21 September 2007

ACT Public Holiday on Melbourne Cup Day?

| caak27
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Does anyone know what the official word is on the A.C.T. having this day off as a public holiday?

The A.C.T. government has not provided a clear message on this to date.


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boomacat: s35 is part of section IV which deals with powers of the Legislative Assembly – whereas the the relevant Minister can declare a public holiday without requiring a seperate legislative assembly enactment, falling under section V (powers of the Executive).

Gungahlin Al9:35 am 25 Sep 07

Thumper: from a productivity perspective, the day’s pretty much a write-off anyway, so no great loss. But I’d have to guess that some lobbying from the local horse racing/gambling industry has something to do with it, given many more people would likely end up at the track.

Oh hang on – the government owns a major chunk of the local horse gambling industry – ACTTAB.

Would be a major irony if the first Melbourne Cup holiday doesn’t actually have a Melbourne Cup though!

Absent Diane9:28 am 25 Sep 07

Newtons Birthday?? oh hold on we already have that off.

Happy for my birthday to be declared a public holiday.

I would also like horseday off.. because I hate horseday and don’t want to have to put up with people talking about horse all day.


I still find it all rather bizarre that Canberra is having a day off for Melbourne Cup day.

I reckon we should lobby the government for Lenin Day, Marx Day, May Day, Che Day, etc….

Ill be off my nut in Vegas on a honeymoon so this is a non event for me – till next year of course 🙂

I would prefer to be at work though – cold chicken and champagne by my lonesome and a 1 person sweep just sounds boring as batsh1t

My AWA includes a provision for an extra two public holidays each year should extra public holidays ever be declared – like this one.

Thanks, workCHOICES

This is pursuant to s35(2) of the ACT Self-Government Act.

boomacat: I don’t think so. Note that a declaration by the minister of a new holiday under the Holidays Act is a “Notifiable Instrument” rather than a “Disallowable Instrument”.

StrangeAttractor12:14 pm 24 Sep 07

I’d thought that melbourne cup would be cancelled, equine flu and all 🙂

Our company indicated that we’d lose that day to make up for the extra holiday. I hope they don’t claw our day off us!

Ant: Most agreements have the capacity to observe extra public holidays where they are declared (either by law or through the actual text of the agreement), so don’t worry about losing a public holiday somewhere else.

The Federal Parliament doesn’t have to sit to overturn the ACT’s declaration of a public holiday; all it takes is for the Governor-General, acting on the advice of Cabinet, to disallow the public holiday.

The VAST majority of workers do bugger all on Melbourne Cup day, don’t see the big problem with declaring it a public holiday.

I think it’s something to do with agreements… there’s X many holidays in them. So if people get the November day, they lose a day somewhere else, like that extra day at Christmas.

It’s typical Stanhopeless laziness that the public holiday hasn’t been gazetted, and its just over a month away. This gives businesses lots of time to plan.

Why would public servants lose that third day at Christmas? There’s no logical reason why that would happen – especially as that third day at Christmas isn’t a public holiday anyway.

Personally, I’m all for staying home on Melbourne Cup day – that way I don’t have to pretend to care about horse racing 🙂

Not all public servants got that day at xmas.

And now you can invite your friends over for chicken and champagne and fancy hats, instead of your colleagues who you have to drink chmapagne to put up with.

It’s all a bit annoying. Public Servants will lose that 3rd day they get at Xmas. That 5 days was always awesome, 4 days just isn’t the same.

Melbourne Cup day is only fun if you’re at work, doing the silly hats and sweeps and greasy chicken thing. What on earth do you do at home?

Woody Mann-Caruso10:05 pm 21 Sep 07

No amendment, no holiday. I understand from our HR boffins that the amendment was supposed to go through in August, but didn’t for some reason.

…lets just all take the day off work, that way we all can’t get in trouble.

The aforementioned release is on the ACT Government web site here. The appropriate act is here, and you can see that it hasn’t been amended yet to make Melbourne Cup day a holiday, nor has a notifiable instrument been published yet to do so. The Minister has until a week before the day to do that, though. If there really was a chance of the Feds putting the kybosh on it maybe he was waiting until Federal Parliament stopped sitting this session?

welll……if it isnt approved, there will be a lot of non government school kids having that day off as schools have been advised it is a public holiday……

I thought when the idea was brought up that the federal government overturned it.

Note that the release says “the ACT Government will make” (emphasis added) – not “has made”.

The ACT government website lists it as a holiday though, clicky: http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/holidays.shtml

hingo_VRCalaisV63:53 pm 21 Sep 07

Longer working hours my ass. What a f@cking assclown. I’ll take the holiday though.

The following was sent around my workplace on the 13th. Email states it was a media release from Andrew Barr but cant see reference to it on the ACT Government website…..


Workers in the ACT will get a day off to spend with their families, with the first ever ACT Family and Community Day to be held on the first Tuesday in November 2007.

Minister for Industrial Relations, Andrew Barr, made the announcement this weekend, saying Canberra’s workers were worse off under the Howard Government’s Work Choices legislation and needed time to spend with family and friends.

“Australians work the longest hours in the developed world and as the Howard Government enforces a retrograde industrial relations system that encourages less work-life balance, workers are spending less time with their families,” Mr Barr said.

“As a way of compensating Canberrans for these changes, and to encourage more time to be spent with family and friends, the ACT Government will make the first Tuesday in November, Melbourne Cup Day, a public holiday.

“To be known as Family and Community Day, this day will enable workers to take a break from their hectic working lives and spend some quality time with their families and friends. This will go a small way to protecting that work-life balance which the Howard Government seems so intent on attacking.”

Mr Barr said the ACT will now have 12 public holidays, an amount not unusual in Australia with both Tasmania and the Northern Territory having 12, and the NSW Government this year declaring an APEC public holiday for Sydney.

“The decision on this holiday was consulted on extensively with business groups and the community and Melbourne Cup Day did have the support of the majority of those with whom we consulted,” Mr Barr said.

“I hope that this day is utilised by all Canberrans to spend some quality time with their families and friends and that it goes some way to restoring the lost family time that longer working hours have meant.”

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