News

Street closure to send message

Absolute solidarity: Clarence Valley politicians turned out to a rally in Market Square on Saturday to show their support for local Telstra workers who may lose their jobs this week.
Absolute solidarity: Clarence Valley politicians turned out to a rally in Market Square on Saturday to show their support for local Telstra workers who may lose their jobs this week.

PRINCE Street traders will close their doors at 11am today in an act of Grafton solidarity.

The decision to take this drastic action was made to send a final message to Telstra that it must keep its Grafton call centre open.

Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe said closing down Prince Street today was another very public way of showing Telstra it was making a bad decision.

It follows a mass rally at Market Square on Saturday in which hundreds of people turned out to show their support for the Telstra workers whose jobs are hanging by a thread.

Mr Challacombe said the Grafton Chamber of Commerce spent most of Saturday approaching all the businesses in Prince Street seeking their support – and he wasn't disappointed.

He said today's closure of the main street was an indication of strong support of the call centre's retention and would help reinforce the community's message to Telstra that it was not okay to axe regional jobs.

“If the closure of the call centre goes ahead, the multiplier effect will see even more than the 108 jobs go – that's a real concern,” Mr Challacombe said.

“Tomorrow's street closure is a show of force. We as a community will not allow this to be done to us and just walk away from it.”

Mr Challacombe said after the shops on Prince Street closed at 11am, protesters would make their way to the intersection of Prince and Fitzroy streets where the march would begin.

He said the marchers would make their way north down Prince Street toward the Clocktower, then back again to where they began.

The public is being encouraged to join the marchers.

Mr Challacombe said Telstra was expected to make a decision on the closure tomorrow and today was probably the public's last chance to have their say.

Today's march follows Saturday's Market Square rally which united Telstra workers, union officials, politicians and the general public to try to stop the call centre's closure.

The crowd heard from several speakers including four local Telstra workers.

Community and Public Sector Union assistant national secretary Louise Persse travelled from Melbourne to attend the rally.




From accounting to empowering people with the new age

Katie Gasson at the Psychic Channeling and Healing Festival at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club.

Katie Gasson talks about how she found the new age.

Where will 2016 sit in July Carnival history?

Hong Kong based owner Patrick Fu and his son bring back Ramornie Handicap winner Smart Volatility back to scale.

We look back at the big moments of the 2016 July Racing Carnival

Latest deals and offers

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

Aussie director makes his mark on new Roots mini-series

Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte in a scene from the TV series Roots.

BRUCE Beresford behind final episode of remake of iconic series.

Wham bam, thank you TAM

Regional TAM is increasing its audience measurement services by 50%.

Regional television viewers finally getting the credit we deserve

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started