Redland City's Monday Brisbane Ekka public holiday looks set to stay.
Next year’s Show Day public holiday in Redland will be on Monday, August 12, two days before Brisbane’s People’s Day, if a committee's in-principle decision is upheld at this month's full council meeting.
Councillor Murray Elliott (Div7) raised the plan to stop the Ekka long-weekend Monday holiday at Tuesday's Corporate Services and Governance committee.
He questioned the economic benefit of having a public holiday long weekend during the Ekka, instead of on Brisbane's People’s Day on Wednesday.
“This is just so people can have a long weekend because there’s no other economic value for this day and I don’t know why we have to consider it each year,” Cr Elliott said.
Despite his plan being backed by mayor Cr Karen Williams, all nine other councillors voted against it and opted with an officer recommendation to stick with the traditional Monday holiday and have Redland shops open on Wednesday.
Cr Wendy Boglary said she was concerned about the loss of business in Redland if the Wednesday shopping day in the Redlands became a public holiday. Traditionally on the Brisbane Wednesday holiday, Cleveland holds its annual Crazy day sale including markets.
Cr Lance Hewlett (Div 4) suggested the council hold the public holiday during RedFest.
“We are a city now, not a shire anymore, so we should hold our own Show Day during RedFest,” Cr Hewlett said.
“We would still have a long weekend for Redland if the Friday of RedFest was a public holiday,” he said.
“We would also maintain the increased business we get from Brisbane on Crazy Day and it would cause considerably less disruption for businesses during Ekka week.”
Cr Julie Talty (Div6) opposed any move to hold the Redland holiday on People’s Day and called for more consultation.
Council held public consultations with the Cleveland Business Forum in 2009, when it was decided to have a long weekend for the Ekka instead of a holiday on People’s Day.
“Since the last consultation over this holiday, the school pupil-free day has been removed from the Wednesday,” Cr Talty said.
“Previously, children had the Wednesday off, teachers worked and parents, who worked in Brisbane, could take the children to the Ekka.
“That’s gone now and there is a disconnect between the day the kids have off and the day parents working in Brisbane have off.
“I think the outcome of the consultation would be different now and we have to remember the holiday is so everyone doesn’t go to the Ekka on the same day,” Cr Talty said.
The mayor said she would rather hold a trial of the Wednesday holiday instead of more consultation and said an extra day for RedFest would be a fillip for the local event.
“Some businesses have to open here on the Monday because they are involved with Brisbane so maybe we should have the same day to be consistent,” Cr Williams said.
“(The problem with making) Crazy Day a public holiday on the Wednesday, means that businesses around here would have a penalty applied to them.”
An officer told Tuesday’s meeting, the council could hold the holiday on the same day as Brisbane or even choose a day outside that week.
He also said the council could elect a day and stick with it for the next three years of its term.
Council must notify the state Attorney-General’s department when it intends to hold the Ekka public holiday by August 31.
A final decision will be made at the full council meeting on Wednesday, August 29.
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