O'Farrell Govt ‘sensitive' to Grafton: MP

Deputy premier Andrew Stonerwith Chris Gulaptis.
Deputy premier Andrew Stonerwith Chris Gulaptis. Adam Hourigan

AS PUBLIC servants watch over their shoulders in the Clarence Valley, local member Chris Gulaptis said the O'Farrell Government was "very sensitive" to Grafton in the wake of the jail downsizing in July.

The Clarence Valley Community of Unions cast doubt on Mr Gulaptis's position that there would be no net loss in the Department of Primary Industries after the announcement on Thursday of 300 job cuts across the state.

The budget cut to the department was another blow to the Valley, said CVCU spokeswoman Kassie Packwood.

"I thought Andrew Stoner and the Nationals represented the farmers and people of the bush," she said.

"It seems despite finding an extra billion dollars in their budget last week, Andrew Stoner and his government can't resist swinging the axe through our services."

Mr Gulaptis said the DPI lost two positions in Grafton in the May budget and another, industry-funded position, since then but now it would receive two new staff members to be transferred from Casino and an agronomist to be transferred from Kempsey.

Mr Gulaptis said the 75 jobs created in Grafton to replace more than 90 jobs lost in the jail restructure were acknowledgement the government had "stuffed up".

Responding to questioning about rumoured job losses in the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Mr Gulaptis said he had been told by senior NPWS staff about a month ago that there would be no positions lost in the Clarence.


A PRESS statement received late yesterday from Labor Duty MLC for the Clarence Amanda Fazio said at least 1.5 positions in the Grafton region would go as part of the NSW Government's $1.7billion cuts to education funding.

Quoting "internal documents" obtained by the Labor Party, Ms Fazio said the Government planned on sacking 361 "education experts and teachers from 54 locations around the state".

Topics:  chris gulaptis department of primary industries job losses

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