Labor’s public holiday pressure forces venues to close this Easter

Labor’s public holiday pressure forces venues to close this Easter

Posted on: 04 April 2024

As the cost of doing business in South Australia continues to soar, many owners of hospitality venues across the state say they’ll either close, reduce their hours or apply surcharges over Easter because they simply can’t afford to stay open.

Under new rules introduced by the Malinauskas Labor Government, this Easter period is the first time where all four days will be counted as public holidays – meaning businesses already struggling with sky high costs like electricity, will also have to deal with an additional day of penalty rates if they choose to open their doors.

Peter Malinauskas did not undertake consultation on the proposal to add an additional public holiday to the Easter period.

The change comes at a time when many hospitality venues say they’ve noticed a significant cut to their trade, as the cost of living crisis means South Australians are spending less on dining out.

Under Labor, the typical South Australian family is more than $22,000 worse off per year.

The Opposition offered up a sensible solution and sought to amend Labor’s new legislation by simply swapping the Easter Saturday public holiday to Easter Sunday.

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said Peter Malinauskas’ failure to consult on the changes means he failed to gain a true understanding of the impact they would have on small businesses.

“As South Australians are forced to tighten their belts during the cost of living crisis, small businesses are feeling the pinch and this added public holiday burden is an extra kick in the guts,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“We should be looking at ways to help small businesses thrive in South Australia, but instead Peter Malinauskas is making it even tougher for cafes, bars, and restaurants to keep the lights on and the doors open.

“We’ve already seen a number of South Australian hospitality venues go under due to skyrocketing costs and small business are crying out for support.

“If venues are left with no choice but to close over Easter because it’s too expensive to operate it’s a lose-lose situation, as small businesses miss out on trade and employees the opportunity to earn.”