Pick and stick to the public holiday to benefit our community 

CHOICE is good but consistency  is better, particularly when considering the public holiday debate in Ballarat.

In recent years, confusion has reigned when it came to some public holidays, including Ballarat Show, Ballarat Cup and Mebourne Cup.

The move three years ago to a Sunday meeting took Ballarat Cup out of the public holidays equation.

But enter into the mix Eureka Day.

Ballarat residents have been asked to vote about which public holiday Ballarat should observe. As well as Ballarat Show and Melbourne Cup Day holidays, residents also have the choice of voting for the city to observe Eureka Day in early December.

More than 1200 Ballarat people have already had their say on the debate, and their views will be considered by the City of Ballarat when it determines the Ballarat public holiday at a special council meeting on Wednesday, March 13.

The City of Ballarat has the option to declare one of two local days or Melbourne Cup as the public holiday for the region. The dates for these proposed public holidays are November 5 for Melbourne Cup, November 8 for Ballarat Show Day or December 2 for Eureka Day.

But for your voice to be counted, people need to speak out about what they consider to be in the best interest of the community. People have until February 28 to take part in a survey on the issue.

Some of those in the community pushing for their respective public holidays have already had their say.

Those wanting to observe Eureka Day in early December believe the region should lead the nation in recognising December 2 – the day before the anniversary of the Eureka Rebellion – as one of Australia’s most significant historical events.

Commerce Ballarat believes the Melbourne Cup Day option would result in consistency for people across the state.

But those advocating Ballarat Show as the region’s public holiday believe the November 8 date would be preferable because it would result in a “real community event”, with school-aged children and those involved in pony clubs and other organisations able to take part.

It is very important that as many members of the community as possible give input into this debate.

However, once a decision is made, the council needs to stand by that choice for the sake of consistency.

Whatever the outcome of the debate, the decision should be made on the basis of what is best for the Ballarat community.

To vote, go online to www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/

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