Queen's Birthday holiday changed
THE Queen's Birthday will be celebrated in October and a special holiday to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will be held in June next year as part of the Government's shake-up of public holidays.
Premier Anna Bligh said Queenslanders supported shifting the Queen's Birthday holiday and from 2012, it would be celebrated on the first Monday in October.
She said a special one-off "Queen's Diamond Jubilee holiday" would allow community and sporting events planned and booked for the June long weekend in 2012 to continue without disruption.
The move follows a paper titled Getting the balance right: A proposal on holidays in Queensland which sought feedback on three proposals including:
- Moving the Queen's Birthday to create a new Summer Public Holiday
- Allocating an extra public holiday when Christmas, Boxing, or New Year's days fall on a weekend
- Expanding state school Easter holidays from six days to two weeks.
"Queenslanders have voted overwhelmingly in favour of moving the Queen's Birthday public holiday to the second half of the year," Ms Bligh said.
"As next year will be a transition year for these new arrangements we have decided to have a special Queen's Diamond Jubilee Holiday in June to celebrate the Queen's 60th year as monarch.
"Shifting the Queen's Birthday next year may inconvenience some community and sporting events that are regularly held over the long weekend.
"To make the transition easier for those annual events we have decided to declare a one-off holiday for 2012 only as part of the transition to the new arrangements.
"This will give those groups an extra year to consider what they will do for 2013 and beyond."
The Premier said the public had also supported restructuring student-free days so that the Easter state school holiday can be extended to two weeks.
"Moving these days around will mean less disruption for families and more help for parents to plan for holidays and childcare needs, while still giving teachers essential time to plan, boost professional development and keep our classrooms at the cutting edge.
"And they also backed the proposal to create extra public holidays whenever Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day fall on a weekend.
Ms Bligh said shifting the Queen's Birthday to October would bring Queensland into line with other states that celebrate public holidays in the second half of the year.
"Currently, most of Queensland's public holidays are clustered in the early part of the year," she said.
"Making this change will ensure hard-working Queenslanders get a well-deserved break later in the year."
Education and Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said the responses to the online survey showed the public's clear preferences.
"Some 85 per cent of approximately 23,000 respondents supported shifting the Queen's Birthday holiday to the second half of the year and of these, 96 per cent wanted it on a Monday in October," Mr Dick said.
"About 91 per cent of 22,800 responses supported the creation of additional public holidays when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day fall on a weekend.
"And 81 per cent of 23,700 responses supported the extension of the Easter state school holiday to two weeks."
Mr Dick said the decision to restructure student free days to expand state school Easter holidays from six days to two weeks was a positive move.
"Having two weeks at Easter means that it is possible to have more regular 10 week terms and that is good for parents, teachers and students," he said.
Mr Dick said he would introduce a bill in Parliament as soon as possible to make the required amendments to the Holidays Act 1983.
"The bill will also include changes to allocate extra public holidays when Christmas Day, Boxing Day, or New Year's Day fall on a weekend," he said
"All Queenslanders enjoy their public holidays and the Holidays Act 1983 protects these holidays and the rights of people who work on them.
"These changes will ensure Queensland has modern and effective holiday laws which meet the needs of Queensland workers, employers and the community."
More information about the changes can be found at www.justice.qld.gov.au