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Public Holiday for Show strikes $35M blow to business

Release Date: 12/11/2012

The Hunter Business Chamber has called on Lake Macquarie City Council to vote against a resolution to gazette Newcastle Show Day as a Local Public Holiday at tonight‟s Council Meeting.

"The impact of declaring Newcastle Show Day a local public holiday will be very significant for small to medium enterprise and the Chamber does not support any recommendation to gazette Friday 1 March, 2013 as a Local Public Holiday for either the Lake Macquarie Local Government Area (LGA) or the Newcastle LGA," Chamber CEO, Kristen Keegan said.

"The decision will come with significant financial impost for business and casual employees in an environment where the market is currently facing above State and National average unemployment figures.

"A cost benefit analysis has shown combined costs to business in both the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie LGA to be estimated at $35.2million for that one day alone.

"We are in a major industrial and economic region and the gazettal of a local public holiday will have far reaching, detrimental effects to productivity.

"The Chamber strongly supports the Newcastle Show and is in favour of the concept raised by Newcastle Council to promote that day as an „Excursion or student free day‟.

"We value the Newcastle Show as a significant regional event but the costs to business of a local public holiday are clearly beyond reasonable and we would welcome a decision by council that reflects this."

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