For daylight saving

Mark Bahnisch comes out against daylight saving, arguing that, in Brisbane’s summer weather it’s better to finish work after sunset.

I’m generally in favour as I tend to wake up with the sun. Because Brisbane is so far east (we’re not far from Byron Bay), sunrise in summer is very early – it’s light before 5am. In some ways, that’s good (it’s a great time to get work done), but not if you want to stay up past about 9pm. It gets dark pretty early, around 6:30.

I suspect that daylight saving here does little more than restore the time in Brisbane to what it would be under “God’s time”, without time zones or other fiddles.

The problem is, of course, that the state is big in both directions. The tropics have very little seasonal variation in the length of the day, which makes daylight saving in summer nonsensical while the west has the opposite problem to Brisbane. But given that we have to have one time zone for the whole state (an internal border would be ludicrous), we should pick it to suit the majority, who live in the Southeast corner.

Of course, anyone who really doesn’t like daylight saving could leave their watch unchanged, stick to their old schedules as far as possible, and just bear in mind that everyone else is using a different time. The reverse is true in the present situation if you really like daylight saving.

78 thoughts on “For daylight saving

  1. And here I was thinking that Queenslanders dislike of daylight saving was some laughably provincial conservatism. Not recognising the (obvious once pointed out) matter of it being a coupla thousand kms closer to the equator than Vic.

  2. And here I was thinking southerners preference for daylight saving was some laughable provincial mob mentality. Not realising the obvious matter of them simply being too lazy to get out of bed in time to enjoy the sunshine.

  3. As I recall, when a referendum was held on daylight saving in the early 90s, even Brisbane voted against it. Maybe they thought it would fade their curtains. Maybe they thought it would upset their pet cows.

    Ah, Queenslanders, cretinous one day, moronic the rest.

  4. Personally I would be happy, as a Victorian, to live on daylight saving all the time. I love the longer evenings; it doesn’t bother me getting up before dawn.

    What I don’t like is the process of rejigging my internal clock, which takes a couple of weeks to set itself either way, while I feel like I should be on another part of my daily cycle.

    I suspect all those complaints about the cows have a basis in fact. If the milking cycle is pinned to a pickup time by the truck, then the farmer has to move the stock at a different time. It looks as if a lot of the farmers labour is done automatically, as the cows come in by themselves, as long as they know the time.

  5. PrQ,
    The reverse of your statement “…anyone who really doesn’t like daylight saving could leave their watch unchanged, stick to their old schedules as far as possible, and just bear in mind that everyone else is using a different time…” could also be true – if you like the idea of daylight saving, you change your watch etc.
    Lets just leave legal time the way it is and you can change your own watch the way you want it to be to suit yourself, just bearing in mind that others may be different. Perhaps we could all live our lives in this way – the very essence of freedom.
    Don’t play with my clock and I won’t mess with yours.

  6. The official sunset time in Brisbane in January is around 6:50pm. But as Brisbane residents well know it is not fully dark until well after 7:30pm.

    By this time – I am quite happy for it to be dark. Especially when I know parents in Mt Isa that have to put kids to bed when it is still daylight until well after 10pm.

    Daylight saving makes no sense for Queensland. No matter how much mindless bleating comes from the Mexicans about it.

  7. Soft and puny Mexicans need more sunlight I suppose but in Queensland – especially out West and up North – it’s completely illogical nonsense.

  8. QUOTE: But given that we have to have one time zone for the whole state (an internal border would be ludicrous), we should pick it to suit the majority, who live in the Southeast corner.

    RESPONSE: I don’t see any reason why an internal time boundary could not work. Why should time zones and political zones be the one and the same. The Federal government functions even though Australia has multiple different time zones.

    Put a time boundary through QLD and let the South Eastern part join with NSW and Victoria as a common time zone. The North zone could skip on daylight savings.

  9. Two time zone work perfectly well in NSW – Broken Hill being on central Australian time. Why don’t the Mount Isa residents do the same, and also slice into Nth-Sth zones for a daylight savings.

  10. “The official sunset time in Brisbane in January is around 6:50pm. But as Brisbane residents well know it is not fully dark until well after 7:30pm”

    This is a nonsense. There is no dusk in Brisbane in summer. Night time drops in the early evening like a big black brick.

    “Especially when I know parents in Mt Isa that have to put kids to bed when it is still daylight until well after 10pm. ”

    Mt Isa parents must be deficient in parenting skills. Parents all over the world manage to to put their kids to bed in summer when it is still daylight.

