Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 30 March 2017) . . Page.. 1346 ..
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for her question and for her interest in this matter. I think we all have an interest in public holidays. On 22 August 2015 the ACT government declared that Easter Sunday would be a public holiday in its own right, commencing in 2016.
MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, could you resume your seat, please?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: This year will be the second year—
MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, could you resume your seat? Fifteen seconds into the answer, and the minister could not hear my call to resume her seat because of the noise from the opposition.
Mr Doszpot interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, one more and you will be warned.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: This year will be the second year that we have marked Easter Sunday as an official public holiday in the ACT, alongside public holidays on Good Friday and Easter Monday. The decision to declare Easter Sunday as a public holiday was in response to increased community concern that Easter is a significant and protracted holiday period akin to Christmas and New Year’s Day. As such, it is important that public holiday entitlements be afforded to workers during this period, to compensate them for time spent away from their family and friends.
On this side of the chamber, we understand that a clear work-life balance is crucial to protecting the valuable time we have with family and friends. The ACT government’s decision to make Easter Sunday a public holiday also recognises the costs of having to work outside the traditional Monday to Friday working week and the valuable contribution of the members of our community who work on weekends.
By legislating to make Easter Sunday a public holiday, the government has ensured that the territory’s industrial relations system stays in step with contemporary work practices and in line with the community’s expectations on the designation of public holidays.
MS ORR: Minister, what other changes to public holidays is this government considering?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Orr for her supplementary question.
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne.