No. 4 Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis
NO stranger to the Power 30 list, last year’s No. 1 Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, proved just as effective in securing more political love in the region ahead of the election year.
Some of his biggest announcements this year included funding for health and the arts.
The successful state funding application by the Grafton Regional Gallery secured its future in a $7.6 million extension which will begin construction in 2019.
Mr Gulaptis also had the pleasure of announcing $17.4 million upgrade for the new Ambulatory Care Unit at the Grafton Base Hospital.
More hospital funding remains in his sights with the potential $268 million rebuild of the tired piece of infrastructure.
To ensure government remains focussed on the GBH Mr Gulaptis kicked off a petition to ensure the momentum isn’t lost.
He also went into bat for the environment earlier this year alongside Dirtgirl and while it fell on deaf Berejiklian government ears, he isn’t afraid to criticise or stand up when it comes to representing his constituents back home.
Work on the other boons for the Clarence, the highway upgrade and Grafton are still rolling along nicely while the new correctional facility, also got under way this year.
The sheer size of what will be known as Australia’s largest prison is getting real as concrete slabs and walls have been appearing on the landscape in one of the region’s largest pieces of infrastructure announced by the local member last year.
After much local campaigning by locals, and perhaps a nudge from competitive candidate Steve Cansdell, Mr Gulaptis came good by co-funding the long-desired Maclean helipad, securing a fixed speed camera for the village of Ulmarra after a spate of trucking accidents, and the demand for an ambulance station in Iluka is seriously being considered this very moment.
Earlier in the year Mr Gulaptis also got into the ear of Deputy Premier John Barilaro, among the landscape of campaign pressure building, and within six weeks of doing so the ordeal of the unpaid highway subcontractors was resolved with more than $7 million of government money to cover their losses.
Mr Gulaptis is quick to point out that although it has been very lucrative for Clarence Valley as far as infrastructure projects goes, he does humbly acknowledge there are many cogs in the wheels that turn out these decisions.
There are three and half months to go until the New South Wales state election, and every week there seems to be a press release with some good new about funding for the region.
The next one could be as soon as Monday.