The economic case for a guaranteed Australia Day long weekend

25/01/2022 3:25:00 AM

Australia’s public holiday schedule is confusing and inconsistently applied across states, creating significant headaches for businesses and failing to give workers optimal breaks throughout the year.

Let’s focus on the economics for just a moment and consider the benefits of making AustraliaDay a floating Friday at the end of January, a long weekend to bookmark the end of summer and return to work. | OPINION by Jess_Irvine

Australia’s public holiday schedule is confusing and inconsistently applied across states, creating significant headaches for businesses and failing to give workers optimal breaks throughout the year.

AdvertisementBob Hawke famously celebrating the America's Cup win in 1983.Australia’s official public holiday schedule is an important addition to workers’ nationally enshrined rights to paid annual leave.This year’s occasion of Australia Day falling on a Wednesday is the perfect example of poor design.

iStockAdvertisementOn occasions – such as this year – when January 26 falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, the whole economy suffers.All of this harms national productivity.Switching Australia Day to an official long weekend would also carry the additional benefit of being a significant boon to the domestic tourism industry in years when the current date doesn’t line up.

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Jess_Irvine It's only 18 years since 26 January alalone became the public holiday. Previously it was a floating long weekend on the Monday nearest (after?) 26 January (my parents called it ANA Weekend) - let's revert to a long weekend at the end of January under any other name? Jess_Irvine End of summer is end of February. Autumn starts 1 March