Sharing the journey

Ed, October is Mental Health Month and is a time to reflect on our own mental health and wellbeing and the importance of good social connections.  With this in mind, Our Healthy Clarence organised a sausage sizzle and ‘Healthy Minds & Wellbeing’ street stall held at the CWA in River Street Maclean last Wednesday. The objective was to engage with the community and provide information on how the community can access services and information on mental health. We would like to thank ...

Great hospital… great staff

Ed, Please see below a copy of a letter forward by me to Grafton Base Hospital. John Rouse, Yamba  “I realise that so many people complain about the local health service but I want to also express my appreciation not only of the concerning care I received by the triage staff but also the  exceptional medical consultation I received when I was admitted as an inpatient of Grafton Base Hospital. On the 12th October I had to go the Emergency Department, at the Grafton Base Hospita...

Staff cuts in our local NPWS

Ed, Naturally living in Iluka I enjoy the beauty of the Clarence Valley. However, I’m greatly disturbed at our State government’s decision to relocate NPWS regional office from Grafton to Coffs Harbour. This retrograde decision slashes a number of experienced staff from our region. This action suggests to me that our State government either does not understand or ignores the vital importance of our four essential needs of clean Air, unpolluted Water, uncontaminated Soil and Species ...

Jacaranda breakfast challenge is on again – 2GF prepares for food fight trophy

Rigorous training exercises and secret planning meetings will pay off for the 2GF team again this year when they take on their arch enemies the Clarence Valley Independent scribes serving up a wicked menu at the annual Jacaranda Thursday breakfast on 2 November in Market Square. The annual food fight between the DJs and the scribes has reached climatic highs and battle lines have been well and truly drawn. 2GF manager Paul Covington has prepared his team drawing on many years of ...

Freedom camping on CVC’s hit list

Geoff Helisma People who camp overnight on streets near beaches in Yamba, be warned: your days are numbered. At last week’s Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting, the Working Group on Campers’ recommendations were tabled and adopted unanimously by the valley’s councillors, apart from Cr Karen Toms, who declared an interest as the manager of a Clarence Coast holiday park. The working group’s mandate was “to address concerns of the growth of unregulated camping in or adjacent ...

Q & A with PSA general secretary Stewart Little

Geoff Helisma Independent: Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis says the current 37 fulltime equivalent employees (FTE) will remain in the Clarence Valley; what is the PSA’s take on this statement?  Stewart Little: A head count of current staff across the Clarence Valley shows that there are 42.6 FTE staff employed, with an additional three positions that are currently vacant. The proposal that we have from the [OEH] reduces that number to 35, with another three positions that are described as ...

Call for gaol business partnership ideas

Serco transition director Peter McIntosh speaks to last week’s Grafton Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, about opportunities for local business partnerships with the new private gaol. Image: Josh McMahon. “The sky is the limit” for commercial partnerships between local business and the new private Grafton Correctional Centre, a packed meeting of the Grafton Chamber of Commerce was told last week. Representatives from gaol consortium Serco (operational), John Holland (constructi...

Shadow boxing as NPWS jobs on the line

Councillors Karen Toms (left), Greg Clancy and NPWS staff member Janet Cavanaugh spoke at the door of Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis’s office during a PSA-organised rally protesting against perceived negative outcomes as a result of restructuring the NPWS. Mayor Jim Simmons was otherwise engaged at an official opening of Pacific Valley School’s special needs section. No other councillors attended. Images: Judy Myers Geoff Helisma Discovering the facts behind the current argy bargy involving ...

Airport budget variation ‘rubber stamped’

Geoff Helisma At last week’s Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting, Cr Karen Toms quizzed executive staff on a request to “provide a budget variation in the sum of $70,440 for [Grafton] airport management in the period 17 October 2017 – 19 January 2018”. “Are we rubber stamping this?” she asked on four occasions during questions and debate on the matter. “According to the letter in the confidential attachment, and I need to be careful, it has the same date as this council ...

Harnessing the valley’s Aboriginal history

Orara Williams 1873, one of the men identified and researched in Photographs Are Never Still. Image courtesy Grafton Regional Gallery. Years of research and the resultant publication of the 240-page Photographs Are Never Still will be celebrated at the book’s launch at the Grafton Regional Gallery at 10am on Thursday November 2. The book, a catalogue of John William Lindt photographs of Aboriginal people taken at Grafton in 1873, also includes the first written history of the valley’s ...