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Canberra
Friday, July 23, 2021

Anzac Day a public holiday in ACT, but Business Chamber not pleased

With Anzac Day (25 April) falling on a Sunday this year, the ACT Government has made the Sunday a public holiday, so workers can commemorate the day, but others worry this will affect already struggling businesses.

“Anzac Day is significant for many Canberrans,” Mick Gentleman, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, said. “This will empower workers to attend commemorations and ceremonial events held on the Sunday.”

Monday 26 April has been declared a public holiday nationally.

Full public holiday awards will be paid on Sunday, to ensure Canberrans who work on weekends are not disadvantaged, Mr Gentleman said.

But the decision “disappointed and frankly shocked” the Canberra Business Chamber, CEO Graham Catt said.

“This additional public holiday will add extra costs to businesses; potentially see some venues close over the holiday; and reduce work offered to local Canberrans – all adverse outcomes that no one wants,” Mr Catt said.

“I think the Canberra community will share our concern this will have the biggest impact on those businesses most at risk – particularly small enterprises in tourism, accommodation, hospitality, and retail.

“Many will only be able to manage the additional costs by not offering shifts to staff, creating a flow-on effect to employees and the economy.”

Many small businesses are already worried about how they will fare once the JobKeeper subsidy winds up at the end of March. The Federal Government’s tourism support package will offer little or no support to the ACT’s tourism operators, Mr Catt said.

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