PUBLIC HOLIDAY: Gatton Show Society president Katherine Raymont.
PUBLIC HOLIDAY: Gatton Show Society president Katherine Raymont. ALI KUCHEL

Is it time to change date for the show public holiday?

RESULTS from a survey published on the Gatton Star Facebook page found 55per cent of voters would prefer a public holiday to coincide with the Gatton Show instead of the Ekka.

Two community leaders have begun discussing the possible merits of a public holiday on the first day of the Gatton Show - the Friday - instead.

Presently falling on the Monday during Ekka Show week in August, the public holiday gives residents the day off from work or school so they can hypothetically spend time at the Royal Brisbane Exhibition.

But Lockyer Valley's Deputy Mayor Jason Cook wasn't convinced the August public holiday was of benefit to the area.

"Monday is the country day at the exhibition so the country people have that day off so they can go to the exhibition,” Cr Cook said.

"I don't know that it benefits our area to shut the Lockyer Valley down and go to Brisbane for the day.”

He said the subject of the date and why it fell during the Ekka and not Gatton Show had come up in conversations.

"I think it's a fair question to find out why it has historically been that way and whether it is possible to change it,” he said.

"Why not have a public holiday for the Gatton Show so people can go to that?”

Both the Laidley and Gatton shows take place across the Lockyer Valley but only the Gatton Show overlaps with a weekday.

Gatton Show Society president Katherine Raymont said she could see the pros and cons for changing the date.

Initially she worried making the Friday a public holiday and creating a three- day weekend during show time could encourage people to leave the region and miss the show altogether.

But she had since considered the benefits.

"It could work really well if we did have the Friday - it could really make the show,” Ms Raymont said.

She had raised the topic at the show meeting.

"People went a bit both ways. Some said 'definitely not' because people would go away for the weekend. But who knows what people would do.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts with the Gatton Star online.


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