What shuts down if extra Christmas holiday goes ahead
POPULAR surf clubs and RSLs are seriously considering shutting their doors when a new Christmas Eve part-day public holiday kicks in, as new analysis shows almost 100 small businesses are thinking about doing the same thing.
Clubs Queensland is expecting the proposed six-hour holiday (from 6pm on December 24), if passed in Parliament next month, to cost its sector $750,000 each year, warning that many venues are considering closing instead.
It comes as Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) analysis of submissions lodged to the State Government revealed almost 100 small businesses would consider shutting.
Peak bodies are urging the Government to ditch its plans, however, Industrial Relations
Minister Grace Grace said that the Government intended to proceed with the proposal in time for this year.
"The proposal attracted strong community support during the consultation process, with over 70 per cent of the nearly 1800 submissions in favour of a part-day public holiday on Christmas Eve," Ms Grace said.
It was fair and reasonable for workers to be entitled to extra protections and entitlements for those six hours, she said. However, Clubs Queensland communications and government relations manager Laura Bos said that the consultation process had been "farcical".
She said the body provided a response on behalf of the 1100 clubs, including surf clubs and RSLs, which were now considering closing.
"We could not believe that the Government did not consider the weight of our response in light of that," Ms Bos said.
LNP industrial relations spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said that at a time when Queensland had the worst unemployment rate in Australia, the Government should not "attack" small businesses.
SPAR store owner Bruce Luchterhand said he would decide whether to close for those six hours in December.
"It's an additional cost that we shouldn't have to bare," he said. "The alternative is … we roster family on."
CCIQ general manager of advocacy Amanda Rohan said Queensland's 450,000 small businesses had reacted angrily to what many considered a "final straw".
"We have seen an overwhelming response to this legislation, which has been introduced by stealth with little consultation and at a time where many people are not just doing it tough, but in some cases struggling to survive," she said.