Gulaptis contradicts own words on issue of jail job losses

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis speaks to the crowd. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis speaks to the crowd. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

DESPITE being told on June 20 "about 90 jobs" would go in the Grafton Jail closure, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis has consistently denied he knew the extent of the losses.

His denials came into question last week when he gave evidence to the committee investigating the Corrective Services NSW job slashings.

Two days before giving that evidence, Mr Gulaptis repeated his claim that he did not know about the jail "closure" to The Daily Examiner.

"On Wednesday, 20 June, I was asked to go to the minister's office. This was my second meeting with the minister and his chief of staff," he said in front of the committee on November 23.

"I was advised that the restructure would be some- what more severe than initially suggested and that Grafton jail would be downsized to a remand centre.

"When I asked what that meant with regard to job losses I was told that it would mean the loss of about 90 jobs at the facility.

"I asked how many jobs would remain and I was advised that there would be about 30 jobs. I was shell-shocked at the news and wanted to know how we could go from 30 job losses to 90 job losses."

However in an interview with The DEX last week, Mr Gulaptis said his actions after the jail announcement were because he hadn't been prepared for the extent of the cuts, saying: "it hadn't been job losses but a closure".

In an interview on June 28, Mr Gulaptis also denied the jail would be "closed" and instead said it would be a restructure.

"Essentially we can mince words and the minister is going to say it's not a closure, it's a remand centre," he said.

"I'm not mincing words and playing semantics, with that level of loss it's essentially a closure. I don't feel like I've misled anyone and I was trying to work with the Government to minimise the impacts."

He also said it was the minister who told him the numbers, but it was the commissioner who would make the announcement.

"The numbers were never definitive until they made the announcement."

Mr Gulaptis said he had come under heavy criticism but he felt it unjust the unions had remained unscathed, despite them knowing the extent.

"It seems that everyone knows everything about it except the local member and I think that it's certainly your right to have opinions but they don't necessarily reflect the facts."

Topics:  chris gulaptis grafton jail

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