  11. The village of Thredbo in the NSW Snowy Mountains had its own daylight saving before it was generally adopted. They put their clocks forward 30 minutes in summer, “Thredbo time” it was called. Worked for them.

    There’s no point in trying to convince the Deliverance-types in Queensland who live outside the SE to adopt daylight saving. Just have it from Coolangatta to Noosa for anyone else who wants to join in.

  12. Why would having different time zones within states be an issue? For a start there are two time zones in NSW and in quite a few states in the USA, some counties opt to be in different times zones to the rest of the state.

  13. Against Daylight Saving

    John Howard recently weighed in to a Queensland perennial by arguing that those of us in SE Queensland should have the option of daylight saving. I want to write against it – from a Brisbane perspective. So I’m not going to go into arguments about ki…

  14. I distinctly recall summer days getting light at 4 am, and it was light enough to wake me a 10 to 5 this morning — but I’m quite happy to not have daylight saving. Not having the blazing afternoon sun heating up the house until 8 pm means savings on running air conditioning to make the house liveable in the evening.

  15. Brisbane & the south-east are most welcome to do Queensland a favour by seceding from god’s own state, & moving the border north, joining with the ranting wetback hordes.

  16. The village of Thredbo in the NSW Snowy Mountains had its own daylight saving before it was generally adopted. They put their clocks forward 30 minutes in summer, “Thredbo time� it was called. Worked for them.

    I didn’t know that, and it’s something I’ve often thought of, that rural towns whose populations didn’t like DS could always vote on a local or shire level to keep Eastern Standard time going in their municipality. As long as they kept it in mind when dealing with people and businesses in other states, what’s the problem?

  17. Personally, I run on metric time. 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 10 hours to the day. Much easier. Unfortunately, no-one else seems to be able to make it to meetings on time.

  18. Hey, Quiggers, why don’t you show a bit of Queenslander leadership and wind the date stamp on this blog one hour to Eastern Daylight Time?

  19. We don’t have it in WA either, which suits me fine …. the main thing is that people have flexible working times. Like a lot of people, apart from some rostered shifts or meetings, I can start anytime from 7.30 to 9.30 and work longer some days and then take time off when I want. So much business is now done by email and that also reduces the need for people to speak to each by ‘phone.

  20. Daylight saving is not really appropriate for the tropics – WA and Qld have large areas in the tropics. Is it just coincidence that these are the two States which have rejected daylight saving? Any future referendum on daylight saving in those States should exclude the tropics. There is no reason why we can’t have different time zones within a State given that we already have so many time zones across the country. On a population basis there are relatively few people living in tropical WA and Qld.
    I live in Perth now but lived in the East for many years including while my children were young. Any problems in getting kids to bed are due to parents and/or kids, not daylight saving.
    I seem to recall that areas in WA across the Nullabor operate on a different time to Perth on an informal basis but I don’t have any evidence for this. Would make sense given the enormous distance between say Eucla and Perth.

  21. There is no reason why a state cannot operate on 2 time zones. Broken Hill (NSW) manages on SA time quite well. The nation operates on 3 or 4 (even occasionally 5). As a matter of fact, if the democratic will of the people were expressed in time zones (1992 referendum), the south east would have it and the rest wouldn’t. There were solid majorities in favour in all south-east local government areas and against elsewhere (link below). Give it to those who want it and not to those who don’t. Simple, really.

    http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=176

  22. “Hey, Quiggers, why don’t you show a bit of Queenslander leadership and wind the date stamp on this blog one hour to Eastern Daylight Time?”

    Fiddling with timestamp + WordPress +ecto = chaos.

  23. Dave Ricardo – if you live in Brisbane put your head outside in late January at 7:30pm – it isn’t fully dark. I am not sure where you get off telling people what is and isn’t nonsense.

  24. Iain, on January 31 2006 the sun will set in Brisbane at 6.43pm. By 7.30 pm it will be the ace of spades. Illumination by lightbulb doesn’t count.

    By the way, sunset in Perth on that day will be at 7.20 pm. The sandgropers are so far west in their time zone they already have semi-daylight saving. (In Sydney, which as at about the same latitiude as Perth, the sun will set at 8.03pm on that day, and that’s with an hour of daylight saving.)

