Albanese indicates Matildas public holiday increasingly likely

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has indicated a public holiday is increasingly likely if the Matildas win the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Albanese was in Brisbane to witness Australia’s stunning quarter-final victory over France last night and before kick-off he had more praise for a side that is “inspiring an entire nation”.

After last week flagging a national day of celebration should the Matildas lift the trophy on August 20, the prime minister was not retreating ahead of the nail-biter against France that sees Australia now in a World Cup semi-final for the first time.

“I do not that there were concerns expressed when we had a public holiday for the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II and some said that that was something that would cause economic disruption,” Albanese told the media on Saturday before the Matildas game.

“What that did, of course, was increase economic activity in a whole lot of businesses, particularly small businesses, and it actually benefited a whole range of those businesses.”

He reiterated the decision would ultimately be for state and territory governments to make, although last week he stoked hopes of a public holiday when he said individual jurisdictions would “fold like tents” when presented with the argument.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has supported Albanese’s proposal.


“We’d love to back the Matildas with a public holiday,” he said, in a statement read on-air by 2GB host Ben Fordham.

“We’d work with the other states and the Commonwealth to get the right date.

“It’s going to be raised at National Cabinet next week. In the meantime, we’ll get behind the Matildas for the next two games.”

With the date for the grand final a Sunday, it’s not known what the public holiday would be.

But there is some opposition to the notion.

Vaucluse MP and NSW shadow environment minister Kellie Sloane said it would be an unfair burden on business owners.

“It’s populist politics, and it’s damaging to the economy,” she said.

She said she would be supporting the Matildas regardless.

“I can celebrate and still go to work the next day,” she said.