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Vic Labor defends 'fantastic' AFL holiday

AAP logoAAP 22/09/2016

The Victorian government has defended having a public holiday on AFL grand final eve after businesses said it was costing them money.

A Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey suggests 87 per cent of businesses don't support the new public holiday mostly because they have to pay staff penalty rates.

The state opposition says the results prove the holiday is hurting part-time employees who risk having their hours cut.

But the government insists the holiday is "here to stay".

"Grand final Friday last year was a great success - it was fantastic," Acting Premier Jacinta Allan told reporters on Thursday.

The Labor minister said there was a "massive increase" in the number of people visiting regional Victoria and, conversely, coming to Melbourne for the weekend.

"That's the real value of grand final Friday - it gives hard-working Victorians the opportunity to take a break and have a special day."

Friday September 30 will be the second AFL grand final eve public holiday in Victoria.

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