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Defying Empire commemorates the 50th anniversary of 1967 Referendum

Melbourne Cup to be a public holiday

By johnboy - 6 April 2007 26

The ABC reports that Andrew Barr has decided we all miss union picnic day so much (those very few of us who observe the day) that he’s going to make Melbourne Cup Day a public holiday.

So instead of getting happily drunk in our offices we’re going to be forced to spend time with our families.

The cost to business really is minimal, for all that they will whinge, the little bit of lost productivity in the morning is likely well offset by the drunken screwups in the afternoon.

But who will the real winners be? The racecourse will be well pleased, and I imagine the licenced clubs will do an extraordinary trade.

Gotta look after your mates comrade.

UPDATED: Bill Stefaniak’s response is quite incandescent in its opposition to this move.

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
Melbourne Cup to be a public holiday
kennardly 3:41 pm 07 Apr 07

Bittersweet is a great description!

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 3:36 pm 07 Apr 07

I’ll summarise it for you emd. The public holiday would be better in August or September.

emd 2:38 pm 07 Apr 07

Great idea. It’s not like anyone does much work on Melbourne Cup Day anyway, and it will make it easier to go to the Wangaratta Jazz Festival the weekend before.

I didn’t read SGS’s comment. Too darn long.

seepi 10:46 am 07 Apr 07

I think it is a great idea. Now we can have cup day lunches and sweeps at home with friends – far nicer than bought salads and boxes of chicken wings at work.

nyssa76 11:25 pm 06 Apr 07

Swaggie, just to swerve off topic slightly – parents didn’t want pupil free days in the ACT, so in the EBA of many moons ago, it was decided that we had those days (not all of them but more than 1/2) before the school term. The others we are to make up in our own time.

However, I would have preferred that ACTDET pushed the dates forward this year but then parents would complain re: the week before Christmas, that they had to take time off work as the kids wouldn’t be in school.

futto 9:19 pm 06 Apr 07

I do enjoy Melbourne cup day at work. We turned off the network status projector and put up the cup for 30 min or so. Shared a glass and lost the sweep (again!). It was nice.

I love public holidays as much as the next person but this is one will be bitter sweet.

Though, the thought crossed my mind of how when the Caesars of ancient rome wanted favour with the plebs, they would shower them in holidays…times haven’t changed, have they, Nero? 🙂

kennardly 8:28 pm 06 Apr 07

I think Melbourne Cup Day is a very low productivity day relatively speaking. Bring it on.

Swaggie 7:09 pm 06 Apr 07

Thanks Nyssa, it’s an explanation “take them (PD days) in the week before school starts, therefore making the school term a week later than NSW.” which begs a few questions however we’ll go swerving wildly off topic so I’ll just say thanks….

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 6:21 pm 06 Apr 07

I have no problem with the extra public holiday per se as I think our public holidays are too heavily consolidated in the December-April period as it is, but not even Melbourne gets the full day off for the Melbourne Cup…it’s a half-day holiday down there. Everywhere else in Australia the Melbourne Cup is an event in which people get to have a nice friendly fun afternoon with their work colleagues or whoever else happens to be nearby, and people are free to ignore the event if they so desire. Melbourne Cup day is a very special day on the work calendar, but work still gets done…the workplace might grind to a halt for three minutes and be slower than usual for about an hour, but it is still a productive day, and generally quite a happy day. It has its own culture which has built up over the years.

The only reason the public holiday works in Melbourne is because Flemington race course is in Melbourne. Admittedly other race courses around the country have celebrations and show the race on the big screen, but it doesn’t have the same atmosphere as Flemington.

Having a public holiday anywhere else in the country is only going to ruin the culture of a special day on the work calendar, a day which promotes work place bonding without the peculiar and strenuous training sessions in funny hotel conference rooms that some businesses seem to think help their employees. It will also make the day a lot less special for everyone as schools and many other things close on public holidays. Parents won’t have the opportunity to easily get together with friends as they will have to look after the kids, and those who have to work on the public holiday will be very unlikely to have many, if any, people to share the day with.

Well done Andrew Barr, you have destroyed the Melbourne Cup, I hope you’re pleased with yourself.

I do have to wonder how much Andrew Barr had to drink before providing the following quote to the ABC:

I don’t think that productivity on the first Tuesday in November tends to be fairly low and so I think of all the days in the calendar to be able to find a replacement day, this is the appropriate day.

So productivity on Melbourne Cup day is not low, but we need to write-off the day anyway?

Incidentally, in case you’re wondering, Cyclone Katy, during her time as the Industrial Relations Minister, added two public holidays to the 2005 post-Christmas period, and in doing so gave us all a lesson in the law in a press release:

“This year Christmas Day and New Years Day both fall on a Sunday,” Ms Gallagher said. “Under the Holidays Act, the public holiday for both days automatically moves to the following Monday. This would have meant that Christmas Day and New Years Day would not have been observed as public holidays for this year, along the same lines as last year where the two days fell on a Saturday.”

“I am authorised to declare additional public holidays under the Act, and the ACT Government has decided that given the current climate in which ACT workers have a real risk of losing their leave entitlements under the proposed federal industrial relations laws, and the special significance of these two days, they ought to be observed as public holidays,” Ms Gallagher said.

Cyclone Katy’s extra holidays were designed to bring us in line with our surrounding neighbour New South Wales:

These arrangements will ensure that the ACT is consistent with New South Wales and Victoria, which have also ensured that trading over these two days is treated consistently with public holidays.

But New South Wales works on Melbourne Cup day.

Andrew, when you first joined the legislative assembly and were instantly handed the education portfolio I thought you were just hired as a scapegoat for that failing portfolio…but today Andrew, you have proven yourself as a complete and utter incompetent fool.

Growling Ferret 4:56 pm 06 Apr 07

I would suggest that many young pissheads would be better served having the Public Holiday split from 12 noon Melb Cup Day to 12 Noon the Wednesday afterwards… Gives that much required recovery time

nyssa76 4:44 pm 06 Apr 07

Swaggie, I believe it to be because in the ACT we don’t have pupil free days (teacher professional development days).

We take them (PD days) in the week before school starts, therefore making the school term a week later than NSW.

The timing of Good Friday also has to do with the lunar cycle, so one year it could be before the holidays in the ACT or the start.

Swaggie 2:41 pm 06 Apr 07

None of mine do Nyssa, we can’t for the life of us figure out why the holidays didn’t start yesterday? I believe they did in NSW so there seems no rational explanation but rationality seems a rare commodity in the ACT Education department.

nyssa76 11:58 am 06 Apr 07

I don’t want a day off for Melbourne Cup Day.

Public Holidays in the middle of a school term are a nightmare – well the day you go back to work.

I can’t wait for next week – 4 days before the holidays start. Yes, the kids will really want to be there….

cranky 11:42 am 06 Apr 07

I was under the impression that the day after Boxing Day was a public service holiday to balance the Trades picnic day.

Does this mean that (Shock/Horror) public servants get a days holiday more than the rest of us plebs, or won’t this Melbourne Cup day holiday apply to them?

Meconium 10:46 am 06 Apr 07

Who’s going to oppose this?! Surely Stefaniak’s opposition to this motion is an unpopular one? More public holidays are fine by me, anyway.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have my own family I’m forced to spend time with 🙂

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