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Council Seeking Public Holiday Feedback

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Wednesday, 24 February 2021 - 4:45pm
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Golden Plains Shire Council Public Holiday Consultation

At last night’s meeting, Council resolved to seek community feedback on whether Golden Plains Shire should observe the Melbourne Cup Public Holiday or an alternative local holiday for the next four years.

In Victoria, Melbourne Cup Day is observed as a public holiday unless an alternate local holiday has been arranged by a non-metro council. In previous years, Council has requested part-shire arrangements as an alternative to Melbourne Cup Day, with the north of the Shire observing Ballarat Show Day in November and the south of the Shire observing Geelong Show Day in October. This was informed by community consultation undertaken in 2011 that the community wished to observe a relevant Show Day.

In 2020, both the Ballarat and Geelong Show Days were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, initiating a discussion around reverting the holiday for all parts of the Shire to Melbourne Cup Day. Golden Plains Shire still observed these days, due to insufficient time for community consultation and a Council resolution to change the dates. In recent years there has been a steady of decline in councils observing an alternate public holiday to Melbourne Cup Day, with only seven of Victoria’s 79 councils not marking the first Tuesday in November last year.

Local community members and businesses are now invited to have their say on the future of the spring public holiday arrangements for Golden Plains Shire. Submissions are open until 5pm, Sunday 18 April, 2021. Options for consideration include continuing part-shire observation of Geelong and Ballarat Show Days, requesting an alternative local holiday, or observing the Melbourne Cup Holiday in all parts of the Shire.

Submissions can be provided by:

  • Completing an online form here
  • Emailing
  • Mail to the Chief Executive Officer, Golden Plains Shire Council, PO Box 111, Bannockburn, VIC 3331 - marked 'Urgent - submission'

Golden Plains Shire Mayor Cr Helena Kirby encouraged all local residents and businesses to share their preference on which public holiday Golden Plains Shire should observe in spring.

“Together with last year’s cancellations, the majority of our fellow regional councils are now observing Melbourne Cup Day, and as 10 years have passed since consultation was undertaken, we are considering whether change is required to our spring public holiday arrangements.

“Golden Plains is a geographically large Shire, with many of our residents connected through work or education to Ballarat or Geelong, and we want to make sure that our spring public holiday, whether it be Melbourne Cup Day or another local or regional day, best represents the interests of our local residents and businesses.

“I know there are some passionate views around these events and days, and I hope many community members take this chance to share their public holiday preference with us over the next two months.”

Following the close of submissions, Council will review the feedback received and is anticipated to make a final decision on the spring public holiday at the June Council Meeting.


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Wednesday, 24 February 2021 - 4:45pm


Council acknowledges the traditional Wadawurrung owners of this land. Council pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders both past and present and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of Golden Plains Shire.