News

No pause for jail job cuts

The prisoner transfer is continuing.
The prisoner transfer is continuing.

THE battle for Grafton Jail jobs rages on after pleas for State Government to reconsider 108 "devastating" job cuts fell on deaf ears on Friday.

A delegation from the Clarence Valley, including local member Chris Gulaptis, Mayor Richie Williamson, union representatives and Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe met the Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, the Minister for Justice Greg Smith and the Deputy Commissioner of Corrective Services, only to be told the axing of jobs would continue.

"They weren't interested in listening or talking at all," Cr Williamson said.

"No pause button is being set and the government's original decision will stand. The prisoner transfer is continuing.

"It's devastating in the true sense of the word that Greg Smith and Andrew Stoner are not open to compromise ... and the heart will be ripped out of the Clarence Valley."

Clarence Valley Community Unions were quick off the mark to stamp the date for the second rally, to be held in Memorial Park on Tuesday from 12.15pm.

"The National Party is supposed to represent the people of the bush - well now it's time to do just that. Andrew Stoner as the leader of the National Party must stand up and fight for us. Stand up or stand aside, Andrew Stoner," Clarence Valley Community Unions spokesman Tony King said.

"As leader of the National Party, Andrew Stoner is invited to this rally in Grafton to explain to the people of the Clarence Valley why his National Party is selling out the people of Grafton.

"In November last year, Geoff Provest, Thomas George, Andrew Fraser, Don Page and Andrew Stoner himself were standing side by side with Chris Gulaptis supporting him at the Clarence by-election. Will they support him now in his fight to save the jail and save his town?"

A media release was later issued by Mr Smith, which said: "Government had an obligation to taxpayers across the State to run the prison system efficiently and that Grafton had reached its use-by date, with millions of dollars in maintenance required every year."

Mr Smith said Grafton Correctional Centre's cost per inmate was $173 against $98 for the new centre at Cessnock.

"I acknowledge the upheaval this will cause in Grafton and that's why we had the meeting today," he said.

"However, Cessnock is a recently upgraded facility with better safety measures in place for both prisoners and correctional officers."

Local Member Chris Gulaptis said he would fly to Sydney on Monday morning to meet with the Premier in a bid to have the restructure paused.

"It's imperative that he understands the detrimental effect these job cuts will have on the economic bottom line of the Grafton and surrounding Clarence Valley communities," he said.

Earlier in the day Mr Stoner announced the launch of a jobs plan for the area.

Mr Gulaptis's call for Federal Member Janelle Saffin to ensure the Commonwealth got on board with Mr Stoner's plan saw her launch a stinging attack on him.

"Chris now has the hide to call on me to ensure the Federal Government kicks in their fair share of support," she said.

"He seems to think he looks tough having a go at me and asks what I am doing and does not tell the community what he is doing in terms of lobbying.

"Doesn't he know that it was me who made sure that the Richmond-Tweed and Clarence valleys were included as a Priority Employment Area under the Federal Government's Building Australia's Future Workforce program?"

"So far he has defended and now recanted, but too late.

"It is time the State Member got off his training wheels and started to do his share of the heavy lifting and not abandon the community like with closing the Grafton Jail.

"I do not understand why he always has to drag me into it, hiding behind my skirts. Can't he do things all by himself?

"Chris, if you are not up to the job, no one is forcing you to do it. It is hard yakka, but very rewarding."

 

RALLY

  • 12.15 pm, Tuesday July 10, Memorial Park, Grafton

Topics:  andrew stoner grafton jail



Jockeys on track to reach magic milestones

JOCKEY CHAT: Grafton jockeys Ben Looker and Matt McGuren are clear leaders of the local premiership rankings and now in a race to be first to 100 wins for the season.

Grafton jockey's Ben Looker and Matt McGuren in race to the 100.

A moment of kindness

ACTS OF KINDNESS: A Clarence Valley community member has started Feathers in the Clarence, in which they give out gifts to random, or sometimes particular people as an act of kindness.

Community spirit behind new movement

Deputy premier drops into Farmer Lou's

Deputy premier John Barilaro and the owner of Farmer Lou's in South Grafton, Lou Felice, had some common experiences to talk about when Mr Barilaro and the Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis dropped in this morning. Staff Tina, Maria and Paul Felice also chatted with the deputy premier.

Check out who took a walk on the south side this morning...

Local Partners

Deadly dog virus outbreak strikes South Grafton

"If your dog lives on one of those streets, I'd almost guarantee they will contract parvo virus if they are not vaccinated."


Share a cuppa coffee with a cop

Coffee and conversation go hand in hand in the Clarence whether you like it or not.

Chance to come along and meet your local police officers

Deputy premier on his way to the Clarence Valley

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro during question time at NSW Parliament in Sydney, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017.  Berejiklian was elected Premier by her party room after Mike Baird announced his shock resignation.(AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

John Barilaro's first visit at NSW deputy

OUR SAY: Perfect opportunity for people with passion

The Mouldy Lovers get the crowd dancing at the Surfing the Coldstream Festival.  Photo Clair Morton / Daily Examiner

Events large or small require helping hands of volunteers

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

TOWARD the end of last month’s Golden Globes ceremony, the producer of the nominated drama Moonlight made a surprise onstage appearance: Brad Pitt.

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Kids' game "full of f**king paedophiles" according to dad

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game

Lisa Marie Presley's ex caught with child pics: court

Lisa Marie Presley, at right, and her husband, Michael Lockwood back in 2010. FILE

Lisa Marie, 49, claimed she was left “sick to her stomach”

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Living with river view

LABOUR OF LOVE: Peter and Narelle Cauldwell are selling Bemuda Estate in Great Marlow (pictured below).

A rare opportunity to own a luxury estate

Clarence River island paradise selling for $5M

Former Ballina councillor Margaret Howes is selling her island getaway.

GALLERY: Tropical getaway with beaches and airstrip put on market.

Bidding could start at $1.4M for sought after property

Farrell McCrohon's Jojo Newby rides on a property recently listed at Buccarumbi

One of largest rural properties on market to go under hammer today

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!