyhoo, the referendum to maintain daylight savings in Western Australia was ultimately struck down with 55% of votes against, and that, dear readers, is why Perth does not practice daylight savings.

So to friends and family in the states who recently “fell back” an hour, I am sorry you lost an hour of daylight and I am also sorry that we are now even further in time difference from you (however please bear this new time difference in mind when you decide to Skype/FaceTime/call) 😉 Until next time…

3 responses to “The one to understand daylight savings in Perth

  1. All the time differences I’m Australia crack me up. Some being a 30 minute change, one hour change, or no change. Everytime they say the time on the radio I laugh, they say the times for the whole country and takes like 30 seconds. http://Www.eatallovertheworld.weebly.com

  2. OMG, you’re opening up a can of worms here 🙂 This was such a huge dilemma for Perth-ites. The darn question of Daylight Saving. Everyone else was doing it and it took WA about 100 years to catch on. I just came back from Europe and it became evident how different people’s routine are here, most of WA rises at 5am and goes to bed at 8pm. Daylight Savings just doesn’t gel here.

  3. Wow, didn’t know it was such a sensitive subject:) Personally, I always forget to adjust the clock and end up as the one showing up either one hour early or one hour late, so you can probably guess where I stand regarding the question of whether or not to have DST:)