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?