UPDATE: The half-day holiday for Albury Gold Cup will remain despite crowds being banned from attending the event.
Albury Council issued a statement on Tuesday morning saying the state government had decided the holiday would remain as gazetted.
"Albury City has been advised that the Public Holidays Act 2010 (NSW) requires that declarations be published at least seven days prior to the public holiday (s5)," it said.
"In this case, as there is not a period of seven days available until the public holiday for the Gold Cup there is no legislative capacity to rescind the public holiday declaration previously declared."
EARLIER: A business leader is calling on Albury Council to do "whatever it takes" for the Gold Cup half-day holiday to be scrapped on Friday.
The half-day holiday remains in place even though spectators won't be able to attend the race on Friday due to the spread of coronavirus.
Australian Industry Group regional manager Tim Farrah hoped council was making the strongest representations possible to the NSW Government to reverse the holiday at a time when business, in particular, small businesses were already struggling even before the coronavirus crisis escalated with bans on non-essential gatherings of 500-plus people.
"I would be really hopeful Albury Council would be pulling out all stops to have the half-day holiday overturned," he said.
"I'm sure they have contacts in all parts of the NSW government to call on to do whatever it takes to have it reversed.
"The timing is not right for businesses to be paying out half a day's wages for absolutely zero productivity for absolutely zero benefit to the community because there is no race.
"We just can't afford it at the moment and it's my opinion we can't afford it when the race is on.
"They need to pursue it all week."
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Albury Council has been contacted for comment.
It's understood there is no ability to rescind the public holiday because any change to previously declared holiday needed to be advertised for seven days.
Last year, the council backed the half-day holiday staying in 2020 and 2021 which required state government final approval.
Council, in supporting the half-day holiday extension, resolved to do "detailed consultation" with the Australian Industry Group and local business chamber when the next application had to be made.
Two councillors opposed the half-day holiday with Cr John Stuchbery critical of the community consultation carried out in support of the latest application and deputy mayor Amanda Cohn opposed to the holiday on "social harm" grounds.
Member for Albury Justin Clancy confirmed he had been notified by council about an approach it was making to the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet to clarifying whether the half-day holiday could be reversed at late notice.
Dr Clancy, who comes from a small business background as a veterinarian, said he could appreciate any concern coming from the business community.
"It is a gazetted public holiday and I would anticipate there is a level of structure behind that," he said.
"I wouldn't anticipate that is readily movable in that regard.
"I don't think there would be too much flexibility, but the question is certainly being asked."
The half-day holiday had allowed the Gold Cup meeting crowd to dramatically increase in size to beyond 12,000-plus people.
Last year's Gold Cup race meeting was abandoned due to weather. but an estimated 5000-plus were already on the course.
Racing NSW confirmed yesterday the Thursday and Friday race meetings were going ahead for industry participants only.
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