Mr BROADBENT (McMillan) (13:53):  This will be boring, Mr Deputy Speaker Scott. I am always fighting for small business in Victoria. The Age’s Josh Gordon, on 17 August, wrote that businesses are urging the state government to reconsider plans for a Friday public holiday before the AFL grand final. A survey of employers reveals that three-quarters intend to close for the day to avoid the extra wage bill. Highlighting the significant economic impact of the holiday, a survey by the Australian Industry Group found that eight out of 10 Victorian manufacturers and more than seven out of 10 services and construction businesses plan to shut their doors for the day, costing the state economy $1 billion at least. That suggests that 158,000 companies will be closed for the day. A further 31,000 will stay open but will cut staff or their opening hours.
The Ai Group’s Victorian Director, Tim Piper, said the research highlighted the damage inflicted on Victorian businesses, especially small business. On average, businesses that will not open will lose $15,800 in sales, while still having to pay $9,000 in wages. Those that will open expect to spend an average of $6,700 extra on penalty rates. In the The Age article, Mr Piper said:
That’s a headache, not a holiday … There should be no doubt Football Friday is bad news for the state and its businesses. As we have stressed in our dialogue with the government and in the formal response process, we strongly urge reconsideration of this additional public holiday.
The analysis follows a government-commissioned study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which found the Friday holiday will cost the state economy $852 million a year in lost production. (Time expired)