Wednesday Whinge – Victoria complains because they get a day off. Woe is me.

“Grand Final Friday is here to stay because it allows Victorians to spend more time with their families and friends, something that is particularly important during school holidays”

– Victoria Acting Small Business Minister Steve Herbert

Only in Victoria would they whinge about having a public holiday for the AFL Grand Final on Grand Final Eve. Please! The only thing that is wrong with this public holiday is that it is not a national one.

A survey conducted by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of businesses in Victoria concluded that 87% of business owners wanted the holiday removed from the calendar. 87%! Now I do not know the parameters of this survey, but that is ridiculous. 12% said that they did manage to make a profit. That proves that profit making on such a day can be done. How about all those business owners who made a loss or do not want the holiday go and have a word with the 12% of companies who got it right.

Australia is the best country in the world and we are lucky we live in such a place where a Government would consider allowing a day off to celebrate a major sporting event. In fact in Victoria there are two of those, this Grand Final holiday and the Melbourne Cup.

Why is there not the same sort of outcry for the Melbourne Cup holiday? It is no different. People just do not like change. Surely one day a year of less work is not going to have that much of an impact on the bottom line and if it does, perhaps reassess the business plan. An additional day off is probably good for health and therefore good for business anyway. That is my motto.

Despite this, business owners are not buying into this opinion. They’re stating that they either are not allowed to open or that they lose money, because they have to pay penalty rates. If the business is failing to make profit or putting its future at risk because of one extra day off a year, I think that says more about that particular business than it does about the day off.

The holiday comes at a perfect time. The weather is warming up. The kids are on school holidays and all those people who cannot get a ticket to the AFL Grand Final can still get down to the city and embrace the associated Grand Final events.

There is still enough open to allow people to grab a coffee or go out for lunch, which surely counteracts the fact that the usual Friday office workers business is missing. Yes, there is a bit of a loss to Victoria’s economy by adding an additional day off a year, but you cannot tell me that most of Melbourne do not stop work to watch the parade influencing productivity anyway. The positive tourism impact is also important for the economy. What is the problem?

There are big games of AFL that attract massive crowds in Melbourne on Queen’s Birthday, ANZAC Day, Easter Monday and most likely as of next year, Good Friday. Shop owners that provide AFL fans with food and drink all manage to work profit and loss around that, why not this holiday too?

For everyone else, shut the door Thursday night and go home. It is that simple.

Victoria’s Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has gone one step further saying that the holiday does not represent all Victorians. Based on that argument Good Friday should be scrapped because not everyone is religious. Right.

So come on Victoria, embrace your extra day off. Enjoy the sunshine and put the feet up. If AFL is not your thing, spend some quality time with the family or at the very least use it as an excuse to sleep in!

Your whinging is pathetic and embarrassing for your state.

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