The Palaszczuk Government has introduced legislation to establish a part-day public holiday for six hours from 6pm on Christmas Eve, starting this year.
“The night before Christmas is as important to families as the day itself,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said
“It’s a very special time for family and friends as well as communities and churches to come together.
“Many Queenslanders though, do have to work Christmas Eve and the change would ensure proper compensation for them,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the proposal had attracted strong community support during public consultation.
“Of the 1779 submissions received during the public consultation period, 1271 or 71 per cent were in favour of creating the public holiday,” Ms Grace said.
“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.
“The Palaszczuk Governments strongly agrees with them. The night before Christmas is as important to families as the day itself.
“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.”
Ms Grace said 508 submissions or 29 per cent of the total received opposed the proposal.
Queensland will be the third Australian jurisdiction to implement a Christmas Eve part day public holiday, following similar moves by South Australia and the Northern Territory.