Small Business | September 17, 2015

Labor's new public holiday angers Bendigo business

It was astounding that the Andrews Labor State Government was refusing to budge on its Grand Final Eve public holiday plans, despite almost universal community anger, Nationals MP for Northern Victoria, Damian Drum said in State Parliament this week.

Despite its own research showing the holiday on Friday, October 2, would cost small business up to $1 billion, and strong industry unrest, enormous embarrassment to the AFL and an uproar in regional communities, the Government was not budging.

Mr Drum told State Parliament he’d canvassed the issue widely in Bendigo businesses and could not find one operator who thought it was a good idea.

“It seems that in Bendigo only two people have come out in favour. One was a visiting Premier Daniel Andrews and the other was the Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan.”

Among the comments made by business community leaders were remarks that the public holiday was an April Fool’s Day joke, a mistake, just ludicrous, and a bureaucratic pain in the rear.

Many said they could not take a risk of losing any business and would probably open – but at considerable cost.

Mr Drum said many were still confused about their October 2 plans, whether they would open or not or what impact it would have, mainly on casual staff.

Some remarked that it was particularly costly as it was a Friday, usually the busiest day of the week for the hospitality industry.

‘The AFL did not want this. The business community did not want this. The workers of Victoria never asked for this.”

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