Big change confirmed for public holiday in Victoria

The Queen’s Birthday will now be known as King’s Birthday in Victoria, but the public holiday will retain its traditional date of the second Monday in June each year.

It comes after King Charles III was declared as Australia’s new head of state by Victoria on Monday following Queen Elizabeth’s II death last week.

The state government confirmed the change to the public holiday in a statement, saying no administrative action was required.

“The public holiday to mark the Sovereign‘s birthday on the second Monday in June will now be known as the King’s Birthday. No administrative changes are required for this,” it said.

Camera IconSliders also plunge into a freezing ice bath at the MCG each year to raise money and awareness for FightMND. Michael Klein Credit: News Corp Australia

The public holiday is a fixture on the Victorian calendar, as it is when the Collingwood/Melbourne AFL blockbuster and Big Freeze event for FightMND take place at the MCG.

The state government also released further information on the National Day of Mourning public holiday on Thursday, September 22.

“The day will be a normal trading day, which is consistent with the grand final Friday, Boxing Day and many other public holidays,” it said.

“These details will be confirmed through the government’s gazette process.

“Employers and employees seeking information about their rights and responsibilities regarding public holidays should seek advice from their business organisations or relevant unions.”

NED-4878 Queen What Happens Now

It means Victorians will get a four-day long weekend, as Friday, September 23, is also a public holiday for the AFL grand final.

But many parents, schools and businesses have been scrambling since the public holiday was announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Employers will have to pay public holiday rates to their employees, while essential services workers with children are trying to figure out what they will do now that schools are closed for the day.

Camera IconThere are fears about what an unexpected public holiday could mean for Australia’s struggling health system. NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui Credit: News Corp Australia

Melbourne-based ENT specialist Dr Eric Levi said there were other ways to honour the Queen that would not put the healthcare system under the pump.

“We don’t need another public holiday. We can honour a person in a hundred other ways,” he said.

“We want to continue to work to deliver medical care to people who are booked to receive them. Health care is so overstretched right now that cancelling and reshuffling creates a ripple of mess.

“Imagine if your chemotherapy was meant to be delivered that day and now there are not enough doctors and nurses in the clinic, as they have to be home with their kids because schools and childcare is closed.

“Imagine if your C-section was booked for that day. Now it has to be postponed as elective theatres are closed due to no budget for staff public holiday award rate.”

Camera IconVictorian parliament will swear allegiance to King Charles III on Tuesday. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

Both houses of state parliament will sit on Tuesday so that members of the assembly and council can be sworn in by oath or affirmation.

The state is the only one in Australia to require the process following a predecessor’s death before parliamentary proceedings can continue.

Victorian parliament will be unable to resume until each MP has sworn allegiance to King Charles III.

A condolence motion will then be moved before parliament adjourns for one week as a mark of respect.

It will return to sit on September 20 and 21.

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