Mackay Show holiday on the move

This Mayoral Minute, supported unanimously at an ordinary meeting of council, provides background to the decision.

The 2020 Mackay Show scheduled for 16,17,18 June has been cancelled due to the COVID 19 Pandemic restrictions. The Mackay Agricultural Show holiday (Thursday 18 June 2020) was approved in the Queensland Government Gazette 15 November 2019.

Council contacted the Queensland Industrial Relations Regulation and Compliance office on Friday 01 May 2020 to enquire about the process to change the date.

The Department advised Council on the 8th May 2020 by email and subsequent phone calls that the gazetted holiday remains. To change to another day the gazetted holiday would have to be cancelled and any replacement applied for would have to be approved by the Minister.  It was also understood that the Ekka Holiday was not going to change.

At that stage the risk of losing the holiday altogether if we cancelled it was too great, so it was decided that the status quo was the best path.

On Thursday 21 May 2020 the Premier told State Parliament that “after careful consideration the (Ekka) public holiday would now fall on Friday 14 August 2020”. In subsequent correspondence and media, the Premier encouraged Councils who wanted to change the date of their gazetted show holiday to move to the 14th August date as a State-wide co-ordinated boost to tourism, noting expected greater reduction in movement restrictions throughout Queensland at that time thus allowing travel and holidays.

A letter from the Minister Grace Grace outlining the new procedure to apply for a show holiday change following the Premier’s announcement was received by me yesterday Tuesday 26 May 2020.  The Minister’s advice provides only two (2) options for Council:

  1. leave the show holiday as currently gazetted on 18 June 2020; or,
  2. apply to move the gazetted show holiday to 14 August 2020 for this year only.

Motion

THAT due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in line with a suggestion from the Queensland Premier, that for 2020 only Mackay Regional Council supports the moving of the Mackay Agricultural Show holiday from Thursday 18 June 2020 to Friday 14 August 2020 to make a long weekend and encourage tourism support

FURTHER THAT a formal application be lodged with the Minister for Education and Industrial Relations to request the change