Matildas fever is sweeping the nation with millions of Australians tuning into the thrilling FIFA Women’s World Cup action.

Incredible sporting achievements bring out the best in this great country of ours – it evokes an enormous sense of national pride.

However, even this nation’s best achievements on the world stage have never come at the cost of bringing the country to a standstill.

Yet this week our nation’s leaders will meet to discuss exactly that.

National cabinet – the Prime Minister and state premiers – will discuss the possibility of declaring a public holiday should the Matildas make this weekend’s Women’s World Cup grand final.

As exciting as it is to see the Matildas take it to the rest of the world, the possibility of declaring a public holiday to celebrate the occasion puts forward a myriad of questions and complexities to consider.

It sets a dangerous precedent of adding a holiday every time this nation has an incredible international sporting achievement.

Australia consistently and regularly proves triumphant on the world sporting stage.

It could seem impractical to declare a holiday when something extraordinary happens.

The Diamonds just recently claimed the World Netball Club.

Will we celebrate this special achievement with a public holiday?

The Olympics, Bledisloe Cup, Tour de France and US Masters are among the nation’s international sporting achievements in recent decades.

While former Prime Minister Bob Hawke famously declared “any boss who sacks someone for not turning up to work today is a bum” following Australia’s Americas Cup win in the 1980s, even that achievement wasn’t enough for an extra day of leisure.

The biggest consideration to declaring a public holiday, however, is the cost to business.

Public holidays come at an expense to business productivity as well as staffing and operational costs and impacts.

For those businesses who continue to trade on the day, the cost comes in the form of public holiday penalty rates.

Many national and state peak business bodies have warned of the financial impact of declaring a holiday with little notice.

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia has urged national and state leaders to carefully consider any disruptions such a decision could cause.

At a time when the cost of living and the cost of doing business is biting for both employees and employers, this all begs the question if a public holiday is worthy of consideration?

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