Rocky Show public holiday fate revealed

ROCKHAMPTON’S show public holiday is here to stay – despite the annual event being cancelled for 2020.

The date is of the public holiday will be Thursday, June 11.

The matter to keep the public holiday or not was discussed at Rockhampton Regional Council’s ordinary meeting on Tuesday.

The Rockhampton Agricultural Show was cancelled back in March, following the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, council discussed moving the show public holiday to later in the year for another community event.

This week’s agenda notes council has received a lot of inquiries from the general public if the public holiday was going ahead as it has an impact on school and work commitments for many people in the region.

The Office of Industrial Relations advised council it needed direction about what it would like to do.

It is unlikely the Minister would transfer or postpone a proposed new date if there is no Agricultural Show.

It was also noted that Gladstone, Biloela, Mackay and Cairns councils had decided to

keep their gazetted show holiday dates, with Livingstone yet to make a decision.

The motion to keep the public holiday or not was heavily discussed around the council table with Councillor Ellen Smith leading the charge on retaining the public holiday.

She argued it was well established and had always been a public holiday.

Mayor Margaret Strelow backed up her stance as did Councillor Drew Wickerson who said it might help some businesses see more customers as more people were out and about.

Councillor Donna Kirkland was against the motion, claiming businesses were hurting enough on top of having to pay the high penalty rates on a public holiday.

Councillor Shane Latcham was also against, stating children had already had enough time at home and needed to get back to school.

The vote was successful in keeping the public holiday with voting of five councillors against two.