City of Coffs Harbour Council has announced it will apply for a part-day Local Event Day, rather than a part-day Public Holiday, to mark the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup race in 2023 and 2024.
A Local Event Day means employers in the City of Coffs Harbour local government area are not automatically obliged to treat the part-day as a public holiday and pay their staff penalty rates.
It also means that banks or shops within the area are not prevented from opening or trading.
The part-day will run from midday to 5.30pm on the first Thursday in August in 2023 and 2024.
The Public Holidays Act 2010 (NSW) allows NSW Local Councils to submit an application to the NSW Government for ‘local public holidays’ and/or ‘local event days’ for events of special significance that are recognised by the community, following community consultation.
The Council says it carried out stakeholder, followed by broader community consultation last month via a survey on the options available. The survey generated 171 responses.
“The survey also included questions on a proposal to run a modest, free half-day community event at the Jetty Foreshores to be held on the same afternoon in 2023 as a trial. However, after a lengthy discussion, Councillors decided against taking up that option,” Council said in a statement.
“Councillors heard that since a change to the public holiday legislation in 2010, which imposed penalty rates and other restrictions on employers and businesses, the traditional part-day public holiday has caused disruption to the community.
“After a wide discussion of the options, a majority of Councillors supported a part-day Local Event Day where people could take leave to attend the races if they wished, but schools, health services, shops, cafes and every other business could operate as normal,” Council said.