No show: With the cancellation of the Ballarat Show, this year the city’s public holiday will be Melbourne Cup Day. Photo: FILE

Show Day public holiday no more

July 30, 2020 BY

THE City of Ballarat council has resolved that this year’s regional public holiday will be 3 November, which is Melbourne Cup Day.

The change comes after the Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society advised that due to COVID-19 they had made the decision not to the run the Show this year.

In March 2017 council decided the public holiday for the Ballarat municipal district, in lieu of Melbourne Cup Day, was to be Ballarat Show Day for the next three years.

While discussing the issue at last week’s City of Ballarat council meeting, Cr Amy Johnson said she strongly supported the change for this year and beyond because of its financial potential.

“When we have a public holiday on a Friday people are far more likely to leave town and go elsewhere and that has a significant impact on our local businesses,” she said.

“Whereas, when we have Melbourne Cup day, local businesses find it much easier for larger, more corporate style organisations many of which we have in Ballarat because the closures are aligned.

“With the public holiday on the Tuesday, we would be more likely to have people staying in Ballarat and supporting our local economy.”

Eureka Day was a third option for this year’s public holiday which was eventually ruled out because of the likelihood restrictions on gatherings would persist.

The municipal public holiday will be further consulted and reviewed again in time for next year.