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SA time zone change plan

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South Australia’s Premier is considering a push to aligning the state’s clocks with an eastern seaboard or Western Australian time zone.

The state currently runs nine and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) which is half an hour behind Australia’s eastern states for most of the year (outside daylight savings time) and 1.5 hours ahead of Western Australia.

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A consultation will take place in conjunction with the state’s Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith and will aim to conclude whether the difference has a negative impact on the social and economic activities of South Australia.

“South Australia’s half-hour time difference to the eastern states and 90 minute difference to WA can cause confusion across the spectrum of our daily lives – from sporting fixtures to public service administration and business transactions,” Mr Weatherill said.

“If it will improve our public administration and our scheduling of major events and sporting fixtures – then we must seriously consider it.”

If the move went ahead, it wouldn’t be the first time that South Australia has tried to go against international convention in matters of time.

The GMT plus nine hour timezone meridian line runs straight through the middle of South Australia and that was how the state was originally set up when a time zone act was configured for Australia in 1895.

Four years later, South Australia decided to advance central standard time by 30 minutes to where it remains today, leaving the state at GMT plus 9.5.

While GMT defines timezones by meridian lines on a map, there have been many cities, states and countries around the world that have sought to define their time via legal, political and social means.

MP Hamilton-Smith indicated that the Northern Territory and the Broken Hill community will be included in the consultation process as any changes to SA’s time zone would be best done in “conjunction with those jurisdictions.”

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