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Should Melbourne Cup Day be a holiday?

RACE DAY: There won’t be a public holiday but camels, fashionistas and the Melbourne Cup will unite at Gympie Turf Club next Tuesday
RACE DAY: There won’t be a public holiday but camels, fashionistas and the Melbourne Cup will unite at Gympie Turf Club next Tuesday Tanya Easterby

ON Tuesday, everyone will unite for the Melbourne Cup; the race that "stops a nation".

Once again calls for a national holiday have been voiced and the debate has hit The Gympie Times readers.

When The Gympie Times posted the question "should the Melbourne Cup Day be a national holiday?" the majority of comments were in agreement, though the margin was not huge.

Of the posts, 59% said yes compared to 40% who said no.

Some of the supporting comments made the point that many employees take a sick day to watch the race, so it made sense to have a holiday.

Others argued that a day off would encourage betting, that horse racing was cruel and that there were negative impacts on businesses.

Councillor for social wellbeing Rae Gate was also against the idea.

She said a Melbourne Cup holiday would likely see many people push past their limits and few would make it to work the following day.

"It's the race that stops a nation but not everybody is a supporter. It's not like Anzac Day which is commemorated by everyone," Cr Gate said.

She also said smaller businesses were struggling and another holiday would only make the situation worse.

While she will be at the Gympie Camel Races on Tuesday, she won't be placing any bets.

Even Turf Club president Spencer Slatter said that while the idea made sense in Victoria, Gympie was just too far from the Melbourne track to warrant it.

"I don't think so; it is the biggest event of the year but (a holiday is not needed) with flexible work practices these days," he said.

But there is no doubt on the big day, all debates will be silenced when the industry's best horses jump from the barriers.

At the moment, cup favourites include Admire Rakti, Lucia Valentina, Protectionist and Fawkner.

Mr Slatter said Fawkner, a Lloyd Williams' trained horse, will go the distance.
 

Gympie Times

Topics:  gympie turf club, melbourne cup



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