ON TRACK: Punters will be able hop to enjoy a half-day holiday for the Coffs Harbour Cup after councillors voted to continue to apply for one on the biggest race day of the year for Coffs.
ON TRACK: Punters will be able hop to enjoy a half-day holiday for the Coffs Harbour Cup after councillors voted to continue to apply for one on the biggest race day of the year for Coffs. Trevor Veale

Coffs Harbour Cup half-day holiday gets back on track

A DECISION to hold a half-day holiday for the Coffs Harbour Cup ran full circle at Thursday's council meeting.

However the original recommendation of applying for a half-day holiday on the first day of August for the cup was the winning horse.

Councillor Sally Townley was the first to speak against the motion because she claimed the holiday caused disruptions, particularly for school children.

Cr Townley said on previous cup days school bus operators took students to school but did not bring them home because the holiday started at noon and ended at 5.30pm.

She flagged an amendment to trial a local event day instead of the half-day holiday, this would allow the public greater choice.

"(It will) offer flexibility. If you want to go, you can go," she said.

This amendment was voted down 5-2.

Cr Jan Strom put forward another suggestion of applying for a full-day holiday instead.

She admitted this may cause issues for catering businesses if they chose to remain open because they would face penalty-rates.

This amendment was also voted down.

Cr Paul Amos advocated the half-day holiday.

"Let's get things into perspective, it's a half day off with a year's notice," he said.

Cr Amos said the cup day was more about "community engagement" than the gambling or racing.

Coffs Harbour Racing Club CEO Russ Atkinson said between 80-90% of the club's income was raised on cup day.

The original motion for council to apply for a half-day holiday was voted for 5-2 by councillors Paul Amos, Keith Rhoades, George Cecato, Michael Adendorff and Tegan Swan.



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