Association boss to work on Grand Final Eve, donate salary

Melbourne, 28 September – The Executive Director of one of Victoria’s largest employer associations will work on the AFL Grand Final Eve public holiday and donate the day’s salary to charity in support of his members. 

Geoff Gwilym, Executive Director of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), will stand by members on Friday, 2 October who are being forced to either open their businesses and pay workers double time, or close and lose productivity and income. 

“The Labor Government’s recent decision to establish a new public holiday on AFL Grand Final Eve will negatively impact thousands of Victorian businesses,” Geoff Gwilym said. 

“I am standing in support of VACC’s members and the wider business community who stand to lose thousands of dollars, whether they open or close their businesses on the Grand Final Eve public holiday. 

“For businesses that open, the new public holiday will increase member wage bills and reduce productivity at a time when most businesses simply cannot afford it,” Mr Gwilym said. 

Lost productivity on subsequent days, when employees complete the work that should have been performed on AFL Grand Final Eve, is also a considerable cost for those that choose to close on Grand Final Eve. 

Victoria now has more full-day public holidays (13) than any other Australian state or territory and the AFL Grand Final Eve and Easter Sunday public holidays are estimated to result in forgone economic value of $680-852 million for Victoria and increased wage payments of $252-286 million per annum. 

VACC directly employs 109 staff and 400 apprentices and, like thousands of other Victorian businesses, will be seriously impacted by the Andrews Government’s decision. 

“In the interests of business and of the Victorian economy I ask that Premier Andrews reconsiders his government’s decision to instigate these holidays in future,” said Mr Gwilym. 

VACC members have been encouraged to send invoices directly to Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, for costs incurred due to the AFL Grand Final Eve public holiday.

VACC is Victoria’s peak automotive industry body representing more than 5,000 small business members.

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VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym
VACC Executive Director, Geoff Gwilym, will work on Grand Final Eve in support of Victoria's small business community