General secretary of United Services Union Graeme Kelly and chairman of the Northern Rivers Union Network John Hickson sign-up independant candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson to their five-point plan.
General secretary of United Services Union Graeme Kelly and chairman of the Northern Rivers Union Network John Hickson sign-up independant candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson to their five-point plan. ADAM HOURIGAN

Plan gets high five, almost

A GRAFTON community group this week launched the Better Services for a Better Clarence Five-Point Plan, and called on all candidates for the seat of Clarence to protect local services and jobs by committing to the plan.

Chairman of the Northern Rivers Union Network (Grafton) John Hickson said the new plan comes after independent, Country Labor and Greens candidates for the seat of Clarence signed on to the original Better Services for a Better State Five Point Plan.

Independent candidate Richie Williamson signed the plan at a gathering of local government and public sector workers at South Grafton Ex-Servicemen’s Club on Monday, but Mr Hickson said the sitting member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, had refused to sign both charters.

Mr Hickson said he was hoping others would sign up.

“With unique pressures faced by this community and the support already received for the Unions NSW Five-Point Plan, we decided to put together our own local charter with its principles based around key Clarence and Richmond Valley services which are vital to the area,” Mr Hickson said.

“We continue to call on sitting MP Steve Cansdell to join the other candidates in signing the five-point plan.

“But if he will not sign he needs to explain which of the five points does he not agree with?

“Will he not commit because he secretly supports the contracting out of jobs at Grafton Base Hospital, or would he like to see the conditions of nurses, teachers and others who deliver public services reduced over time?

“In the lead-up to the election, we will continue to ask him where he stands on each of the points of the plan put together by his constituents who are concerned about services and jobs in our community.”



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