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Cuts scare investors

Prison officer Sandra Rendalls shows off the purple ribbons people are wearing in support of the jail workers.
Prison officer Sandra Rendalls shows off the purple ribbons people are wearing in support of the jail workers. Adam Hourigan

THE NSW Government plan to slash more than 100 jobs from Grafton Jail will scare off organisations that could invest here claims the Local Government Association.

Association president Keith Rhoades, who is Mayor of Coffs Harbour, said the association had grave concerns about the cuts to Grafton Jail and other cuts in public services in the regions.

"This is more far-reaching than people can imagine," Mr Rhoades said.

"We supported the government's scheme to give $7000 to people who moved to the region, but an uptake of only 696 across the whole of the state makes it a failure.

"When you look at what's happening in Grafton with the loss of the Telstra jobs, the abattoirs and now if the jail cuts go ahead, that's about 350 jobs in Grafton alone which is half the people the scheme attracted across the whole state."

Grafton would miss out on investment without knowing it.

"Developers like the people who did Grafton Shoppingworld don't let anyone know before they decide to invest in a city," he said.

"They do the research, have a board meeting and then lodge a DA.

"If they see the government pull $10 million in wages out of a community, like at Grafton Jail, they will look somewhere else and no-one will ever know.

"Overall the government's cuts to the regions is sending a message that regional NSW is not a good place to invest and that's a very serious problem," he said.

Mr Rhoades said the government decision was also hypocritical.

"When the region was losing jobs at Telstra in the last term of the Labor Government it was critical of the government's performance," he said.

Topics:  grafton jail investors job cuts local government association



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