Is this the end for Grand Final Friday public holiday?
Pressure is mounting on the Victorian Government to consider scrapping the public holiday on the Friday before the AFL Grand Final.
The Australian Industry Group has called for a review into the business case for Grand Final Friday, arguing the holiday costs Victorian businesses more than $1 billion to have the day off.
“You can only have good footy if you have a good economy at the same time,” Victorian Head of Ai Group Tim Piper told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.
Mr Piper argues having more public holidays in Victoria than in other states is holding the economy back, with Grand Final Friday being the easiest to repeal.
Since 2015, the penultimate day of the AFL season has been considered a full public holiday, but only in Victoria.
“Unlike a normal Friday where the cafes are buzzing, the restaurants are full, most of them close down in the CBD because people aren’t around. There will be some tourists, but if it’s just Melbourne people they won’t be coming into the CBD. So it just doesn’t make sense,” Mr Piper said.
While Grand Final Friday could face the chop, Mr Piper defended the public holiday on Melbourne Cup Day.
“[Melbourne Cup Day] really is ingrained into the Melbourne psyche. It has been around so long,” he said.
“We accept that as being one of the dozen public holidays we have a year. I think Melbournians accept that is reasonable. What we’re complaining about is having an additional public holiday, one that really isn’t needed.”
“Keep Melbourne Cup, we’re not against having the Melbourne Cup holiday… but this additional day is just crazy. It’s a nonsense,” Mr Piper said.
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