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South Australia Excludes ‘Christmas’ and ‘Australia Day’ From Public Holiday Legislation

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The legislation has declared Easter Sunday as a public holiday and increased the total number of public holidays in South Australia from 11 to 12.

The South Australian government has not included Christmas Day, Australia Day, ANZAC Day, and Proclamation Day in the new public holiday legislation.

The main goal of the legislation is to declare Easter Sunday as a public holiday and increase the total number of public holidays in South Australia from 11 to 12.

The Public Holidays Bill 2023 (pdf) mentions Dec. 25, Dec. 26, Jan. 1, Jan. 26, and April 25 without specifying the names for these public holidays. Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday are named.
The legislation repeals the Holidays Act 1910 (pdf), which references Christmas, ANZAC Day, Proclamation Day, and Australia Day.

Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey moved an amendment to include the names of New Year’s Day, Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Christmas Day, and Proclamation Day among other public holiday names into the legislation.

Debate in Parliament


Mr. Cowdrey stated in the Parliament that “the opposition is moving a series of amendments to essentially give rise to the name of the particular public holiday with the date of the public holiday.”

Mr. Cowdrey also made an amendment seeking to ensure that a proclamation cannot be made to declare a different day to be a public holiday in the year instead of Australia Day without a resolution passed by both houses of parliament.

Ten members of parliament voted for the amendment, while 22 voted against it in the South Australian House of Assembly.

In the Upper House of Parliament, the Opposition also attempted to move amendments (pdf) to insert New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Adelaide Cup, ANZAC Day, and the sovereign’s birthday into the legislation.

However, this attempt was also defeated by three votes in the South Australian Legislative Council.



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