  25. dont need the clock to tell me when the heat starts easing off before venturing out to attend to outside chores or begin cooking an evening meal in Bris. The contrast between the summmer heat exhaustion factor in Qld and the southern states is staggering. Lived in Wollongong for 6 years after 20 yrs in Rockhampton; was truly amazed by the soft southern summer where a cool breeze miraculously appeared at 3pm and one needed a light cardy after work in November. Contrast that to Rocky sometimes reaching temps. of 35C and 40C in November, and worse in NW and Nth Qld— I gain nothing from daylight saving as i wait until the sun and heat starts dropping before commencing various tiring or heat producing activities. We dont ‘draw curtains’ in the evening up here; its too stifling.
    Long twilights are lovely when one lives in a temperate climate, otherwise one waits til dark for some heat relief; even the metal roofs make alarming sounds as they cool down.. The rubbishing about the cows and faded curtains is about as inept as the original notions. I’m bemused to hear southerners advise putting up heavier curtains/blinds to exclude sunlight if you wish to retire to bed early. I’ll just follow the sun whenever possible and not the clock.

  26. I think Broken Hill is the exception that proves the rule. For most purposes, it’s part of SA and therefore operates on Adelaide time.

  27. On the question of Metric Time this extract from Wikipedia may interest.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time#France

    EXTRACT:-


    In more modern times, decimal time was introduced during the French Revolution in the decree of 5 October 1793:

    XI. Le jour, de minuit à minuit, est divisé en dix parties, chaque partie en dix autres, ainsi de suite jusqu’à la plus petite portion commensurable de la durée.
    XI. The day, from midnight to midnight, is divided into ten parts, each part into ten others, so on until the smallest measurable portion of duration.
    These parts were named on 24 November 1793 (4 Frimaire II). The primary divisions were called hours, and they added:

    La centième partie de l’heure est appelée minute décimale; la centième partie de la minute est appelée seconde décimale. (emphasis in original)
    The hundredth part of the hour is called decimal minute; the hundredth part of the minute is called decimal second.
    Thus, midnight was reckoned as 10 o’clock, noon as 5 o’clock, etc. Although clocks and watches were produced with faces showing both standard time with numbers 1-24 and decimal time with numbers 1-10, decimal time never caught on; it was not officially used until the beginning of the Republican year III, September 22, 1794, and was officially suspended April 7, 1795. The French Republican Calendar, which was introduced at the same time and divided the month into three décades of 10 days each, eventually also fell out of use, and was abolished at the end of 1805. The original metric system, also adopted during the Revolution, beginning in 1790, had no unit of time; later versions of the metric system used the second equal to 1/86400 day as the metric time unit.

    The French made another attempt at the decimalization of time in 1897, when the Commission de décimalisation du temps was created by the Bureau des Longitudes, with the mathematician Henri Poincaré as secretary. The commission proposed a compromise of retaining the 24-hour day, but dividing each hour into 100 decimal minutes, and each minute into 100 seconds. The plan did not gain acceptance and was abandoned in 1900.

  28. Max Bannissch wrote: “It gets extremely hot in Brisbane in summer, and the heat is made a thousand times worse for about three months by extreme cloying humidity. And in Brisbane, in contrast to some other cities I’ve visited, it heats up very quickly – it can be 30 already when you’re waiting for the bus at 8am on a hot day, and cools down quickly too. So just as I don’t particularly enjoy walking home in the middle of winter at 5.30pm when it’s already dark, I’d rather not leave work when it’s still really hot and unpleasant.”

    That’s all well and good but I’d prefer to be woken up every morning by flock s of Kookaburras at 6.00 AM rather than 5.00 AM.

  29. David: Iain, on January 31 2006 the sun will set in Brisbane at 6.43pm. By 7.30 pm it will be the ace of spades.

    David, take the word of a life-long Brisbane resident. In January, it’s light enough outdoprs to read until 8.00 PM or later.

  30. That’s a nice point about Broken Hill. Back in the day, state MPs for Broken Hill used to travel to Sydney via Adelaide – a neat reminder of the origin of timezones as regulation to support railway timetables.

    If SEQ moves onto DST, what will the railway timetables do? Citytrain is easy because the entire network is in SEQ, but what about long distance and freight?

    I know this can be characterised as nitpicking about minor details, but so is complaining about the birds and sun at 5am. If I were feeling grumpier I’d mention that there are plenty of places in Australia where this isn’t a feature of summer lifestyle. :^P

  31. The whole thing is really quite silly. Maybe the Chinese have a point – put the whole country onto one time zone and be done with it.

    Of course, that should be Perth time.

  32. D/light saving is again the easy option, clocks changed so not to upset the dolts eh?
    Why don’t the southern states just get up an hour earlier, start work as well knock off an hour earlier. That way the clocks would not have to be changed at all. Or perhaps getting up earlier is beyond the “bright?” southerners?
    As for Qld. wasn’t a referendum for d/light saving rejected a few years ago?
    Some twits want a referendum every year until the vote goes their way apparantly.
    Only a total moron would want D/light saving in the sub-tropics or the tropics. Regards, R.P.

