Anthony Albanese is forced to drop calls for a bank holiday if the Matildas win the World Cup after widespread backlash across Australia
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Anthony Albanese has dropped his plan to hold a national cabinet holiday if the Matildas win the FIFA Women’s World Cup after state leaders suggested the prime minister cool it down.
South Australian Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas has repeatedly warned he does not want to jinx the team ahead of Wednesday night’s clash with England.
Speaking to ABC National Radio, the state’s Labor leader said he would rather invest the $18million holiday prize money in women’s sports facilities.
“I don’t want to be superstitious about tonight’s result, but what I think, whatever the result, is massive investment in facilities for women in grassroots sports,” he said. declared.
Victoria’s Daniel Andrews and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk have both avoided questions in recent days, preferring a wait-and-see approach.
Anthony Albanese is forced to drop his calls for a holiday if the Matildas win
State premiers have declined to back the idea of a Matildas holiday in recent days
Mr Albanese has championed the idea of a day off since it was first presented to him in a podcast interview with youth outlet The Daily Aus in June.
But after backlash from business groups over the cost of extra wages and resistance from some heads of state, he changed his tune on Wednesday morning ahead of the national cabinet meeting.
“We’re not really going to discuss it today. We’re discussing housing and other issues,” he told Triple M Hobart.
“It’s up to the states and territories to decide what they do.”
Mr Albanese also dismissed criticism that a public holiday would have a negative impact on small businesses.
“When the bank holiday was for Queen’s Remembrance Day, what happened was that a whole range of small businesses became gangbusters on that day,” he added.
“The contribution to the economy of this World Cup has been extraordinary, and tonight clubs and pubs across Australia will be full, as well as live venues, and the contribution that has been made must not be underestimated.”
Later, Mr Albanese laughed off the suggestion that he had brought bad juju to the team by “getting noticed early” on the bank holiday call.
Mr Albanese has championed the idea of a day off since it was suggested in June
“Look, I was asked very early on before they even made the knockout stages…I said, ‘Yeah, I will,'” he told SEN Sydney.
“Whether the Tillies can make it or not, all Australians will be cheering for them tonight.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has flatly ruled out supporting the national holiday, pledging to spend $250 million on community sports infrastructure if the Coalition returns to government.
On Monday, New South Wales Premier Chris Minns guaranteed a bank holiday within a week of the final if the Matildas were victorious.
“Not just to celebrate the win, but also to stage a massive civic celebration and allow the Matildas to celebrate with the people of Sydney in what would be an incredible, life-changing and incredible event in the history of the state,” did he declare.
But Tasmania’s premier and only Liberal leader around the national cabinet table, Jeremy Rockliff, poured cold water on the idea.
“We’re 100% behind the Matildas, but we won’t support a holiday,” he said.
“Our small businesses are often the first to sponsor and support our grassroots and elite sports. It is too much to expect them to bear this cost as well.
His own daughters were quick to roast him in a family group chat. “WTF DADDY,” one wrote, while Ruby added, “NO DADDY, WE NEED ANOTHER HOLIDAY.”
Mr Rockliff then shared the ribs on Facebook: ‘Safe to say I’m not the most popular member of the Rockliff family this morning.’