Inconsistent holidays a 'burden' on industry

Rudd Government urged to overhaul inconsistent public holidays because they are a "burden" on the trucking industry

November 2, 2009

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is calling for uniform public holidays across the country saying the differences are "unnecessary" and a "burden" on businesses and the trucking industry.

It has written to Treasurer Wayne Swan today proposing that the Productivity Commission should hold an inquiry into the cost of Australia’s inconsistent public holidays.

The calls comes as federal government departments and businesses prepare to shut down for the Family and Community Day holiday in the ACT tomorrow.

"The Family and Community Day public holiday in Canberra is just one example of the inconsistent public holidays that cause scheduling difficulties across Australia," ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says.

"During today, the trucking industry will pick up consignments bound for Canberra and our trucks will roll down the Barton and Federal highways to the national capital.

Because of the public holiday, Martyn says many products will need to be unloaded or stored on semi-trailers until they can be delivered on Wednesday.

"We then have to juggle our equipment to make sure we can keep delivering for the rest of our customers, even though we have trucks and trailers parked in Canberra doing nothing," he says.

"In short, the inconsistent public holiday means we end up double-handling goods. Our staff and equipment stand idle while there is work to be done, which reduces the efficiency of the whole transport system.

The ATA says its call for public holidays to be held on the same day nationwide is not an attempt to reduce the number of public holidays.

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