Public holidays on the third State of Origin match and International Women’s Day are being placed on the table by the Greens as they seek to win at least one seat in the Queensland Parliament.
The Greens have promised to gazette four extra public holidays a year if the party wields some power in the next parliament.
It comes a day after the party announced adults would only pay $1 for public transport journeys under its transport policy.
A National Parks holiday would be one of the four proposed by the party, as well as a day of significance for First Nations communities.
Greens Maiwar candidate Michael Berkman said Queenslanders deserved a break.
“Four extra public holidays would mean millions of Queensland workers get a chance for a day off,” Mr Berkman said.
“Every day Queenslanders are working longer and harder while wages are stagnant and corporate profits soar.”
There are currently 12 public holidays a year in Queensland. Most other states also have 12, except for Victoria which has 13.
“This is not just about an extra barbecue or trip to the beach,” Mr Berkman said.
“This is about ensuring everyone can enjoy more time with loved ones, volunteering or building community.
“Australian workers won the five-day working week and the eight-hour day. Since the 1970s, we’ve gone backwards.”
He said the Greens would consult widely on the extra holidays.
“At least one would fall between the Queen’s Birthday in early October and Christmas Day, December 25 where there are currently no public holidays at all,” Mr Berkman said.
‘More loopy policies from a loopy party’
Labor’s Cameron Dick said the party had no intention of matching the Greens’ promise.
“The Greens are entitled as a party to promise these sorts of issues (but) I’m not sure it’s something that Queenslanders are looking for,” said Mr Dick.
“I’ve not heard people talking about the need for more public holidays, I’m not sure it’s something Queenslanders will want.”
LNP leader Tim Nicholls said the Greens policies made no sense.
“More loopy policies from a loopy party that’s not going to deliver any economic benefit,” he said.
“None of it stacks up … and I’m sure Queenslanders will see through it.”
‘Bit of a thought bubble’
Chamber of Commerce Queensland spokeswoman Kate Whittle said that from an economic perspective it was “a bit of a thought bubble from the Queensland Greens”.
“I think it is a populist announcement,” she said.
“We know that the … private sector bares the brunt of these kinds of announcements, particularly with penalty loadings being quite expensive on these kind of public holidays.
“Unfortunately it is small and medium enterprises that bare the brunt of these kind of thought bubbles.”
She said each public holiday had a near $60 million economic impact for the hospitality, retail and accommodation sectors.
Ms Whittle said in 2015-2016 for Queensland’s total economic output was round $320 billion, which was $880 million per day, so an additional four public holidays per year would have about a billion-dollar economic impact on Queensland’s economy.
“We simply can’t afford that,” she said.
“Business unfortunately tend to close their doors or reduce operating hours on public holidays as well because penalty loadings are so excessive.
“Everybody loves a good public holiday — it is the Australian way — but unfortunately it is small and medium enterprises that pay those penalty loadings … it is just too expensive for them to put workers on on that day.”