Melbourne Cup to be a public holiday

johnboy 7 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.

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26 Responses to Melbourne Cup to be a public holiday
szeretetta szeretetta 1:59 pm 08 Apr 07

Melbourne Cup is a whole day public holiday in Melbourne, not a half day like SGS stated. Instead, it only applies to the Melbourne metropolitan area – once you’re out of the suburbs, it is just a normal day.

emd emd 12:15 pm 08 Apr 07

I’m with the other summer folk. Yay for days off in daylight saving with nice weather!

Fiona Fiona 9:29 am 08 Apr 07

A tuesday ph each year, means another monday off in flex. 4 day weekend!

futto futto 11:09 pm 07 Apr 07

hey SG! Those five months are the only time any work gets done! every other time, people are coming and going.

I enjoy working in a heated office in winter on someone else’s dime. Save my holidays for the summer months.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart Samuel Gordon-Stewart 10:42 pm 07 Apr 07

Read the comment again Kennardly, not once did I refer to the second half of the year.

October – Labour Day
December – Christmas, Boxing Day
January – New Years Day, Australia Day
March – Canberra Day
April – Good Friday, Easter Monday (I’m ignoring the Sunday as it doesn’t have any effect on a weekday), Anzac Day
June – Queens Birthday

October-April is a seven month period with nine holidays in it. The other five months have one holiday. Surely it would be better to spread the holidays out a bit by putting one in August or early September than adding yet another holiday to the October-April holidayfest.

kennardly kennardly 10:16 pm 07 Apr 07

Samuel, what the hell? Besides Christmas there is only one public holiday in the second half of the year – overcrowded?

Samuel Gordon-Stewart Samuel Gordon-Stewart 10:00 pm 07 Apr 07

Quite easily Jellen…virtually every public holiday falls in the October to April period, I’d love the extra public holiday, but not in that already overcrowded period.

jellen jellen 8:37 pm 07 Apr 07

As if Bill Stefaniak doesnt spend the day on the piss anyway

jellen jellen 8:36 pm 07 Apr 07

fing brilliant idea…how the f can you find something negative in a plan for another public holiday!!!

mutley mutley 7:30 pm 07 Apr 07

I actually agree agree with SGS on this one

It would be much better to try and find some vaguely appropriate date separate to cup day, to be ACT centric… Burley Griffen Day or something (Stanhope Day anyone??).

Cup day is only a holiday in Metro Melbourne, so it would be a touch strange to have us linked to Melbourne only

el el 5:44 pm 07 Apr 07

Oh well, works for me – I never gave a toss about the Melbourne Cup anyway, but I’m happy to have an extra day off though.

kennardly kennardly 3:41 pm 07 Apr 07

Bittersweet is a great description!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart Samuel Gordon-Stewart 3:36 pm 07 Apr 07

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

emd 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 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 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 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 kennardly 8:28 pm 06 Apr 07

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

Swaggie 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-Stewart Samuel Gordon-Stewart 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.

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