News

A uni may come to town

Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager Des Schroder.
Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager Des Schroder.

AT A meeting of minds yesterday morning, business brains were told "watch this space" in relation to university interest in the Clarence Valley.

The Grafton Chamber of Commerce held its regular business breakfast, but as a result of the recent downsizing of Grafton Jail and increased community concern about the economy, it was "bigger than Ben-Hur," according to chamber president Jeremy Challacombe.

"We're pleased the government is looking at additional jobs.

"But this is the most recent closure to happen over 40 years."

He said the community could do nothing, but he'd never seen it so upset and said we needed to move forward.

"Why have we lost so many jobs? Is there something we can put our finger on?"

Mr Challacombe, who is a producer, said he felt agriculture and timber were some potential areas of improvement and should be considered in a 20-year plan.

The Daily Examiner shared its idea for a campaign called Our Time Now and suggested a forthcoming community forum gather some of the best business brains, community organisations and interested parties in town for a workshop and also said it would be doing everything in its power to keep the politicians accountable for the job replacement promises.

The issue of academic presence in town was also raised as a possible pipe dream and a university presence will be in the new Grafton Library.

Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager Des Schroder said he couldn't say too much at this stage but things on the university front "were happening" and there may be some news "early next year".

Mr Challacombe's ears pricked up at the suggestion.

"My father was one of the committee that didn't want any of those long-haired people here back then," he said ruing the missed opportunity.

Local member Chris Gulaptis said the jobs promised by state government wouldn't be a replacement for those lost at the Grafton Jail but "jobs that are long overdue".

He said he'd been talking to the minister about the Pacific Hwy and had asked for any "shovel ready" part to be given priority.

"We need to look at investment in the private sector," he said.

"The infrastructure fund and trade and investment program is about growing jobs."

He said agriculture, the highway and timber industry were "what's happening in the Clarence right now."

Agricultural research stations, the benefits of NBN and concerns over coal seam gas and the diversion of the Valley's water into the Murray-Darling were all issues raised at the business breakfast.

Mr Challacombe said the chamber would have an executive meeting in a couple of weeks before drafting a plan.

 

Do you have big ideas for the Valley? Email jenna.cairney @dailyexaminer.com.au.

Topics:  chamber of commerce, jeremy challacombe




Spiritual Matters: Prayer's power a surprise for some

Ecumenical Prayers for Peace at St Patrick's Cathedral for victims of  MH 17 crash. Candles were lit on behalf of community leaders, each cnadle representing a different nationality.   Photo:  Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

To a modern society, it must seem like an admission of failure

Ghosts reignite finals charge against Panthers

Grafton Ghosts' captain Ben McLennan claws for meters against the Sawtell Panthers during the Grafton Ghosts and Coffs Harbour Comets Group 2 minor semi-final at Frank McGuren Field.

Ghosts dominant in 2016 home ground farewell game.

125th birthday draws crowd to Tucabia

Ex-Tucabia Public School students Betty Freeman, Marie and Jack Preston and Joyce Tarrant at the schools 125th birthday celebration on Saturday.

The old and young celebrate Tucabia's 125th birthday.

Latest deals and offers

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m