Surveys open for future of Ballarat Show public holiday

Packed: This year's Ballarat Show public holiday saw more than 6000 pack out the showgrounds on the 150th event's first day. Picture: Lachlan Bence
Packed: This year's Ballarat Show public holiday saw more than 6000 pack out the showgrounds on the 150th event's first day. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Commerce Ballarat has released a survey calling for Ballarat businesses to weigh in on the future of Ballarat’s controversial, in demand Ballarat Show Day public holiday.

The public holiday has been with the show from 2013-2016, when it was approved by council at an agenda following a massive show of public support for the day through a council poll.

At the time, 65.5 per cent of the 4000 votes pointed in favour of the Ballarat Show Day, compared to a Melbourne Cup Day (22.8 per cent) and Eureka Day (11.6 per cent).

Commerce Ballarat chief executive Jodie Gillett said CB’s survey had already received more than 300 responses and would be open for the rest of the week.

“In the past, the business community have been in favour of the Melbourne Cup Day over the Ballarat Show Day,” she said.

Meanwhile, another physical survey was conducted at the site of the show over the weekend.

Ballarat Show director Gerard Ballinger said the results of the survey are not yet known, but said he believed the public would be supportive of maintaining a Ballarat Show Day.

“We did a survey and it will be interesting to see what the response is,” he told The Courier on Sunday.

“We’ve had a public holiday for the last four years and we’re building a strong case to go back to council for more (in the future).”

Between 6000-7000 are believed to have packed through the gates on the Friday for the show’s 150th edition.

City of Ballarat has been contacted for confirmation on whether or not it would be releasing a survey.