Western Australia set for a new Easter public holiday following Labor’s landslide election win


WA Premier Mark McGowan.

Small businesses in Western Australia can expect to pay their workers public holiday rates from next year, following the Labor government’s landslide win of the state election.

The ABC’s election analyst Antony Green called the state’s election within a record 45 minutes after the polls had closed on Saturday.

In the new state parliament, Labor will hold 53 of the 59 seats, leaving two to Liberal ministers and four regional seats to members of the Nationals, making the Nationals the opposition.

As part of Labor’s election promises, Premier Mark McGowan pledged to make Easter Sunday a public holiday. Currently, the state only recognises Easter Friday and Monday as public holidays.

If Labor follows through on its promise and amends the Public and Bank Holidays Act, employees who work on Easter Sunday will have their pay increased from the ordinary Sunday rate to a public holiday penalty rate.

Western Australia Minister for Industrial Relations Bill Johnston said the extra public holiday would benefit shift workers.

“An Easter Sunday public holiday will ensure shift workers who need to work on Easter Sunday are paid fairly,” Johnston said.

“It will also ensure hardworking Western Australians have more time to spend with their families and friends.”

It is not the first time Labor has tried to establish the additional public holiday over the Easter period. In 2018, Premier McGowan first raised the idea, but it was not established in time before the parliamentary term ended.

Most states and territories recognise four public holidays between Easter Friday and Easter Monday, including the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

South Australia and the Northern Territory observe Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday.

Easter Friday and Monday are the only public holidays over the Easter period in Tasmania.

Among Labor’s other election promises is a $100 million program to attract new investment into local manufacturing and new technology projects.

Labor also pledged $20 million towards the Collie Industry Attraction Fund to help diversify the local industry and create new jobs, and pledged $15 million for local manufacturers to build iron ore rail wagon parts and develop innovative manufacturing techniques.

Labor has committed to create 125,000 new jobs over the next five years.


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