The Queensland Government will move the Scenic Rim Ekka public holiday, scheduled for next Monday, to another day due to the ongoing lockdown.
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said the Office of Industrial Relations had contacted Council seeking advice late yesterday (Tuesday) morning.
“I understand all Councils who mark the Ekka with a public holiday were contacted, and were asked to provide advice within a few hours to seek a repeal of the region’s show day,” he said.
“Given the current lockdown is extended until Sunday, we feel it best in the overall community and local businesses best interests to seek a repeal of the holiday.
“Ultimately the decision will be made by the Minister, and a new date set in the future that will enable our region to have a long weekend without the current travel restrictions.
“Due to the current lockdown in southeast Queensland, people are not allowed to leave home except for essential travel until at least 4pm on Sunday.
“This means our community members won’t be able to take advantage of the three-day long weekend to attend the Ekka, due to its cancellation, or go away and visit family and friends outside of their household.”
Cr Christensen said changing the public holiday will also help boost local businesses who are doing it tough.
“Under the current restrictions, people are not allowed to leave home unless it is for one of four essential reasons,” he said.
“If the lockdown finishes on Sunday as currently advised, our local businesses who choose to open on the public holiday would be paying penalty rates after more than a week with limited or no income.
“We know our businesses are doing it extremely tough at the moment, however by changing the date, hopefully we can secure a time when people can travel again, and our businesses will once again be able to fully open up, welcome more customers, and trade as normal.
“We recognise there may be people who are disappointed by this news, however I am sure when the lockdown eases, families will be keen to have that extra day off up their sleeve and preferably another long weekend to plan something fun.
“That will be the time when people will be able to book accommodation for a few days away, go out for brunch at one of the region’s many cafes, sip a cold drink at one of our charming country pubs or wineries, explore the beautiful national parks, or enjoy a classic Aussie barbecue in the park.
“In our feedback, we specifically asked for our holiday to be scheduled on a different day to Brisbane if they chose to move theirs, so that everything is open when our visitors arrive and so our businesses aren’t paying penalty rates.”
It is expected that the Industrial Relations Minister will provide formal notification to Council soon about the revised date.