As Jacaranda Thursday is no longer a public holiday, school children and employees must stay at their desks, rather than participate in the festivities.
As Jacaranda Thursday is no longer a public holiday, school children and employees must stay at their desks, rather than participate in the festivities. Jojo Newby

Half-day holiday on 2014 Jaca radar

JACARANDA Festival organisers are looking to return to a half day holiday for Jacaranda Thursday next year.

The Clarence Valley Council sent an email to local businesses, calling for expressions of interest in applications for public holidays for the Maclean Show on May 7, Ramornie and Grafton Cup race days on July 9 and 10, and Jacaranda Thursday on October 30.

The email said event organisers had applied to the council for the holidays.

The council must advise NSW Industrial Relations each year of proposed public holidays or event days for the Clarence Valley.

Half event days for the Maclean Show and Jacaranda Thursday were approved this year, along with half public holidays, from noon-5pm, for the Ramornie and Grafton cup days. Because Jacaranda Thursday is no longer a public holiday, school children and employees must stay at their desks, rather than participate in the festivities.

Event organisers fear it will have an adverse impact on participation, seen as the highlight of the festival.

If the council applies for a full public holiday next year, it must provide evidence to the Industrial Relations arm of NSW Treasury that the impact on schools and transport of students was taken into account, with evidence of consultation with stakeholders - chambers of commerce, banks, major employers and schools. Event organisers and the local community were also encouraged to comment. Comments close at 4pm on November 15.

The email also said a report would be prepared for the council by the end of November for the council to then consider the matter at its December meeting. It will then apply to the NSW Treasury - Industrial Relations by December 24.

THE DIFFERENCES
The main difference between a public holiday and an event day is:
Local public holidays are public holidays under employment awards, agreements and the like.
Local event days are not - i.e. employees are not entitled to an automatic day off or to be paid penalty rates.



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