small business | March 04, 2016

Labor keeps expensive AFL parade holiday

The Andrews Labor Government has announced it will keep the AFL parade public holiday for at least another two years, despite its huge cost to local businesses last year.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP said many local businesses were forced to shut their doors, cut staff or operate at a loss on the first parade holiday last year.

Impacted small businesses across the state reported losses ranging between $1,000 and $10,000 as a direct result of the parade holiday.

“The penalty rates were too expensive for many local businesses last year, so they closed or cut staff shifts on the AFL parade day,” Ms Kealy said.

“The new holiday is for a parade in Melbourne, not a local event, so there isn’t an increase in patronage to help to cover the extra wages costs. In fact, towns were quiet.

“The Andrews Labor Government should be creating new jobs in rural and regional Victoria, but instead it’s making life harder for regional businesses and causing casual workers to lose their shifts,” she said.

Ms Kealy said that the unfunded public holiday is also a disaster for hospitals and aged care facilities.

“These services that care for some of the most vulnerable in our communities are faced with a severe cost impact and no way to recoup the costs,” Ms Kealy said.

Emma Kealy MP encouraged local business owners and staff to take part in her online survey to show the Andrews Labor Government the huge cost of the AFL parade holiday on the region’s economy.

“Why should rural and regional businesses suffer for a parade over 300 kilometres away in Melbourne?” Ms Kealy said.

“This is yet another city-centric decision by the Andrews Labor Government,” she said.

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