Trent Gilbert.
Trent Gilbert. Contributed

Country Labor welcomes Grafton jail announcement

CLARENCE Country Labor spokesman and former candidate Trent Gilbert has welcomed the announcement to construct a new Grafton jail by 2019.

"This is a win for the strong community campaign after the Nationals closed the Grafton jail in 2012," Mr Gilbert said.

"The Liberal/National government made the wrong decision in 2012, and this announcement goes some way to rectifying that mistake.

MORE: New 600-bed jail for Grafton

"I'm glad Mr Gulaptis and his government have finally listened to the community and their pleas to reverse their decision.

"This industry has played a crucial role in the community for more than 120 years. The workers not only keep our state safe, they keep the local economy afloat.

"This is critical for the future of Grafton. Our community will ensure the government's announcement to build the new gaol before 2019 is kept. We've seen with the second Grafton Bridge debacle that this government will use minor works to pretend they're getting on with the job when a major project stalls.

"I'll be here, holding Mr Gulaptis to account, making sure that we have a new gaol by 2019, not just a pathway to a new gaol that's yet to be delivered.

"Mr Gulaptis and his government slashed 107 jobs from the Grafton gaol back in 2012. This new gaol will bring some of those jobs back, but not all of them. Sadly, many of these families have been forced to move away and the local economy has borne the brunt of that over the last three years.

"In the end, our community desperately needs these jobs back. Mr Gulaptis cannot let us down again."

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