The National Retail Association, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland, the Queensland Hotels Association and the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores have slammed the moves by the Queensland Government to legislate a part-day public holiday from 6pm on Christmas Eve.
The industry bodies have again warned the Palaszczuk Government of the impact this move will have on Queensland’s small business community.
The proposal has previously been considered by former Labor State Minister John Mickel and was rejected due to the financial impacts on the business community.
The industry bodies suggest that if passed, the part-day public holiday will have severe impacts on small, mum-and-dad businesses.
"This proposal will result in one of the following outcomes, none of which are desirable to either business owners or the workers they employ: small business passing on the extra costs to consumers via higher prices; operators closing their doors for trade during the affected hours; or owners sending staff home and working the public holiday hours themselves with no extra pay.
"Those who will be hurt most by this are not large multi-nationals, but mum-and-dad small businesses who work ridiculous hours just to make ends meet.
"Many of these outlets also rely on the Christmas trade period to support their operation during more lean times of the year," the bodies said in a statement.
The bodies also suggest that as demonstrated in other states, the part-day public holiday will reduce trade.
"This proposed public holiday is blindly following the mistakes made in other states and will kill off one of Queensland’s best times to celebrate with their community.
"No business can suddenly afford to increase costs at this time, so hotels and tourism operators will either close or reduce staff hours.
"Massive decline in trade due to public holidays have already happened for the AFL Grand Final Parade in Melbourne and Christmas Eve in South Australia.
"It is inconceivable that Labor would ignore the pleas of regional Queenslanders by increasing the price of going to the hotel, or having this vital part of their community shut.
"The Christmas Eve proposal also runs counter to the voice of regional Queensland businesses who are telling us they simply cannot afford the government’s $137 million policy.
"Queensland currently ranks sixth behind Tasmania for employment and overall economic activity and measures such as this will not help turn that worrying fact around.
"We strongly urge the State Government to reconsider this move and the detrimental costs it will have on Queensland businesses."