Mr NORTHE (Morwell) — I wish to raise the significant concerns expressed by many businesses and organisations across the Morwell electorate in relation to the Andrews government’s grand final parade public holiday. Local businesses have made it very clear that they are vehemently opposed to another public holiday, and this is indicated in comments and feedback I have received.
From a health provider, ‘Loss of income, loss of services to patients’. From an eye care business, ‘Five per cent loss of monthly turnover and still having to pay employees for a footy game. I’m disgusted!’. From a car yard operator, ‘A huge cost to us, with no return’. From a tyre business, ‘I am disgusted! We will close for the day so that we don’t have to pay staff higher rates. We are also on call for our customers and this will increase costs due to penalty rates’. From a fruiterer, ‘Cannot afford to open. Will have to close for the day’. From an employment agency, ‘Direct wages expense of approximately $10 000 for 28 staff — no productivity gain’. From a builder, ‘It will cost me $1800 in wages for no work return. Basically an $1800 loss’. From a travel agent, ‘Forces me to close on the busiest day of our week — a Friday. I am a small business owner with five staff and I am forced to pay them to have an unnecessary day off’.
As is clear from the tone of the responses, local businesses are extremely angry that the Premier’s declaration of two new public holidays for Victoria completely ignores the impact on local business. This is despite the fact that his government’s independent analysis says that it will cost the Victorian economy close to $1 billion.