News

Mayor locked in Grafton jail battle

OPEN UP: Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson and Grafton Jail assistant superintendent Damien Carter.
OPEN UP: Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson and Grafton Jail assistant superintendent Damien Carter.

THE Clarence Valley community needs to show the NSW Government it is still angry about the downsizing of the Grafton Jail and the effect it has had on the region's economy.

Mayor Richie Williamson said the economic impact had played a part in him sending a missive to NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard, reminding him the jail was a viable option for dealing with the growth in prisoner numbers in the state.

The letter was sent to Mr Hazzard - almost coinciding with the second anniversary of the downsizing - with the backing of Clarence Valley Council, after Cr Williamson presented a Mayoral Minute to the meeting on Tuesday.

"I would encourage every-one to get in contact with the Attorney-General's office to remind him the Grafton Correctional Centre is important to our economy," the mayor said.

"Reopening the jail would be an investment in our economy and bring back the confidence those sort of economic benefits bring with them."

Cr Williamson quoted Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures from May that showed the state's prison population had reached a record 10,917 this year and was on track to top 12,500 by March next year.

Cr Williamson also reminded the Attorney-General of the views of Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin when addressing the Select Committee on the Closure or Downsizing of Corrective Services NSW Facilities last year.

He said Grafton remained a useful facility to house minimum security prisoners that could be reopened quickly at "little expenditure".

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis would also like to keep up the pressure on the government.

He has also written to the Attorney-General, calling on him to restore the jail's operational capacity.

He said Grafton's tradition as a "jail town" was an advantage as the community would welcome the jail reopening.

"The community has tried to remain upbeat and move forward despite the impact this decision had on them on various levels," he said.

"I know they would join with me in applauding any decision to re-open the Grafton facility."

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice said he was aware of both letters.

"In due course the minister will respond appropriately to the mayor's letter, which was only received yesterday," she said.

"The minister is aware of the interest expressed by local MP Chris Gulaptis and the council in the future of Grafton Correctional Centre.

"As correctional numbers vary, as they always do, Corrective Services NSW will consider the need for appropriate levels of bed numbers and prisons.

"In that process the local community's views will be factored in, but obviously there are a host of issues which come into decision-making about opening and closing prisons, including the varying demands, levels of security required etc."

Topics:  chris gulaptis clarence valley council grafton grafton jail richie williamson



A fur go for this local icon

Bright sparks help panicked koala up a power pole

Scammers strike more often than hackers: IT specialist

SCAM ALERT: Australia Post published this fake email on its website on January, 11, 2017, warning people its a scam and not to click or past the link into your internet browser. 'Delete the email immediately'.

"Everything locks up; then a ransom note comes up."

Eight saved in mass rescue at Pippi Beach

Red and yellow beach flag at Mooloolaba Beach. Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily

Lifeguards performed "impressive" rescue Tuesday morning

Local Partners

Baird will be 'sorely missed'

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis says the Clarence Valley has benefited from Mike Baird's time as Premier.


5 things to do this weekend

Lower Clarence Relay for Life Swim

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Artist program to link to gallery theme

VALUABLE STINT: Indigenous artist Karla Dickens at work in Grafton Regional Gallery's studio during her 2010 artist's residency.

Gallery encouraging indigenous artists to take up residency offer

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Rates safe from land value hike

DRIVING GROWTH: The Pacific Highway upgrade has been linked to improved land values.

Figures up in latest valuer-general report

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!