Two more years of Grand Final Parade holiday
Despite the vast majority of East Gippsland businesses being in strong opposition, the Grand Final Parade public holiday will continue for at least another two years after an announcement by the Andrews Government this week.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, who ran a survey to assess the business community’s views, said while a small amount of businesses did register support for the holiday, there was overwhelming opposition as the majority of businesses were forced to shut their doors, cut staff, or opened and operated at a loss.
Mr Bull said of 262 respondents, 94% were opposed to the holiday and a small number (15) were supportive, those generally being larger businesses in tourist areas that attract a big clientele (pubs) or accommodation houses that did not have high staff wages.
“I respect a few benefited, but it clearly hurt our small business community locally. While many closed, other did open to test the water and opened, lost money,” he said.
“I have had a large number say they will not open this year as they simply cannot cover the increased wages bill. This will result in many local casual workers missing out on a day’s work.
“One of the biggest disappointments relayed to me was that this holiday was announced without any consultation with the small business sector and the consultation that eventually took place was after the holiday had been determined – talk about put the cart before the horse.
“But it is clear that business operators are not happy with the city-centric public holiday for a parade that occurs over three hours away.
“Many people have made the simple point that they can’t see how a public holiday that costs the business sector a billion dollars, closes the doors of small retail businesses everywhere and costs many thousands of casual and shift workers a day’s work, is good,” Mr Bull said.