Big crowd for rally
ORGANISERS of Thurday's rally against job cuts at Grafton Jail have more than 5000 names on a petition to go before NSW Parliament.
Spokesman for rally organisers the Clarence Valley Community Union, Tony King, said this was a magnificent response from the community and gave him confidence there would be a big turnout at the rally in Memorial Park, Grafton. The rally starts at 12.15pm.
Mr King said the "batting order" for the speakers at the meeting reflected a desire to keep politicking to a minimum.
Mr King said speakers would include someone from the Aboriginal community, Grafton Jail matron June Baker, deputy assistant secretary of Unions NSW Adam Kerslake, Prison Officers Union president Matt Bindley, Clarence Valley Council Mayor Richie Williamson, Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe, Grafton Jail teacher Sharryn Usher, jail workers Fran Munce and Tim Kinnane, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and assistant general secretary of the Public Service Association Shane O'Brien.
"This rally is about getting this decision overturned for the benefit of Grafton and the region," he said.
The office of Mr Gulaptis confirmed he would speak at the rally, but he did not return calls yesterday.
In other jail news, staff have imposed bans on work that helps the restructure, including movement of prisoners and equipment.
Grafton Prison Officers Union delegate Scott Ensbey said the jail would go into lockdown between 11.15am and 1.45pm to allow staff to attend the rally.
Mr King said buses had been arranged to take people from the rally to Grafton Racecouse for the opening day of the July Racing Carnival.