THIRTY new jobs have been promised to the Clarence Valley in an announcement made yesterday by NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and Roads Minister Duncan Gay.
Mr Stoner said Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) would start advertising a number of jobs, including surveillance officers, engineers and project managers, to fill roles on a number of local road projects.
"This is about the NSW Government providing jobs where they are needed," Mr Stoner.
"While there has understandably been resentment in the community in regards to the downsizing of Grafton Jail, I am confident that due to the government's actions, Grafton will come out ahead on jobs."
But with many in the community still hurting following the loss of 107 jobs earlier this month, Clarence Valley Community Unions spokesman Tony King said the timing of the announcement looked to be part of a sweetener deal by the State Government.
"While any increase in jobs is certainly welcomed, it should not be at the expense of jail jobs," Mr King said.
"These new jobs will never replace the hurt and damage done to workers and their families who have lost their jobs. There will still be people uprooted and torn from the community," he said.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis also welcomed the announcement.
"The local community has taken some hits in recent times, so it's important we have a State Government that is listening to us and doing everything it can to bolster the local economy," Mr Gulaptis said. "I welcome the Deputy Premier's commitment to creating and providing local jobs."