Clockwise from top left, Grafton-based Clarence Valley councillors Craig Howe, Margaret McKenna, and Jeremy Challacombe, who last year declared an interest in the Jacaranda Festival half-day holiday and were absent from the chambers when their colleagues voted to remove it.
Clockwise from top left, Grafton-based Clarence Valley councillors Craig Howe, Margaret McKenna, and Jeremy Challacombe, who last year declared an interest in the Jacaranda Festival half-day holiday and were absent from the chambers when their colleagues voted to remove it.

Council to vote again on Jacaranda Festival half-day holiday

WHEN Clarence Valley councillors decided to strip Jacaranda Thursday of its half-day public holiday status last year, three of the Grafton-based representatives were out of the room.

Changing the Jacaranda Thursday afternoon from a public holiday to an event day means businesses don't have to pay double time and a half to staff if they work Thursday afternoon.

Crs Howe, Challacombe and McKenna all declared an interest in the issue and did not vote on it.

Mayor Richie Williamson and Crs Kingsley, Hughes and Simmons voted in favour of the decision and Crs Baker and Toms voted against.

The council's general manager, Scott Greensill, said the decision would have to be reviewed for the Jacaranda Festival in 2014.

This is because local government holidays have to be approved on a year-by- year basis.

But Cr McKenna said it would probably be a case of waiting to see what happened.

"The objections in the community seem to be about losing the half-day holiday which was always in the afternoon anyway," Ms McKenna said.

"Most of the events are done by then and it will be interesting to see if this has an effect."

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