August 26, 2013
South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann disputes the fact the debate over changing the Ekka Show Holiday is over … in fact, he believes the discussion has barely begun.
Mayor Kratzmann said he didn’t agree with his fellow councillor Barry Green who told a radio interviewer this week the idea had gone over “like a lead balloon”.
“I think it deserves at least a discussion. I don’t think the facts have got out fully to the people yet,” he said.
Mayor Kratzmann said he thought it would be presumptuous to assume all residents were against the idea of shifting the holiday on the basis of a “few naysayers” who spoke to councillors in the street.
He saw the holiday as an opportunity for the South Burnett.
This was one public holiday that the Council had the choice of allocating.
“Every other one is set by the Federal or State Governments,” Mayor Kratzmann said.
“Instead of seven people sitting around a table and making a decision after 20 seconds of discussion, we should have the discussion with the public, take it to the people and get some options.”
Mayor Kratzmann said in the past people valued long weekends but these days with RDOs (rostered days off) it was not as important to have Mondays off.
“We are given that day because of the Ekka, but what percentage of people would use that day to actually go to the Ekka?” he said.
“If there was one in 50 who went, I would be surprised.”
The show day could be allocated by Council to any day throughout the year.
Mayor Kratzmann said Council had never suggested the day be moved to the Wednesday of Ekka week (People’s Day).
“That would be crazy,” he said.
“I haven’t got an alternative but I have heard days suggested like Melbourne Cup Day.
“Surely as a council we could consult with the people of the South Burnett before we put our hands up.”
He would also like to talk to local businesses and Chambers of Commerce to get their opinions.
“What really gets up my nose is the 2 per cent of naysayers out there who are really negative and just want to stick it up council,” he said.
“Surely we can have a debate where Council doesn’t get abused for it?
“Council has to be above (reacting) to the noisy wheel.”
Mayor Kratzmann said he would like to conduct a straw poll about the holiday:
A. Leave it as it is
B. Shift it to Melbourne Cup Day
C. Wednesday of Ekka week (People’s Day)
D. Some other day of significance to the South Burnett