Govt stuffs up by giving us cup-day holiday

Joe Canberran 4 November 2007 57

The Canberra Times is reporting that perhaps, just perhaps, that the Government giving Canberrans a public holiday on Melbourne Cup day (because we can all see the obvious links to Canberra in the name can’t we?) was not very well thought through, bad for the community and bad for the local economy.

Penalty rates for the day are pegged to be a huge cost with many places not even opening as they expect Canberra to be a ‘ghost town’. It seems obvious to me (but then again what would I know) as every long weekend (and, really, who isn’t taking Monday off/taking a sicky, etc) as a a vast number of Canberrans piss off to the coast and/or Sydney and on this occasion I know several going to Melbourne. As no-one else outside the ACT gets holiday it’s not like it’s bringing in tourist dollars with people flocking to the ACT.

The CT quotes Chamber of Commerce boss Chris Peters saying he also did not favour the holiday because of the adverse effect it will have on hospitality businesses and workplace culture:

“The Melbourne Cup has a strong tradition of bringing together the workplace in a social environment … there has been widely expressed community concern that this will be missed this year,” he said.

“People will lose the opportunity of interacting with their work colleagues for a fun day.”

With Riot also seeming to have had a really slow weekend I take it a lot of the readership also took advantage to go somewhere else. So what do you think of our granted holiday and if you went somewhere where did you end up going?


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57 Responses to Govt stuffs up by giving us cup-day holiday
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Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 8:48 am 07 Nov 07

I sure felt bad for all those chicken shop owners yesterday as I enjoyed a sleep in and then a day with my familiy. It’s just so depressing to know that frock shop owners missed out and I bet there’ll be a decent ladies hat sale between now and Christmas as The Truths tens of thousands of businesses desperatately try to recoup the massive, no, crippling losses.

Either that or all these cry babies can just suck it up and get on with life.

thetruth thetruth 3:50 pm 06 Nov 07

This is going to cost millions because folks took monday off as well, huge numbers left the territory and spent their holiday paychecks out of state.

What folks have to realise is that many business have been running for years knowing that there were certain days that they made large amounts of their income. Suddenly a decree is given 7 months out that takes one of these days away.

Most Canberrans that work for employers do not always fully appreciate the cummulative impacts of dead periods – in some areas elections are valleys of death (several years ago there was a perfect storm of federal and territory elections that just stopped business dead.)

Business is about risk and return, if the risk increases then a higher return is required.

sepi sepi 10:30 am 06 Nov 07

What about the lost productivity of the former Cup Days when employees were all down the TAB supporting the ACT economy…?

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 7:42 am 06 Nov 07

You wear a tin foil hat dont you?

thetruth thetruth 11:12 pm 05 Nov 07

conrade (not typo) Stanhope did the holiday under the pretense of looking after the shallow end of the employee spectrum.

The reality is he did it for the Canberra Chardonnay socialist set.

How much is ACTAB and the local racing industry going to lose – couldn’t afford to run schools but he can afford to lose the money to make a political point, how many nurses will not be hired because of the revenue loss? How many more people wil die in the waiting room?

The fact is these silly games have real costs.

ephemerac ephemerac 10:39 pm 05 Nov 07

It isn’t just one chicken shop guy losing money on one day of the year. Anyone take a walk round some of the shopping centres today? Small shops closed everywhere. No cars in the car parks, a lot of people not at work. The timing of this public holiday, just to make some sort of political point, sux big time.

thetruth thetruth 10:37 pm 05 Nov 07

the shallow end…. nice

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 10:22 pm 05 Nov 07

I just don’t buy the conspiracy theory BS Truth, and I dont get why the shallow end of the business spectrum getting shafted is somehow more or less evil than any other component of the economy. A holiday is a holiday is a holiday. So a couple of chickens dont get sold, big whoop.

thetruth thetruth 10:10 pm 05 Nov 07

Ingeegoodbee – Well at least the billable hours comment shows that as a small business owner you probably are not a poor migrant chicken shop owner or other retailer.

The gaul of this is Stanhope has played with peoples living for his cute little game.

cranky cranky 10:06 pm 05 Nov 07

Apparently the ACT Chamber of Commerce decided if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, and closed the door for both Mon & Tues.

Wish I worked for them.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 10:04 pm 05 Nov 07

I love the 60 hour week! Nothing like a quiet week to let me spend some time looking at the kids asleep in their beds. Then again it’s all billable hours baby!

thetruth thetruth 9:58 pm 05 Nov 07

What do you mean bring back the 60 hour week…. it never left unless you have a benevolvent benefactor guaranteeing your income … oh I see your point.

Pandy Pandy 9:48 pm 05 Nov 07

The cranes over Snowton will not be operating on the holiday. Bastards! Bring back the 60 hour week I say and let them eat cake.

thetruth thetruth 9:44 pm 05 Nov 07

Because they are people sepi with kids and families trying to make ends meet.

sepi sepi 7:48 pm 05 Nov 07

astrojax – do you work 9-5, or does this holiday not apply to you?

sepi sepi 7:40 pm 05 Nov 07

You can illustrate the point all you like with your one chicken shop owner. But you haven’t proved the point.

It might take time for people to start the new traditions of having a cup day party at home, but I’m sure it will happen, and then the food shops can relax again.

This date is a good day for a holiday, as everyone knows most people only do half a day’s work anyway.

Tiny caterers form what – 0.01 percent of Canberra – why have they become so vitally important in this debate?

thetruth thetruth 7:26 pm 05 Nov 07

Ingeegoodbee what type of small business are you in?

jellen jellen 7:19 pm 05 Nov 07

For reasons that I completely fail to understand, the Australian Hotels Association is also complaining about this. Hello AHA – what do you think Canberrans have been doing for the extra day(s) off – getting well and truly shmackered = more coin for AHA members (albeit not necessarily ACT ones) = quit complaining!!

AWAheretoStay AWAheretoStay 7:17 pm 05 Nov 07

Melbourne has a long and proud history of horse racing and the Melbourne Cup is the culmination of the highly regarded Spring Racing Festival. The third time the Cup race was run, the winner from the previous two years (Archer – NSW) was unable to compete because his registration arrived late. (Infrastructure circa 1890’s) As a result more than half the owners boycotted because they were unable to fairly contest the Cup against the one and only winner resulting in seven horses running, down from 17. Not long after that the first Tuesday in November was gazetted as an official public holiday so that everyone would know when the race would be run and when they had to nominate their horses by.
These days, horses are entered from all over the world for a share of the $5.6 million (2006) prize money for the winning horse and it pumps billions of dollars into the local economy. Winnings from the TAB, workplace sweeps all go back into the economy. We are a consumerist culture. It was estimated in 2000 that over 80% of the adult population placed a bet on the Melbourne Cup in some way. Call it a dollar per person, one doesn’t have to win a sweep to know that a little bit of workplace bonding and fun goes a long way. In the ACT we don’t celebrate Melbourne Cup day, we celebrate Family and Community Day. Union Picnic Day was less controversial, as it fell on a Monday.

Instead of pumping money into the local economy, the ACT government has successful managed to take $300million dollars (Canberra Business Council estimate) out of the local economy and encouraged a culture of idleness and “family bonding” as “Canberrans always embrace holidays, head down the coast and spend their hard earned money elsewhere. “People are settling in for four days of partying.” This isn’t the lucky country so much as an avaricious Territory of public servants and the undeserving.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 5:34 pm 05 Nov 07

Nice generalisations Truth. I own a small business and I think this whole things a beat up. I spend every day in the shoes of a small business operator – so I know that you make your own opportunities, so a few chickens wont get sold, so cry me a river.

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