Thursday, 19 June 2014

NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis still resented for past performance and present posturing

Letter to the editor in The Daily Examiner online 26 May 2014:

Comments appalling
I AM appalled at the comments made by Chris Gulaptis to the Grafton Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Having worked at the gaol and representing the staff in the role of union representative at the time of the downgrading in 2012 of Grafton Correctional Centre, I went personally and informed Chris Gulaptis at his office in Grafton when we were officially informed by the Department Of Corrective Services of their intentions to downgrade the gaol.
At this meeting with Mr Gulaptis he informed he was aware of the closure and there was nothing he could do about the closure of the gaol and he would be supporting the State Government in their decision, with no regard for the staff at the gaol or the flow-on effect on the community and the impact on the businesses in Grafton or the surrounding communities.
After leaving Chris Gulaptis' office I also contacted the Mayor of Grafton, Richard Williamson, and the head of the Clarence Valley Union, Tony King.
The Chamber of Commerce were also informed and showed serious concern on the impact on the community.
Both Richard Williamson and Tony King gave their complete support to gaol staff and the union reps of the PSA Union to keep the gaol open but this was going to be an uphill battle without the support of the people's elected State member.
With the overwhelming support from the community by signing petitions, community attendance at organised rallies in Memorial Park and the 24-hour community protest outside the gaol, Mr Gulaptis was forced due to overwhelming support to keep the gaol open.
At the community rally there were many speakers talking about why the gaol should stay open. When Mr Gulaptis was called to speak he did so in a sheepish way and his comment was "I was wrong". But by then it was too late as the horse had bolted.
Every comment he makes now are matters that were brought up at meetings by other concerned people to keep the gaol open, with nothing new in his portfolio that has not been said before by other people.
The community of Grafton have long memories with the non-support given by Mr Gulaptis.
Stephen Jeffs,
former prison officer

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