Chamber opposes holidays
THE Gympie Chamber of Commerce joined its state body in voicing opposition yesterday to the premier's announcement of additional public holidays from 2012.
Premier Anna Bligh announced the Queen's birthday will be celebrated in October next year, and an additional special holiday to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will be held in June as part of a shake-up of public holidays.
Student-free days will also be restructured so that the Easter school holiday can be extended to two weeks, and an extra public holiday will be allocated when Christmas, Boxing Day or New Year's day fall on a weekend.
Gympie COC president Ben Ellingsen said most employees would welcome the additional holiday with open arms but it would come at the expense of business, "particularly small business".
"In practical terms, employers will be forced to pay an extra day's wages with no productive return," he said.
"The question a lot of business owners want to know is: 'where was the consultation process?'
"Fortunately, it appears that the June holiday will be a one-off for the 2012 year, resulting in the holiday being effectively moved from June to October.
"But why not have the change effective from 2013, giving everyone the opportunity to be prepared without having to slug employers with an extra day's wages?"
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland estimates one additional public holiday creates upwards of $342 million in wage costs and in turn decreases the economic productivity.