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Half Day Holiday for 2014 West Wyalong Show

A strong show of community support has helped convince the State Government to declare a revised half day public holiday for this year’s annual West Wyalong Show.

The New South Wales Government recently advised Bland Shire Council that its submission for a half day holiday in the West Wyalong/Wyalong and Tallimba Town Improvement Districts has been approved.

The holiday will be in effect from 12 noon until 6pm on Wednesday, September 3 to allow members of the community, including school students, to attend the annual Show.

After receiving a request for a half day holiday from the West Wyalong Show Society, Council was required to demonstrate significant community consultation and support to back up its application to the State Government.

A community survey was conducted, letters were written to key stakeholders and members of the public were invited to make written submissions.

The survey attracted 69 responses, demonstrating significant support for a local half day public holiday, and two written submissions.

One of the written submissions came from the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW expressing concern about the impact of its members having to pay penalty rates to staff with particular reference to the hours after 6pm when the Show has closed.

After taking into consideration the submission from the AHA, Council resolved to apply for a reduced public holiday period from noon until 6pm in order to best meet the needs of the Show Society, the community, the AHA and its members.

Bland Shire Council Director of Corporate, Community and Development Services, Adele Casey, said the positive outcome was a representation of effective Council community consultation.

“It is a great result all around. Members of the community, including school children, will still be able to take advantage of the public holiday to attend the Show while businesses trading after the completion of the show, will not incur additional staff expenses,” she said.

“Throughout the process Council worked hard to engage with a diverse range of individuals and interest groups to get their feedback and we were delighted by the volume of responses and quality of the submissions received.

“As per the State Government requirements, we will likely have to rely on a similar level of response from the community to support any application for a half day public holiday in 2015.”