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New Easter Sunday public holiday in QLD: a jobs killer

"Creation of a new public holiday on Easter Sunday in Queensland would be an act of economic vandalism in the current economic climate," Ai Group's QLD Director Jemina Dunn said.

"It is extraordinary that a government labelling itself as 'pro-jobs' would seek to introduce a new public holiday in the current economic climate and with so little evaluation and next to no consultation with business and industry.

"Creation of a further unnecessary public holiday will impose huge costs on business and the broader community at a time when many businesses are already under enormous pressure in a slowing Queensland economy.

"Ai Group would oppose any proposal to proclaim an additional public holiday in Queensland on Easter Sunday. Adding a further day to what is already a bloated public holiday calendar would be a major blow to Queensland businesses and the broader economy.

"Evidence from research conducted in other states suggests the economy is the biggest loser when additional public holidays are proclaimed with an Ai Group survey identifying an estimated cost of at least $1 billion in lost sales for Victorian businesses, with a $500 million dollar wage bill lumped on top, as a result of the AFL Grand Final Public Holiday.

"Over recent years, public holiday inconsistencies between states have also been increasing and unnecessarily adding to business costs in our already high-cost economy. What is needed is for State and Territory Governments to work with the Federal Government to agree that there will be no more than 11 public holidays per year in each State and Territory. They also need to agree on as much national consistency as possible regarding specific holidays.

"In its report on Australia's Workplace Relations Framework, the Productivity Commission recommended amendments to the Fair Work Act to ensure employers are not required to pay for leave or additional penalty rates on any newly designated State and Territory public holidays. This recommendation is eminently sensible and it should be implemented without delay," Ms Dunn said.

Contact: Jemina Dunn 0407 266 482