The Armidale Cup will be a part half-day public holiday in 2017.
But it comes after the Armidale Regional Council backflipped on interim general manager Glenn Wilcox’s recommendation that the council apply for a half-day Local Event Day instead.
Mr Wilcox’s business paper report said it would not impose “unwarranted costs” on the local business community.
“A half-day public holiday will have a detrimental impact on essential services such as schools, aged care providers, and other key businesses within the Armidale City boundary,” the report said.
But Council’s administrator Ian Tiley said the report was wrong and did not reflect the majority of community views.
“I was unaware of it and should have read the whole report,” Dr Tiley said.
“Regardless of what’s in the report, tomorrow I will adopt the new recommendation for a part half-day public holiday.”
The part half-day holiday will be from 12pm to 5pm on March 20, which will give workers the chance to attend the cup.
It’s a win for the Armidale Jockey Club who was left reeling after running at a loss on the 2016 cup day.
Club president Jim Dedes said if they didn't get the holiday back soon they might as well shut up shop.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall also believes the Armidale Cup should be a half-day public holiday and supports Dr Tiley’s decision.
“I’ve always thought it should be a holiday,” he said.
“It’s a great community event.
“Walcha has a half-day holiday for their race day and they make it work.
“I don’t see why Armidale can’t make it work too.”
The issue has been on public exhibition for the past month and Council received 48 public submissions with the majority in support of a holiday.
Dr Tiley will formally adopt the new recommendation in Wednesday's council meeting in Guyra.
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