Call for holiday changes to save jobs
ACCORDING to Grafton District Services Club general manager Arthur Lysaught, local government holidays, such as the Grafton and Ramornie Cup day, will have to end by 5pm if pubs and clubs are to make profits.
"The hospitality industry in Grafton is a significant employer," Mr Lysaught said.
"My club alone employs 78 people directly and would be responsible for the livelihood of at least another 30 people.
"When you consider there are another three licensed clubs in Grafton and 17 hotels, the total number of people employed in the hospitality industry exceeds 220.
"My belief, with our local public holidays, is in line with that of our mayor in that they are extremely important to the fabric of our local community, in particular the July racing carnival."
"I would, however, recommend and have asked that, when allocating the local public holidays, Council give consideration to the hospitality industry, in that the public holiday be gazetted between the hours of 12 noon and 5 or 6pm as most businesses operate between the hours of 9am-5pm.
"The cost, for most businesses, is five hours, for our industry. Under current circumstances, the half-day public holidays run from 12 noon till 12 midnight, a much larger impost 12 hours at double time and a half.
"After costs are taken into account, there is little or no profit left at the end of the day.
"My belief is most club and hotel operators would be most happy with the compromise as suggested, keep the local public holidays but limit the hours from 12 noon to 5 or 6pm."
Hospitality union United Voice were contacted for comment but did not reply by the time this publication was going to print.