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Matildas’ feats exciting – but is it public holiday worthy?

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?





Your Say

Driving a message of respect, co-operation among councillors

It has been an eventful few weeks at the council. Last week’s council meeting was relatively smooth in which a number of matters were discussed.
I was relieved that the council voted against changing the name of the shire as it’s not a priority.
I am seeking to drive a message of respect and co-operation amongst my fellow councillors, and I was pleased to see that our councillors worked well together during this meeting.
I eagerly anticipate my upcoming meeting with our local member, Roy Butler.
I look forward to working with him and his team to voice our needs directly and collaborate with the NSW government to deliver substantial benefits for our shire.
It’s important that councils work well with local members, and of course, state, and federal governments.
I am working feverishly to build up relationships with both governments.
In the coming days, I’ll be traversing our area alongside the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Jenny Aitchison, and Roy Butler.
We’re set to launch vital infrastructure projects, including the Boston Street Bridge.
While I have the minister’s ear I will be advocating for our region’s advancement.
Last Friday, I stood with the mayors of Gunnedah and Moree at Wee Waa Hospital, uniting against the federal government’s Water Amendment Bill.
Our choice of venue was symbolic, highlighting that water buybacks ripple through our communities and affects not just the irrigators but every single sector in our towns and villages.
I extend my gratitude to the Wee Waa Chamber of Commerce for their support during this event.
I attend a fire with the RFS last Saturday as a firefighter and it’s a timely reminder that all of us need to prepare for a very challenging summer.
I recommend that everyone in our community needs to spend time on the RFS website making sure that you and your family are fully prepared with Bush Fire Survival Plans and manage your risks in and around your property.
A few reminders:
• Lillian Hulbert memorial prize open. Nominations close November 20 via the council website.
• Wee Waa learn to swim nominations open. Classes start November 15 – call the Narrabri Aquatic Centre for details.
• The Draft Boggabri Floodplain Risk Management Study is currently on public exhibition and invites interested community members to make comments. The plan can be viewed on the council’s website, at the Boggabri Library, or council’s administration building in Narrabri.
It’s been great to have so many calls of support and discussion over the past couple of weeks. Don’t we live in a great community!