EACH year there is a debate in the community about if there should be a half day public holiday for the Scone Cup, but there is a simple solution which both sides of the argument say would be a win.
Phillip Ryan, director of legal and industrial affairs for the Australian Hotels Association explained Council could apply for a part public holiday instead of a half day public holiday.
“Instead of the half day public holiday which is from midday until midnight they could do what other areas have successfully done and have a part public holiday from midday until 6pm,” said Mr Ryan.
“The hospitality industry is then not disadvantaged by paying in some cases more than a 200 percent increase on wages,” he said.
Noel Leckie, president of the Scone Race Club said they supported a public holiday to ensure everyone could go to the races, but agreed with the stance of the Australian Hotels Association that the public holiday should be a part day instead of a half day.
“By 6 o’clock the only relevant things that are open then are hospitality areas and restaurants and things that have to pay overtime, but if the public holiday finishes at 6 o’clock that means that all the banks and businesses in town can close business at midday and it is just the one that are open afterwards and don’t affect the races, so we definitely support that proposal and would continue to support that,” said Mr Leckie.
“I think it is a really good compromise, but it has never really got traction at the Council or wherever it was submitted maybe it was blocked somewhere else, but I think we should continue to push for it because I think that is the perfect solution,” Noel Leckie said.
Council was asked why they had only applied for the half day instead of the part day in the past, but did not provide an explanation.
The latest Council survey for the Scone Cup public holiday also questions if the Merriwa and Cassilis should have a half day public holiday, but Robert Smith owner of the Merriwa Pharmacy said it is irrelevant for their community.
“A public holiday for the Scone Cup in Merriwa would be like having a public holiday for a watermelon festival in Afghanastan because it has as much relevance,” said Mr Smith.
“As regards the public holiday for the show that’s impractical I think they have tried it in the past and they found it was difficult for people to come into the town to get their last minute supplies because all of the shops would be shut,” he said.
The Council survey on the public holiday can be completed online: Scone Cup Public Holiday Survey.