An East Gippsland business survey of the AFL Grand Final Parade public holiday has shown 93% of respondents to date are opposed to its introduction.
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, who conducted the survey which was mailed to all business addresses in the electorate, said it simply asked “Do you support the Grand Final Parade public holiday - yes/no” and asked what impact it would have (positive or negative) on that business.
Mr Bull said that although the survey results were still coming in, already over 200 responses had been received and it was clearly strongly opposed.
“The major reason is that many small businesses are stating they are being forced to close as increased wage costs mean they will be unable to break even on the day. They also make the point that in closing they lose out because of a lost trading day, so can’t win either way.
“Others that will remain open have said they will do so by having only family working to avoid the increased wage costs, but point out their regular employees, who rely on weekly shifts, will lose them that day as a result.
“Many also added notes expressing anger the State’s consultation and regulatory impact statements were undertaken after the announcement the holiday was made and not before.
“The seven per cent that were not opposed were generally accommodation houses, but of interest is that the retail, trade based, manufacturing, distribution and farming sectors have all been strongly opposed.
“Even in the hospitality area where the supposed benefits are to come from, if you believe the government, it has been a 76% no vote.
“The government’s own regulatory impact statement shows this holiday – along with the public holiday on Easter Sunday – will cost Victorians $1.2 billion and 353, 000 casual worker shifts as businesses close for the day.
“Victoria already has more public holidays than any other state or territory, so I don’t believe we needed another one that our business community does not want for a Parade held 350 kilometres away,” said Mr Bull.