Everything You Need to Know About Australia’s One-off Public Holiday for the Queen

Everything You Need to Know About Australia’s One-off Public Holiday for the Queen

Australia is getting another public holiday this year. It has been announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese that Australia will hold a National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, and this date, September 22, will be observed as a public holiday.

If the announcement has left you with a long list of questions, you’re certainly not alone. Here’s a quick explainer to help fill in any blanks you might have.

Why do we get a public holiday for the Queen’s death?

As mentioned, Albanese announced that Australia would hold a National Day of Mourning on September 22. This event will coincide with the National Memorial Service for Queen Elizabeth II in Canberra at Parliament House. At 11:00 am, folks will be invited to observe one minute’s silence.

When announcing the public holiday, Albanese shared that the date was a chance “to allow people to pay their respects for the passing of Queen Elizabeth”.

“I spoke to all premiers and chief ministers yesterday and I’m writing to them formally this morning, they will have received their letters by now. They have all agreed that it’s appropriate that it be a one-off national public holiday,” he said in a statement.

Obviously, not everyone will be taking the date to mourn. But it will be a nationwide public holiday. It will fall three days after the official funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

In addition to the public holiday, parliament was also suspended following the Queen’s death. Albanese, however, has pledged to make up the four sitting days lost, stating that sometimes tradition can be “inconvenient”.

Will this public holiday run annually now?

Nope. Per the statement given by the Prime Minister (shared above) this public holiday in honour of the death of Queen Elizabeth II is a one-off event.

For those in Victoria, it means that the week commencing September 19th will have two public holidays, one for Queen Elizabeth and another for Grand Final Friday.

How has the announcement been received?

While there are sure to be many who are glad for an extra day off work, the news of a new public holiday created because of the Queen’s death has been met with mixed reactions.

For some, an unexpected day off work means an unplanned day without pay, and certain businesses will now need to contest with increased staffing costs for the date.

“There will also be a small but unexpected loss of trade, and additional staffing costs, which may impact cashflows for small businesses,” the chief executive of the ARA, Paul Zahra, told The Guardian.

Then, of course, there are many who are hurt by the relative ease with which this date of memorial was actioned while a nationally-recognised date of mourning for First Nations peoples has not yet formally come.

If you’d like to read on about the upcoming public holiday date, there is a series of FAQs available here.

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