Coffs Cup Day – Have Your Say

4 years ago | by

Horse racing

Coffs Harbour City Council is seeking the community’s views on the Coffs Cup part day public holiday to help gauge interest in continuing to apply to NSW State Government for further public holidays in 2020 and 2021.

Since 1971, Council has applied for, and been granted, a half day public holiday by the NSW Government for the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup. This event is hosted by the Coffs Harbour Racing Club and is held annually on the first Thursday in August. Since 2013, Council has applied for a part day Public Holiday, rather than a half day. This means the annual public holiday begins at 12 noon and finishes at 5:30pm.

“Council is required to apply to the NSW Government to continue having a local public holiday for the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area declared under the Public Holidays Act 2010,” said Lisa Garden, Council’s Group Leader Governance Services. “As part of this application process, Council considers the impacts on businesses, local communities, schools and the transport of school students.

“Coffs Cup Day is a popular event, but we’re aware that it can impact schools and parents as local bus companies do not provide transport for students. To help Council present a clear picture of the benefits and concerns as we proceed through the decision process, we would welcome comment from the community.”

Under the Public Holidays Act 2010, local councils are able to apply for either a ‘local public holiday’ or a ‘local event day’.

Coffs Harbour City Council has always applied for a local public holiday, but a ‘local event day’ would not automatically mean that businesses must treat the day as a public holiday.

The survey is now open and the community is invited to put in submissions until Wednesday, September 25 2019.

Submissions can either be provided through Council’s ‘Have Your Say’ website –, via email, or by post to Locked Bag 155, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450.

Differences between a Local Public Holiday and a Local Event Day Explained:

A Local Public Holiday

Where a local public holiday is declared by the Minister, a bank located in the designated holiday area will be required to close during the declared public holiday hours unless the bank is exempted. Shops located within the designated holiday area are free to open without restriction.


All employees irrespective of their former entitlements and whose place of work is within a local public holiday area will be entitled to be absent from work for the day or part day declared to be a public holiday. In addition, employees who work on the day or part day may have an entitlement to penalty rates under a relevant award or enterprise agreement.

 A Local Event Day

The Minister may also declare a local event day or part day at the request of a local council. The Minister must be satisfied that the day or part day is, and will be observed as, a day of special significance to the community in the area concerned.

A local event day or part day does not preclude banks or shops located within the designated holiday area from opening or trading on the day.


A local event day does not automatically mean that employers in the particular locality are compelled to treat the day as a public holiday. Entitlements to paid leave or penalty rates on a local event day will only arise where agreed to at the workplace level, usually in the form of an enterprise agreement or by contract.

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