Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Education and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    IS QUEENSLAND GOING ON A SUMMER HOLIDAY?

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Education and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    IS QUEENSLAND GOING ON A SUMMER HOLIDAY?

    Queenslanders could be celebrating the Queen’s Birthday public holiday in the second half of the year and enjoying an extended school holiday break at Easter as part of a review of the State’s holidays.

    Premier Anna Bligh will release a discussion paper today titled Getting the balance right: A proposal on holidays in Queensland as part of a review of the State’s holiday system.

    The paper also contains plans for a wider shake up of public holidays and of the school holidays system.

    The review is seeking feedback on three proposals relating to holidays in Queensland including:

    Moving the Queen’s Birthday to create a new Summer Public Holiday

    Allocating an extra public holiday when Christmas, Boxing, or New Year’s days fall on a weekend

    Expanding state school Easter holidays from six days to two weeks.

    “Holidays observe important public occasions like Anzac Day and Australia Day but they also give workers and families a chance to rest and have fun together. They let us all balance our work and family life better,” said the Premier.

    “Our lives are becoming busier and busier and that’s why I feel it is important that we get the maximum benefit from the public holidays that we do have.

    “But we need to consider what best suits families, the community and businesses, as well as what happens in other states.

    “That’s why this discussion paper is seeking feedback from all interested parties about their views on the suggested changes.”

    Ms Bligh said that most public holidays were currently clustered in the first half of the year, particularly in the period between March and June.

    “But there are no statewide public holidays in the six months between the Queen’s Birthday public holiday in June and Christmas Day in December and we are the only State that has no public holiday in the second half of the year,” she said.

    “We are now seeking feedback on whether pushing the Queen’s Birthday holiday to a later date is supported by Queenslanders, and what the best date could be.”

    The Queen’s birthday public holiday originated in 1912 to observe the birthday of King George V on 3 June. Over the years Queensland, along with most other states, has continued to observe the Queen’s birthday in June even though the actual birthday of Queen Elizabeth II is 21 April.

    While most Australian States observe the Queen’s Birthday on the first weekend in June Western Australia celebrates the holiday in September or October.

    “The Queen’s Birthday is observed as a mark of respect to the sovereign but is not widely celebrated in community events like other public holidays. This respect can be equally observed at another date as happens in Western Australia,” she said.

    Education and Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said the review was prompted by calls from the public and various stakeholders to spread public holidays more evenly throughout the year and to reconsider current arrangements for student-free days in schools.

    He said the discussion paper, titled Getting the balance right: A proposal on holidays in Queensland, included extending the Easter state school holiday to two weeks from 2012.

    This would align state schools with the non-state sector.

    “This proposed change will involve shifting three student-free days in state schools and adding one extra day to the Easter holiday period,” Mr Dick said.

    “This will help even out the school terms across the year and provide a more consistent duration for terms one, two and three.

    “The proposal follows feedback that long first terms are tiring, especially for younger students, and that student-free days scattered throughout the year are disruptive for working parents.

    “We have released the discussion paper to determine stakeholder and community support for changes to the Easter school holidays and student-free days.”

    Mr Dick said the discussion paper and associated online survey also sought public comment on what should happen when Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day fall on a weekend.

    “The State Government wants feedback on whether the law should be changed to ensure these specific public holidays are recognised on both the actual date when they fall on a weekend, as well as an additional day the following week,” he said.

    “The major reason for considering an additional public holiday is so that those who work rostered hours, including weekends, have access to the same number of public holidays and penalty rates as workers on a standard Monday-to-Friday week.

    “This could have broader implications for business and the economy – even if the arrangements are restricted to the Christmas-New Year period – so we are keen to get comment on the options.”

    Mr Dick said the discussion paper and associated online survey also sought public comment on what should happen when Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day fall on a weekend.

    Parents, students, teachers, the general public and the business community will be asked for their opinion via an online survey at www.qld.gov.au/holidayproposal until Monday 31 October 2011

    Media contact: Minister Dick - 0418 864 474 or 07 3237 1000
    Premier's Office - 07 3224 4500