A survey of Launceston businesses has reignited debate over the alignment of regional public holidays, with the city's chamber of commerce describing government action on the matter as "frustrating".
Outside of introducing new holidays - which it has stated it would not do - the state government has been coy about its plans since Premier Will Hodgman confirmed in March the Justice Department was undertaking a review.
"From a business point of view [it] is very frustrating," Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Neil Grose said. "You wouldn't think that a review into when public holidays were held would be too complicated."
The comments follow an online survey conducted by the chamber last week which asked if it would be "less disruptive" for business if October's Launceston Show were held on a Saturday - 79 per cent of respondents agreed.
IN OTHER NEWS
Six region-specific show holidays are observed across the state, along with one each for the Launceston Cup, Devonport Cup and Agfest. Regatta Day and Recreation Day were an example of regional holidays that could "surely" be on the same day, Mr Grose said.
The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry echoed the need for holiday consolidation last month.
Asked for an update, a government spokesperson said only that the government understood regional events and their associated holidays were important, with any decision on changes to be made in "full consultation" with the community.
In a chamber newsletter last week, Mr Grose wrote that mid-week public holidays like the Launceston Show Day can cause "significant" business disruption. "It seems like every year the same issue is raised and all are in furious agreement, but then nothing happens."
He said the number of public holidays should not be reduced, but at a time when regional Tasmania needed to be more competitive it "beggars belief" the state could be "closed for business at one end and open the other".
Though the disruption might not be felt by all. "I think it provides opportunity," said Tasmanian Small Business Council executive officer Robert Mallett. Diversity allowed pressures to be spread. "If everyone is on holidays, everybody wants to do the same thing."
In August, Unions Tasmania expressed concern about the government's reluctance to elaborate on its review as it had previously looked to "do away with" certain holidays in public servant enterprise bargains.
While you're with us, you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates and daily headlines direct to your inbox. Sign up here.