small business | September 19, 2016
Public holiday pain for country businesses
The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP says local small businesses and regional communities will again endure the damaging impact of the Andrews Labor Government decision to declare new public holidays, as the AFL Grand Final approaches.
Last year the Andrew’s Labor Government announced two new public holidays on Easter Sunday and the day before the AFL Grand Final (30 September, 2016).
“It is disappointing that many of our local small businesses will be forced to close their doors for the day with employees also losing income,” Ms Kealy said.
“I have been speaking to a local business that lost over $200,000 as a result of last year’s AFL Grand Final public holiday. The mind boggles as to how much this frivolous public holiday is costing our local economy.
“In regional Victoria we rely on small businesses to provide the majority of jobs for our local families and young people. They shouldn’t be the ones to pay such a heavy price for these public holidays,” she said.
Victoria now has 13 public holidays, the highest of any state or territory.
The Andrews Labor Government's own assessment of its Grand Final Parade Public Holiday found it would cost Victoria as much as $898 million per year.
“The assessment also confirmed that the additional holidays negatively impacted local councils, aged care and hospitals, with services being cut or organisations being burdened with unfunded wages bills,” Ms Kealy said.
Research conducted by the Australian Industry Group into the impact of the first Grand Final Parade Public Holiday found it imposed a large cost on Victoria, with regional businesses and communities particularly hard-hit.
“I acknowledge some businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector will benefit from a potential increase in trade due to the public holiday, but the large majority of local businesses will suffer,” Ms Kealy said.
“Daniel Andrews must listen to our region’s small businesses and reverse this job destroying decision.
“To help demonstrate the cost of this extra holiday to regional Victoria, I urge people to complete a survey available at emmekealy.com or phone my office on 5382 0097,” she said.