Our unwanted public holiday 63



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As I’m sure most of Australia knows by now, Victoria had a Public Holiday last Friday, laid on by our wonderful Labor Government, to celebrate the day before a footy match. Now I want to make this quite clear, this isn’t the day of the match I’m talking about, which would have been the Saturday, this is the day before the match! It’s strange enough that Victoria already gets one sporting Public Holiday, the Melbourne Cup Day, which itself had already been considered to be unique; no-one can think of another State, anywhere in the world, let alone in Australia, that has a Public Holiday so that the people can watch 23 horses run round a field for about 10 minutes! So I guess the Labor Government got a bit bored with this situation and decided to have another one, so the people can watch about forty footballers ride through town in the backs of various open sports cars.

Great idea! And I’m sure a fair few hearts swelled with pride at the magnificent job those who rule us are doing. The common man has been taken into consideration for a change, the very people who voted Labor in at the last election, and Dan obviously thought, ‘Here’s an opportunity for us to thank the community, and at no great cost either’. The trouble with that is, he apparently forgot to include in his calculations all the hidden costs involved. Oh, things were fine in Melbourne itself, where anyone celebrating would be going anyway, just as they have for many, many years. There, the cost was covered by the clientele and it was worth all the shop keepers and restaurant owners opening and paying the exorbitant penalty rates, because they were busy!

Get away from the Melbourne CBD though and a slightly different picture emerges. In outer Melbourne, and on into the hinterland of Victoria, a great number of businesses closed for the day, because it was cheaper to lose the business that it would have been to open. In Yarram there are seven coffee shops – I could only find one that had opened, and that was because he owned the business and didn’t have to pay himself penalty rates. Our two pharmacies were shut, as was the health centre, so you wouldn’t have wanted to suffer from some minor illness on Friday! We could have gone to the emergency service at the hospital of course, but it’s hard to convince a tired hospital nurse that a head-cold is an emergency!

I read somewhere in the past day or two, that the Public Holiday cost something like $350,000 to put on, while the cost throughout Victoria, due to lost business and closures amounted to about $850,000. Now I freely admit that I am guessing these figures, based on what I can remember of something I read, but even if they were half of those I have mentioned, it could hardly be listed as a great success and an advantage for the State, could it?

What worries me is, if Dan thinks this was a resounding success, what will he do next? A Public Holiday to celebrate the arrival of the F1 cars in Melbourne, a couple of weeks before the actual race? Try to get the world finals of formation swimming put on here? Hold an international Scrabble contest, with special venues set up all over the State, so the locals who want to watch, won’t feel left out?

There is just no knowing with these people, they could literally come up with ANYTHING that looks good on paper, but collapses in an expensive heap when the time comes. Please Dan, let us get back to normal next year, with no extra holiday for the footy, then life can go on just as it always did, after all, if it ain’t broke, why repair it?

What do you think? Is Brian right?


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Brian Lee

  1. Victoria, The Place To Be……..if you want something for nothing……..well, somebody is paying but don’t worry about that!

  2. And I thought I was a Grumpy Old F*rt !! This fella must be a real hoot at parties.
    He found the shops closed on a Public Holiday ?? Well fancy that…..
    Don’t worry, next week he might remember what the definition of a public holiday is….

    2 REPLY
    • HoHoHo and a merry public holiday to you! The point I was making was that the shops, etc., which decided they had to close because of the vastly increased costs of staying open on the day, would MUCH rather have stayed open, I’m sure. And I can be quite a Happy Old Fart most of the time – just because I, like most people, get a bit serious about a particular subject occasionally, doesn’t ruin the rest of my life. I’ll try to leave my hair shirt at home, next time I go looking for a subject to write about. (Now THERE’S a subject for an article, “Hair Shirts I Have Worn!”).

  3. It was a great holiday and idea and I for one hope it continues. In case this man does not realise, Melbourne is sports mad generally, and in particular Aussie rules, not scrabble that I have heard of. There were people out and about everywhere I went, mostly in the suburbs.

    2 REPLY
    • Exactly, fantastic for Melbourne…but when do the regional areas EVER get consideration. I usually work on Fridays but as a casual, there was no work, so no pay and certainly no involvement with the football finals 550kms away.

    • I hate footy, parades, and costly holidays that shouldn’t be holidays. Load of rubbish and far and away too costly.

  4. Totally ridiculous. The cost to business and the community is huge. Many casual staff in hospitality lost money because their businesses could not afford to pay penalties so stayed closed. Having just returned from visiting Europe, I found that people there have a view that Australia changes Prime Minister’s at the drop of a hat and declares a public holiday for any silly reason.

    1 REPLY
  5. I’m inclined to agree with him. Grumpy old f–t or not. Businesses had to pay their workers for not being there, while they lost a day’s production. If I remember correctly one premier, cancelled the show day holiday a few years ago because in his opinion we had too many public holidays. Not everyone in Victoria is a footy fan or sports crazy.

  6. I think we are the only country that has that many holidays!

    1 REPLY
    • We are way behind many, many counties. We have 10, and 11 now if you count the recent holiday. India has 21, China 17, Sweden & others 15, Austria & Norway 13, even Russia has 12.

  7. He is right. Now I follow Collingwood and if lucky enough to get tickets for a game in Melbourne, how much more would it cost me. It hard enough to people to keep running their business without this hype.

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