The State Government is pushing ahead with plans to make the night before Christmas a public holiday after receiving overwhelming public support.
Legislation was introduced in State Parliament today with the measure to be in place for this year’s festive season.
Under the plan, a public holiday would officially kick in at 6pm on Christmas Eve.
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Queensland will become the third state or territory to introduce it, following the path of South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Christmas Eve was just as important as Christmas itself.
“It’s a very special time for family and friends as well as communities and churches to come together,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Many Queenslanders though, do have to work Christmas Eve and the change would ensure proper compensation for them,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Government received almost 1800 submissions during the public consultation process, with 71 per cent of them in favour of the public holiday.
“We received submissions from retail workers, bus drivers, mothers and religious leaders, just to name a few, who wrote of the ever-growing importance of Christmas Eve as a special time for family and friends to come together and celebrate the season and the need to properly compensate those who were required to work,” Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said.
“Making it a public holiday will give those who have to work, like essential services staff, retail workers and shop employees, better pay for doing so.”