AFL holiday accepted
Chamber president says Grand Final holiday has positives and negatives
BRIGHT and District Chamber of Commerce president Rupert Shaw says local business owners have come to accept the AFL Grand Final public holiday.
The newest public holiday in Victoria falls on the Friday preceding the biggest football game of the year.
It was introduced in in 2016 with much opposition particularly from those outside of Melbourne who couldn’t see anything positive in having a holiday for a parade that only takes place in the city.
“From a business perspective it’s a positive and a negative,” Mr Shaw said.
“The positive when it’s not combined with the school holidays like it is this year is that people come to Bright a day early.
“The negative for businesses is that that have to pay penalty rates or they might not even open because of that.”
“If you’re not a tourism business or working in office job you get no benefit from it but Bright is a tourist town so there’s loads of benefit for a lot of us.”
Mr Shaw said it was good that the holiday brought people to the area for three days rather than two.
“It’s a good excuse to spend three days in beautiful Bright so it probably draws a few more young couples or outdoor types like bike riders and runners because of the extra day and the nice weather,” he said.
Meanwhile, ahead of a busy couple of weeks, emergency services are reminding people to take care especially around water after a young boy avoided injury when he fell more than five metres in the Ovens River on Sunday.
The boy and some friends were riding along a walking track adjacent to Centenary Park on the Back Germantown Road when he clipped a tree and fell down an embankment into the river.
Bright SES member Marcus Warner said the boy was lucky to escape uninjured.
“He probably fell about seven metres into the water, it was opposite the Big4 Holiday Park so there was a crowd of people who saw it and a couple of people that dived in and swam across to help,” Mr Warner said.
“We responded but by the time we got there the boy was already out and with paramedics who checked to make sure he didn’t have any spinal injuries.
“It was lucky that where he fell was quite deep because on either side it was a lot shallower.”
“He was alright and was hopefully able to fish his bike off the bottom.”