Question: Public Holidays

21 February, 2023

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:42): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Industrial Relations regarding public holidays.

Leave granted.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Wortley! Continue, please, deputy.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: 

The SDA launched their campaign on Sunday to have Easter Sunday declared as an additional public holiday. They are urging the Malinauskas government to use declaration powers rather than waiting for legislation to make Easter Sunday a public holiday in 2023. My questions for the minister are:

1. The government has ruled out this year, but the business community would like to know whether the minister will rule it out for future years.

2. If the Labor government makes Easter Sunday a public holiday in the future, will the government—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Girolamo and the Hon. Mr Wortley!

The Hon. J.S. LEE:

 —remove the Easter Monday public holiday or another public holiday to ensure that businesses do not suffer and, if so, which public holiday will the minister remove?

3. Will the minister please provide some clarity to the community on this matter?


The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:43): 

I thank the honourable member for her question and for directing it to a minister in this chamber. It is a remarkable achievement for the Liberal Party.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I can't hear the Attorney.

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: 

Notwithstanding that, there has been a YourSAy process to get community feedback about the public holidays in South Australia and that has just closed. The government will be considering those. I understand what the honourable Deputy Leader of the Opposition would like a government to do—and that was mainly the modus operandi of the former government—is to not even consider consultation and to go in and just make decisions without regard for what the people of South Australia have said. We saw that time and time again. We saw that with land tax, we saw that with shop trading hours. We saw it over and over again. We have a different way—

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: The YourSAy process is now closed. We will take into account what South Australians think—

An honourable member interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: —and, in due course, come to a view and then consult further. We think that's a responsible way and we don't care if the opposition prefer us not to consult: we are going to do that.