Grafton is top priority for jail inquiry

The sun sets on day five of the Grafton jail picket line.
The sun sets on day five of the Grafton jail picket line. Debrah Novak

GRAFTON will be the first town to host the parliamentary committee heading an inquiry into the NSW Government's controversial corrective services overhaul.

In the past four weeks, the outpouring of community grief following the downsizing of the Grafton Jail has translated onto the pages of at least 30 public submissions sent to Macquarie St in response to the injury.

As chairman Paul Green read through the final submissions yesterday afternoon, he noted the "overwhelming majority" had come from the Clarence Valley and said the tone ranged from "disappointing to scathing".

He said it was clear community anger centred on the perceived "lack of process and lack of planning" undertaken by the State Government in the lead-up to drastic overhaul.

Public submissions have closed for the inquiry but extensions have been granted to Corrective Services NSW and Unions NSW.

Next Tuesday, the committee will meet for the first time to endorse submissions and a schedule of hearing dates.

Mr Green said he expected the committee would plan a visit to Grafton in early December.

He said he believed it was important for committee members to "get a feel for the area" and not go into the Sydney hearing in a "clinical" fashion.

"It is important we hear both sides of this story," Mr Green said

"We have heard a lot (from the State Government) about the age of the building in regards to infrastructure and the need for cost cutting."

The first public hearing into the "closure or downsizing of NSW Corrective Services facilities" is expected to begin in Sydney on December 10.

Topics:  grafton jail inquiry

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Surfer hit by shark near Byron Bay: beaches closed

A young surfer had a lucky escape after being hit by a shark at Broken Head near Byron Bay. Photo: Twitter - Geoffrey John Knapp.

Male surfer with injuries to his left thigh and leg

25th annual duck race floats in wild winds

LINED UP: Corporate-costumed entrants ready for the Rotary Great Duck Race in Ballina.

Heavy winds ruffled a few feathers

Turtle release turns into shark net debate

POINT OF VIEW: Marine ecologist Professor Daniel Bucher  speaks against shark nets at a rally in Ballina.

Kimba the turtle was released on Sunday

Local Partners

Fundraising continues for Nash family and is $60,000+

FRIENDS have been overwhelmed by the community's generous support for the 35-year-old's husband and daughter.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Extra time to get your Dolphin Awards nominations in

Dolphin Award trophy.

Open to all unsigned musicians in the (02) 66 phone area code

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track