Loss of Holiday Causes Local Economic Downturn

Jenny Hill

The loss of the May Day Holiday after the Groovin the Moo weekend is making it harder for local businesses.

By Sandra Haaland and Cornelia Koppang Henriksen

DISCUSSING ECONOMY: Mayor Jenny Hill and Councillors Suzanne Blom and Jenny Lane visited the radio studio at JCU to discus how Groovin the Moo affects the local economy. PHOTO: Cornelia Koppang Henriksen

DISCUSSING ECONOMY: Mayor Jenny Hill and Councillors Suzanne Blom and Jenny Lane visited the radio studio at JCU to discus how Groovin the Moo affects the local economy. PHOTO: Cornelia Koppang Henriksen

 

The lack of a public holiday following the popular festival ‘Groovin the Moo’ is expected to result in a smaller economic profit for local businesses in the Townsville region.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill says that because the government moved the Monday public holiday last year, it has made it harder for smaller businesses and the ‘Groovin the Moo’ festival held annually on the first Sunday in May.

“This year will be interesting to see what will happen in turns of the full effect of missing the May Day holiday because people used to stay the extra night to the Monday and stay an extra day in the city before going home,” Hill says.

The main issue surrounding the loss of the holiday is the survival of ‘Groovin the Moo’  in Townsville and the extra money it generates for local businesses.

The manager at Banjo Paterson Motor Inn & Restaurant, Chrissy Lee, says the loss of the extra holiday is bad for her business.

“Normally people would book rooms for Saturday and Sunday night, but this year they are only staying one night,” Lee says.

“We will lose close to 5 000 dollars the Groovin the Moo weekend because of the holiday removal.”

Lee says that the festival should change from Sunday to Saturday, or get the May day holiday back to prevent the local economy to drop

Townsville City Council member and Community and Culture Committee chair Suzanne Blom says businesses need to make sure that they are competitive and that what they offer is as good as their competitors.

“Hopefully our accommodation businesses will put packages together for the people to encourage them to use their facilities,” Blom says.

“We hope that our small businesses that sell merchandises will advertise for our city.”

Mayor Hill says the festival has given the economy a great boost over the past six years and hopes to continue the partnership into the future.

People travel from other regional cities such as Mackay and Cairns for the weekend.

“About half of the attendance from Groovin the Moo do not live in the city,” Hill says.

In Townsville the festival can hold up to 12 000 attendants which has come close to selling out in the past couple of years.

“Groovin the Moo is a great event, and it is designed for regional cities,” Hill says.

“The ticket sale in Townsville is a bit slower than it should be this year, and I think they have sold out almost everywhere else.”

JCNN was not able to get in touch with Groovin the Moo organizers for comments on the matter.

 

 

Podcast produced by: Sydney Nolan, Sandra Haaland, Kyla Whitmore and Cornelia Koppang Henriksen