Editorial - Wednesday, December 11: Jail rumours break out
THE rumour mill never stops turning, taking small pieces of information and turning them into facts, or often something much less.
Last year rumours were circulating the Clarence Valley that jobs were about to go at the Grafton Jail.
There were the usual denials and obfuscation but then the truth emerged and it was worse than everyone imagined - more than 100 jobs and the jail significantly downscaled.
It was a painful blow to a region that had suffered similar shocks in the recent past with the closure of the abattoir and the Telstra call centre.
In more recent weeks, however, the jail has again been a priority subject of the rumour mill, this time the word on the street is that Grafton may well have a working prison once again. And as much as the downscaling was mourned, the latest indications are a reason for optimism.
Local MP Chris Gulaptis says Grafton is at the top of the list to take more prisoners and if that does occur it would mean more jobs and that would be a significant boost for the region.
It is frustrating that the original cuts, the source of much pain and division, are being reconsidered so soon but the prospect of a much-needed economic boost is certainly something to look forward to in the year ahead.