DEPUTY Premier Andrew Stoner announced 75 new public sector jobs for Grafton today - some of them entirely new positions and others to be relocated from Sydney.

The additional public sector positions for Grafton include:

  • 45 staff within Crown Lands Division - Crown Roads Program to clear the current backlog and accelerate the disposal of 'paper' Crown roads;
  • 25 staff within the Renting Services (formerly the Rental Bond Board) section of the Department of Finance and Services; and
  • Five staff within the Office of Environment and Heritage (National Parks and Wildlife Services) to deal with native vegetation issues in the north-east corner of NSW.

Speaking outside the office of Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis's office this morning, Mr Stoner said he could not guarantee that other public sector jobs in the Clarence Valley would be spared in state-wide cuts.

The 75 new jobs, said Mr Stoner, were in addition to the 30 new Roads and Maritime Services roles announced in July.

Mr Stoner, who is also Minister for Regional Infrastructure, announced yesterday that 79 jobs were supported through the Northern Rivers Jobs Plan - 77 of these through the TV production The Gods of Wheat Street.

The jobs in the ABC1 TV production were six-month full-time positions while two other full time jobs were announced at Walsh Architectural Salvage in Grafton.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services Andrew Stoner said the jobs would provide a boost to the local economy.

"The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government understands that Grafton has taken its fair share of hits lately, so we have taken positive steps to revitalise the local economy," Mr Stoner said.

"The local community has made it clear that they need more jobs, and that is why I have identified 75 jobs from across the entire NSW public sector to be created or relocated to Grafton.

"All up, the NSW Government's recent jobs initiatives will provide 184 new jobs, which is a real shot in the arm for the Grafton economy.

"These initiatives are all part of the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government's commitment to decentralisation, which has already seen dozens of new police, nurses and education staff allocated to the Northern Rivers.

"Chris Gulaptis has pushed the Government hard on getting these jobs for Grafton, and I would like to thank him for his tireless advocacy."

Local Member Chris Gulaptis welcomed the Deputy Premier's announcement.

"Today's announcement shows the Nationals not only understand the needs of regional communities like Grafton, but are also able to deliver real results," Mr Gulaptis said.

"The decision to restructure Grafton jail was painful for the community and that is why I asked the Premier and Deputy Premier to consider moving Sydney-based public sector jobs to Grafton.

"I am pleased to see the Deputy Premier has been able to deliver these jobs, a mere two months after I first raised the issue with him.

"This is a great boost for the local economy and I thank the Deputy Premier for his hard work."

Get tomorrow's Daily Examiner for further detail on the jobs announcement plus more from Mr Stoner's Prince St, Grafton media conference.



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