THE Public Service Association yesterday announced 11 more jobs at the Grafton Transient and Intake Centre.
And Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis flagged the possibility of the former jail returning to full operations.
He joined the call from unions, Magistrate David Heilpern and the Aboriginal Legal Service to turn it into a remand centre - an improvement on a transient centre.
Though he could not be contacted to expand on his comments, he issued this statement on Wednesday night in response to questioning from The Daily Examiner: "I am fighting to ensure the facility has a long-term future as a remand centre, with the possibility of it returning as a fully-operational correctional centre".
The quote is consistent with rumours from prison officer sources that the restructure was part of a grand plan to rid the facility of staff the department considered "dead wood".
PSA assistant general secretary Shane O'Brien said the union managed to increase the planned staffing levels of the facility from 23 custodial staff and five non-custodial staff to 34 custodial and five non-custodial.
"The original staff plan was drawn up by someone who was so far from a jail facility it's not funny," Mr O'Brien said. "It just wasn't going to work."
He supported calls to bring the centre back up to a remand centre to cater for the families of prisoners in the north of NSW.
This would be cost-effective and would better address social and welfare issues of prisoners.
"If you believe in rehabilitation and I think we all have to, we must try to facilitate that," he said.
On Wednesday The Examiner asked Corrective Services NSW if it would consider turning the centre into a long-term remand centre.
"Inmates will be located at Grafton for regional court appearances and for the duration of trials," came the response yesterday. This is effectively a No to our question.
The spokesperson said the further 11 jobs announced followed "a detailed risk analysis".
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