  33. John’s intro is well balanced but the debate disintegrates rapidly from there on.

    The geographical fact is that Queensland is the wrong flamin’ shape for daylight savings. Not many people realise that Cairns (145 46 Long.) is actually further west than Charleville (146 14 Long.)! Those living north of Rocky are never going to vote for DS.

    However, having lived in “Mexico” for 15+ years, Darwin for 20+ years and now Brisbane for 6 years, I have to say that it’s time for the Weather Mecca corner of Australia to move into the 21st century. I don’t want my leisure time to start two hours before I head off to work. (Call me strange but I like to wind down after I’ve been stressed, not before.)

    The simple solution…? There is none.

    We need to listen to what our number plates are trying to tell us, we can live in the “Smart State” and the “Sunshine State” at the same time. We just have to be original (no Queenslander’s afraid of that) and imaginative…

  34. There is a simple solution – leave the clocks alone and sort it out yourselves. If a town, business or person wants to start trading a bit earlier than everyone else – let them. Deregulate trading hours, let companies sort out their own working hours in consultation with their employees and clients and throw the whole stupid mess that tinkering with time has left us in.
    5 (or more) variable time zones in this country is just plain silly.

  35. Those who oppose daylight saving are almost universally net contributors to society.
    Almost all the net takers from society are in the “pro” daylight saving camp.
    Thus the daylight saving argument is over.

  36. Perhaps Queensland’s problem of size and climatic diversity in relation to workable time zones could be cured by setting the clocks to readily identifiable climate related events. For example:

    1. The time a certain number of cane toads sit on a defined patch of road could signify lunch time.

    2. The time that only Victorians are still swimming in the surf could signify knock-off time.

    Perhaps Queenslanders with a more intimate knowledge of their environs may care to add to this potentially useful list.

  37. A major reason we are once again having a daylight saving debate in Queensland is that in the century and a half since the state border was established, some hundreds of thousands of people decided that the area straddling the border was a nice place to live and do business. The time zones issue is only one consequence of this development.

    Whilst changing the state border is difficult, moving several hundred thousand people/houses/buildings/etc. is even more so. The question then becomes whether it is preferable to shift the state border north (to about the northern edge of the Burnett River catchment) or south (to the southern edge of the Clarence River catchment). The former would have the detrimental effect of leaving the residual State of Queensland with an unviable population and revenue base, and a nasty brawl in the offing between Cairns and Townsville about which town would be the new capital. The latter would create a bigger and stronger Queensland and eliminate (or at least massively reduce) the Coolangatta/Tweed time zone problem. It would also spare our State politicians from the accusation of treason to the State when it is revealed that they take their holidays in or around Byron Bay.

  38. Steve

    “Those who oppose daylight saving are almost universally net contributors to society.
    Almost all the net takers from society are in the “pro� daylight saving camp.
    Thus the daylight saving argument is over.”

    As everyone knows, the strongest advocates of daylight saving are businesses who are inconvenienced by the time difference between Brisbane and Sydney. It’s been a while since I ran across the view that all businesspeople are exploiters, extracting surplus value from the workers who do all the production, but it’s refreshing, if a bit surprising, to see it restated :-).

  39. “it’s refreshing, if a bit surprising, to see it restated”

    It’s not surprising to me. Steve reminds me of a lot of Marxists I have known.

    “eliminate (or at least massively reduce) the Coolangatta/Tweed time zone problem”

    It’s not a problem on New Year’s Eve. You can get stonkered in Tweed Heads and go nutso on the stroke on the midnight, then walk across the road and do it all again an hour later.

  40. It’s been a while since I ran across the view that all businesspeople are exploiters, extracting surplus value from the workers who do all the production, but it’s refreshing, if a bit surprising, to see it restated

    In contrast to publicly funded academic proponents of the “dismal science”, who are well known for their net contribution to society 🙂

    (adding a smiley at the end of a sentence denigrating an entire segment of the populace without any justification whatsoever makes it ok).

  41. JQ wrote:

    “It’s been a while since I ran across the view that all businesspeople are exploiters, extracting surplus value from the workers who do all the production, but it’s refreshing, if a bit surprising, to see it restated.”

    Would the last time have been the Tooheys Draught commercial which stated that:

    There are people in this country
    That work hard every day
    And it’s not for fame or fortune that they strive
    But the fruits of their labour
    Are worth more than their pay
    So it’s time a few of them were recognised.
    ?

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