Rocky, Livingstone show public holidays officially moved

LIVINGSTONE Shire and Rockhampton Regional councils both received confirmation yesterday afternoon that the Queensland Government had approved to move their respective show public holidays to Friday, 14 August, 2020.

Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland said this was a great outcome for the shire’s local businesses and tourism industry, which were in need of an economic boost following the negative impacts of COVID-19.

“This wasn’t a backflip by council; it was a change of direction brought about by a change at the State Government level,” he said.

“Councils were given the opportunity to change their show holidays to August 14 and we thought this would be preferable to June 12 as the COVID-19 restrictions would have been significantly relaxed by August 14.

“We think that social gathering restrictions will ease even further by August which will allow for businesses to welcome a higher number of patrons and potentially resulting in a higher financial turnover.

“We understand there is some community frustration at the late notice of the decision, however council believes this is in the best interest of the shire’s economy and we hope residents will be out in support of our local businesses and tourism operators over the long weekend.”

Portfolio holder of Vibrant Community (Tourism, Events and Culture), Councillor Tanya Lynch, said some local businesses had received little to no income over the past two months, as well as a number of residents who had been out of work for a similar period due to COVID-19.

“This gave council an opportunity to vote in support of these industries by applying to move the show holiday and help to generate some much-needed income to their operations,” Cr Lynch said.

“This will help them stay afloat and keep their doors open. These industries contribute to making our shire the fantastic place that it is and I encourage residents and visitors to show their support where they can.”

Rockhampton region Mayor Margaret Strelow said the last minute drama could have been avoided had their request to the State Government to move the show holiday back in April triggered earlier thoughtful consideration of this matter.

“At that time we were told the holiday couldn’t be moved unless it was to coincide with a rescheduled Agricultural Show – it was basically use it or lose it,” she said.

“That said if a lack of proper consideration of our April correspondence is our only complaint considering the state of the world, we’ve done fairly well. I’m not complaining, just more than a little frustrated at how this has played out for our community.

“However I am now looking forward to what I am sure will be a wonderful long weekend in August, a weekend that will bring more economic benefit to the region than if we had a day off during the week next week with a number of restrictions still in place.”

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