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Australia ACT Family Day Public Holiday Update

Source: School of Journalism at the University of Canberra (ACT)
Posted on Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This year, the Australian "state" of ACT will have had 11 public holidays, one more than any other jurisdiction in Australia, and three more than the neighboring State of NSW, re-igniting the debate as to whether to keep the recently added Family and Community Day public holiday and if so, whether to move its observance.

This public holiday, which coincides with Victoria State's Melbourne Cup Day public holiday, was introduced to the ACT in late 2007, effective beginning in 2008 (2007-04-05, 2007-07-30 and 2007-11-05). Its long-term future, however has always been uncertain (2008-11-03), though its occurrence and date for 2009 has been confirmed by the ACT government (2009-04-23).

Some of the proposals range from its outright cancellation (ACT Chamber of Commerce and Industry) to the Unions ACT call for a restoration of the Union Picnic days system (2007-04-05), with some calling for a move to a Monday or Friday date, such as the Canberra Business Council or its move to coincide with the Monday after the Floriade festival begins (ACT's Minister for Industrial Relations, John Hargreaves).

ACT's Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, says that in all cases, the public holiday should remain, but that its date will be reconsidered.


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