Premier refuses to halt job cuts

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell Trevor Veale

NSW PREMIER Barry O'Farrell has refused to push the pause button on the decision to downsize Grafton Jail.

Yesterday morning he met with the Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, who urged the premier to overturn the decision.

However, the premier's office said there had been no change to the policy that which called for 107 jobs to be cut at the jail and that slashed prison bed numbers from about 240 to 60.

Mr Gulaptis said the premier said he would assess the information and get back to him as soon as possible.

However, In the meantime Mr Gulaptis said he would head back to the picket lines and he urged Grafton people to do the same.

"I told the premier I will be on the picket line at the jail," he said. "I would much rather have lunch alone in Parliament."

Mr Gulaptis said the decision to downsize the jail will have catastrophic consequences for the city.

"I can understand belt tightening, but this is noose tightening," he said.

"You can't just take 100 jobs out of a country town. You do that in the city and people can go to the next suburb.

"You take 100 jobs out of a country area and you don't have people in your shop.

"It's a bad message that's being sent to people who want to invest in regional NSW."

Mr Gulaptis did not comment on what the Premier might do or when he can expect an answer.

"I will continue to fight this from within the system so I don't want to pre-empt the premier." he said.

Mr Gulaptis said the community needed to continue its battle to save jail jobs.

"I urge the community to maintain the vigil outside the Grafton Correctional Centre to place continued pressure on the Government to rethink its decision," he said.

"I will be attending the rally tomorrow and will continue to picket the jail thereafter.

"I would urge everyone in the community to attend the rally and once again show their support."
 



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