SHOW Day has won Ballarat City Council’s public holiday community survey by a landslide.
Councillors have been asked to endorse Ballarat Show Day – Friday, November 8 – as the city’s preferred annual public holiday for the next four years at their ordinary meeting on Wednesday.
The recommendation by council officers would see Ballarat Show Day declared the public holiday for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
It comes after more than 4000 votes were submitted to the City of Ballarat to help determine the region’s public holiday.
Ballarat Show Day received 65.6 per cent of responses, compared to Melbourne Cup Day (22.8 per cent) and Eureka Day (11.6 per cent of responses).
But detailed submissions by the business sector will also be considered by councillors at Wednesday’s meeting, with all three options still on the table.
Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society director Gerard Ballinger said he hoped councillors would listen to the online survey result.
“It’s a good community event and that’s what the public wants,” he said.
“It’s reinforced what the survey was last time. We’re not surprised in some ways, but we’re also thrilled.”
Ballarat Regional Tourism chairman Stuart Benjamin said the tourism sector was strongly in support of a cup day public holiday.
He said the community survey represented one part of the consultation process undertaken by the City of Ballarat.
“BRT would be surprised if the city makes a decision based only on an online survey,” he said.
“We appreciate that leading a community isn’t easy and understand that council will be weighing up a multitude of inputs.”
Commerce Ballarat executive officer Jodie Gillett said the survey result was a disappointing one for the business community.
“This is a day which hurts them economically,” she said.
Ms Gillett called on the council to “look at the big picture” and gazette Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday, November 5, as Ballarat’s preferred public holiday.
Ballarat Trades and Labor Council president Brett Edgington, who suggested the Eureka Day holiday at a December council meeting, said he was pleased it received 12 per cent of votes, but more so, that it had entered the public debate.
“Eureka Day should be an additional national holiday,” he said.
In the month-long survey, 4319 people shared their opinion on which proposed date they would like to be named the official Ballarat Public Holiday.
Submissions were made online, in person, by post and via social media.
Fifteen interested people also made community submissions to the council at its special meeting on February 20.