With no group calling for additional public holidays, last year the Andrews government declared Easter Sunday and the day before the AFL Grand Final to be new public holidays in Victoria. We all love our days off, and Victorians work hard to earn theirs. However, no-one I have spoken to believes that the small businesses that we rely on to provide the majority of jobs for our families and young people should have to pay such a heavy price for holidays no-one asked for or said they needed. At a time when jobs are becoming even more difficult to find and when many local businesses are already doing it tough, the Premier chose to impose two new major costs that will see many businesses close their doors for the day, employees lose much-needed shifts and a cost shock to our state's economy of as much as $1.6 billion.
Victoria now has 13 public holidays, the highest of any state or territory. The Andrews government's own assessment of the grand final eve public holiday, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), found it would cost close to $1 billion. The PwC assessment confirmed that overall the cost of the holiday outweighed any benefit to the state.
Owner of Somerville Village Meats, Phil Revell, has stated that the grand final eve public holiday is bad for his business and should be removed. However, as a butcher he is forced to stay open on grand final eve. Mr Revell said that traditionally grand final eve was the busiest day of the year; however, last year it was quiet and he lost as much as $2000.