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Proposed Christmas Eve public holiday would make Queensland businesses less competitive

"The Australian Industry Group urges the Queensland Government to abandon plans for a Christmas Eve public holiday. The idea would impose unwarranted additional costs on businesses in numerous industries that need to operate on Christmas Eve," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"Many businesses in the manufacturing, health, transport, aviation, emergency services, energy, telecommunications and numerous other industries need to operate on a 24 hour / 7 day a week basis due to the nature of their operations. The proposed public holiday will make the businesses less competitive with interstate and overseas firms.

"The idea has reportedly been proposed by the SDA, the union which represents retail workers, at a time when the retail industry is generally struggling with some retailers suggesting it is in recession. The proposal would further penalise retailers at their busiest period of the year.

"The Government's reported argument that cafes will be able recoup the cost by charging a public holiday surcharge, fails to recognise that most of the businesses that will be impacted are not cafes. Also, many cafes and restaurants are struggling to survive and the imposition of unnecessary additional costs is not in anyone's interests.

"We are seeing a drift by State Governments to add public holidays to the calendar in a disjointed and uncoordinated way, further undermining the sense that we have a national economy. The inconsistency in public holidays between States is already a major problem. This proposal will make the problem worse. The idea is without merit and should be abandoned," said Mr Willox.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347