Weather News

This mayor wants to permanently change time, but his first mission is shortening daylight saving

By Hugh Hogan, Thursday April 29, 2021 - 23:45 EST
ABC image
John Medcalf says daylight saving time goes for too long and moving the clocks forward half an hour permanently could be a solution. - ABC

One New South Wales mayor thinks "enough is enough" when it comes to daylight saving time.


The Mayor of the Lachlan Shire Council, in the state's central west, has called for daylight saving time (DST) to be shortened to no more than four months of the year.


"This was the original intent of day light saving," Councillor John Medcalf OAM wrote in a mayoral minute at Wednesday's council meeting. 


Mr Medcalf's mayoral minute to lobby for the shortened time period passed and he will now take the matter to the next Country Mayors Association conference in May.


His proposal was to start DST on the first weekend of November and end it on the last weekend in February.


Compared to the current system which starts in the first weekend of October and ends in the first weekend of April.


"People are just sick of it... It's too long."


"When you get into the end of March-April, it's pretty dark in the morning," Mr Medcalf said.


In western New South Wales the sun rises up to half an hour later than the coast. 


The town of Broken Hill in the far west of the state runs half an hour behind on South Australian time to get around this problem.


"I just get the feeling there is an appetite that people would like to see it back to four months," he said.


Mr Medcalf said his proposal for shorter DST was a compromise and he admitted his real desire would be for all the eastern states to move the clocks forward half an hour permanently.


"Including Queensland, because it must be havoc on that border," he said. 


"My real feeling is I really would love half an hour put on [the time] and it be left for the whole 12 months."


"I think the old body clock doesn't like change," Mr Medcalf said.


He said he would like to have one time zone across Eastern Australia and permanently moving the clock forward half an hour could be a solution.


"I think we need to put a bit of common sense back into it (time)," he said. 


The push to permanently change time


The Mayor was not the only person getting sick of fiddling with clocks twice a year.


Around the world a movement to make daylight saving time permanent has gained popularity.


That would mean moving the clocks forward one hour and leaving them in place, even through winter.


In the United States, 15 states have voted for year-round daylight saving time, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


But the change is not currently allowed by federal law.


The Sunshine Protection Act is a proposed United States federal law that would make daylight saving time permanent across the country.


The bill has been introduced to Congress multiple times, most recently in March 2021.


Across the Atlantic the European Union has also tried to pass similar legislation before but was still working on moving the clocks forward permanently.


'Chequered history'


"Daylight saving time in Australia has a long and chequered history," a federal parliamentary research paper found. 


According to the report, daylight saving time was first introduced in 1917 as a wartime fuel saving measure and abandoned in less than a year because of public opposition.


More than a hundred years later the biannual time change was still causing headaches in western New South Wales.


"It's no good out here mate," said Bob Newberry from Tullamore in the NSW central west.


He was in full support of shortening the number of DST weeks.


"Shearers go to work in the dark and they are coming home more or less in the dark."


While Mr Newberry said he fully supported the Mayor's proposal, he would prefer if daylight saving time was scrapped completely.


Mr Newberry said the coast could have DST if they wanted it and the rest of New South Wales could get rid of it completely.


"Something like Broken Hill," he said in relation to the possible separate time zones between the coast and the west.


"If Sydney-siders want it, (DST) they've got it. We don't want it out here, it's not doing us much good."


"In Sydney the sun might rise at 6 o'clock - but out here there's a half hour difference."


"It's just a pain in the behind mucking around changing clocks and everything like that - just get rid of it," Mr Newberry said.







- ABC

© ABC 2021

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
9News
news.com.au

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Jack Frost is on the way

11:41 EST

Parts of southeastern Australia could register their lowest temperature in a couple of years this weekend, with frost likely to extend from Tasmania up to Queensland.

Cold fronts crossing Victoria bring mild May to chilly end

03:15 EST

A series of cold fronts will bring Melbourne's unseasonably warm May to a chilly end.

Get a sneak peak into the new Weatherzone Beta website experience while we continue to build out its full functionality.
Explore new datasets, map layers, 7-day charts, 12-month trends and much more!