Short days get nod as community votes for public holidays
THE Clarence Valley vote for public holidays for its major events, including Jacaranda Thursday, has been overwhelming and its councillors have followed suit.
At Tuesday's Clarence Valley Council meeting councillors voted unanimously to ask the State Government to gazette half-day holidays for Jacaranda Thursday, Ramornie Handicap and Grafton Cup race days and the Maclean Show.
Almost 1000 submissions, including petitions and individual documents, were tabled in the report, indicating massive community support for the holiday.
For example, of the 319 submissions received for Jacaranda Thursday, 308 called for the half-day holiday.
For the Maclean Show 167 submissions supported a public holiday and 34 supported an 'event day'.
The result is a no-confidence vote against the trial of event days in 2013 for
Jacaranda Thursday and the Maclean Show.
The government asked the council to trial the event day proposal for its major events.
Cr Jason Kingsley proposed some tweaks to the hours of the public holidays to help businesses cut labour costs and attempt to achieve a balance between work hours and holiday hours. Instead of a noon-5pm holiday, he called for a 1- 5pm limit to allow food service businesses to serve the majority of their meals before penalty rates kicked in.
The council agreed to these amendments.
Speaking in favour of the motion, Mayor Richie Williamson, noted there were mixed opinions on this year's trial.
"Some would say the event day was an outstanding success and others that it was a miserable failure," he said.
"I agree with Cr Kingsley that it might be impossible to achieve complete balance, but we might need to look at more changes."
The mayor also supported the Maclean Show holiday, saying its 100-year tradition and community involvement demanded it receive all the support the council could muster.
The government will make a decision on the council request early next year.