Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 3649 ..
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (6.13): The Chief Minister announced some time ago that the Government will not be supporting Mr Berry's Bill. I am sure those opposite will characterise this as worker bashing from a conservative government, while round the country there are Labor governments guaranteeing a half-day holiday for workers. Unfortunately for Mr Berry, the facts do not support this. For a start, one of the major reasons the New South Wales Government has introduced a half-day holiday on New Year's Eve is to cope with transport issues of moving literally millions of people out of Sydney and millions of people back into the CBD and Sydney Harbour in time for the festivities.
I would like to think that our celebrations were going to attract as many people as they were going to attract in Sydney. The reality is that is not true. There will not be millions of people making their way to Lake Burley Griffin on New Year's Eve. The reality here is that - and I have to remind people that at the Christmas season a large number of Canberrans are already on holiday, and even if all our hotel rooms were full of visitors, and I would hope for that, I would wish for that - we are not going to have the same sorts of transport problems that Sydney will experience.
The advice I have from both Canberra Cabs and ACTION is that they do not anticipate any great difficulty in transporting people around on New Year's Eve. So I am not sure why Mr Berry does. I hope we get the big crowds to the festivities. But I doubt very much that there will be the sorts of transport problems in Canberra that Mr Berry seems to anticipate. It is a shame that Mr Berry is behaving in this way, because there is nothing to suggest that there is a need for another half-day holiday in Canberra on New Year's Eve.
We have to look at why we are doing this. People might have seen from yesterday's Financial Review not even Mr Bracks is willing to endorse a half-day public holiday in Victoria. I table this and ask for it to be included in Hansard.
The article read as follows: