Half-day holiday for Norco National scrapped

LISMORE residents who traditionally look forward to a half-day holiday on the Thursday of the North Coast National will miss out this year because the show society decided to withdraw its application.

In order to get a holiday approved, the show society applies to the local council, which then applies to the State Government on its behalf.

Lismore Show Society Secretary, Janelle Hancock, said the application had been approved, but several months ago the society decided to cancel it because of concerns from schools and the business community.

“There were several reasons,” Ms Hancock said.

“One is that public school teachers get the half-day holiday, but the bus companies aren't all able to change their schedules. Someone still has to look after the children, so there is a safety issue.

“The schools issue was the main problem, and we've had letters from schools in the past few years asking us to rethink, and this year we thought we'd give it a try and see how we go.”

Lismore Chamber of Commerce President Mark Willoughby told the show society a half-day holiday would cost businesses money.

“For businesses to stay open on a public holiday they have to pay penalty rates. Around show time there is a small increase in the number of people in town, but the gain (in business) is more than offset by paying staff penalty rates,” he said.

Ms Hancock said the show society hadn't been inundated with complaints about the loss of the holiday.

“The schools issue was the main problem.”

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