Fair’s fair: The northern part of Golden Plains Shire has taken Ballarat Show Day as its public holiday in recent year. Photo: FILE

Future of Shire public holiday up for grabs

March 4, 2021 BY

GOLDEN Plains Shire’s municipally gazetted public holiday is currently under review and your input is wanted.

For the last 10 years the Shire has been split in half with the south taking Geelong Cup Day in October and the north observing Ballarat Show Day in November.

One proposal under consideration is that the whole of Golden Plains observe Melbourne Cup Day in 2021, currently set for Tuesday, 2 November.

“I know there are some passionate views around these events and days, and I hope many community members take this chance to share their public holiday preference with us over the next two months,” said mayor Cr Helena Kirby.

In 2020, seven of the states 79 local government areas observed Melbourne Cup Day, although many regional and rural councils, including the City of Ballarat, changed their gazetted public holidays when COVID meant the event linked to the regional date couldn’t go ahead.

Golden Plains Shire was one of the seven not to go with Melbourne Cup Day as a push to change the date came too late.

The result was people in the north got time off for Ballarat Show, and the south Geelong Cup, even though those two events were either cancelled or not open to the public.

“Together with last year’s cancellations, the majority of our fellow regional councils are now observing Melbourne Cup Day, and as 10 years have passed since consultation was undertaken, we are considering whether change is required to our spring public holiday arrangements,” Cr Kirby said.

“Golden Plains is a geographically large Shire, with many of our residents connected through work or education to Ballarat or Geelong, and we want to make sure that our spring public holiday, whether it be Melbourne Cup Day or another local or regional day, best represents the interests of our local residents and businesses.”

Feedback on which day, or days, the Shire’s public holiday should fall on is being taken until 5pm, on Sunday, 18 April.

You can have your say by visiting goldenplains.vic.gov.au/consultations, emailing [email protected], or via post to Chief Executive Officer, Golden Plains Shire Council, PO Box 111, Bannockburn, 3331 – with ‘urgent – submission’ marked on your input.

It’s expected council will make a final decision on the public holiday at its 22 June regular meeting.