Hol­i­day’s big hit hurts

Herald Sun - - OPINION -

THERE is hardly a bet­ter time in Mel­bourne than footy fi­nals in spring. It’s even bet­ter for Cats, Crows and Giants fans. But it’s es­pe­cially good for Rich­mond sup­port­ers who had waited 16 years for a fi­nals win.

Sweet re­lief from a 37-year premier­ship drought could be just around the cor­ner for the Tiger army.

And if the Crows and Giants are knocked out this week­end, it would make for an all-Vic­to­rian Rich­mond v Gee­long Grand Fi­nal.

Mel­bur­ni­ans rel­ish the build-up to what is ar­guably the biggest event on our state’s cal­en­dar. But not ev­ery­one is look­ing for­ward to the Grand Fi­nal long week­end.

Vic­to­ria’s third Grand Fi­nal Eve public hol­i­day on Fri­day, Septem­ber 29, is set to cost our econ­omy $1.2 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian In­dus­try Group.

The busi­ness leader ar­gues it’s a cost Aus­tralia can’t af­ford.

The Vic­to­rian Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try wants the hol­i­day scrapped.

Penalty rates and a lack of cus­tomers forced three-quar­ters of the 500 busi­nesses sur­veyed by the VECCI to close on the first Grand Fi­nal public hol­i­day. VECCI also found that just 12 per cent of the busi­nesses that opened made a profit.

To many Vic­to­ri­ans, es­pe­cially busi­ness own­ers, the An­drews Gov­ern­ment’s hol­i­day ex­per­i­ment has proven too ex­pen­sive. Es­pe­cially in a state bat­tling un­em­ploy­ment.

The gov­ern­ment has de­fended the day off, say­ing it’s as a chance for peo­ple to spend time with their fam­i­lies and to at­tend the Grand Fi­nal Pa­rade.

But is that a good enough rea­son for a $1.2 bil­lion hit to our state?

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