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Australia Mulls Further 2018 ACT Public Holidays Amendments

Source: ACT Government Chief Minister and Treasury Directorate (Canberra)
Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Indigenous Affairs Minister of Australia's Capital Territory (ACT), Rachel Stephen-Smith, has introduced legislation to further amend the annual list of official non-working public holidays observed in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) of Australia, by replacing the ACT's September Family and Community Day annual public holiday, with a new Reconciliation Day annual public holiday in Australia's Capital Territory in May.

The aforementioned legislation stems from discussions begun last summer (2016-08-28) of a new annual non-working public holiday in the ACT, to replace either the Family and Community Day or the "Queen's Birthday", tentatively called "Reconciliation Day", to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum whose result led to amendments to the Australian constitution to include Aboriginal people in the census and make them subject to Commonwealth law (2016-08-28 and 2016-06-08).

The declaration of an aboriginal public holiday has also been considered by the Australian states of Tasmania (2017-01-27) and New South Wales (2017-08-06).

The Family and Community Day public holiday (2007-07-30) was introduced a decade ago (2008-11-03, 2007-07-30 and 2007-04-05) to coincide with the November Melbourne Cup, after the traditional Union Picnic Day was axed under the previous federal government's WorkChoices laws, and it was later moved to the first week of the September/October school holidays (2009-10-16).

The current list of official non-working public holidays observed in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) of Australia for the year 2018 was announced (2017-02-05) and rapidly amended (2017-02-28) earlier this year. Were this legislation to become law, this year's Family and Community Day public holidays, on September 25, would be the last such public holiday, and a new public holiday would be observed next year on May 28.

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