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The Saint: Penny pinching in our prisons | Opinion

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A NEW challenge is set to land in Paul Toole’s lap with the media revelation that Lithgow’s maximum security jail is set to lose 13 corrective services officers, posing what is seen as a security threat. Other prisons around the State face similar cutbacks, perhaps with Gladys needing more cash to build new Sydney roads and stadiums. But slashing numbers in what is surely one of the toughest and riskiest jobs in the public service is not the way to do it – – particularly at a time when inmate unrest in the prison system is being fuelled by overcrowding. Prison officers and the community demand something better than penny pinching on such a vital issue. Over to you, Mr Toole.

The not-so-conveniences

WHY are the men’s and women’s toilets in Lithgow’s QE Park locked well before nightfall each day at a time of year when the park is at its busiest? It’s a question that arises every daylight saving season but the situation remains the same. It can’t be for any other reason than the convenience of council’s security contractor. We’d like to think the public convenience is more important. The toilets are locked well before seven o’clock most evenings. During the week the column on a dog walking routine observed the ‘lock up keeper’ waiting outside until customers vacated the facility then up went the  gates. It was just 6.45pm, well over an hour before nightfall. Admittedly the unisex ambient (disability) toilet remains open but that’s far from satisfactory for mixed sexes pushed for time. This is a council owned service that clearly needs some guidelines.

Last gasp reprieve

SEEMS like only yesterday we were wondering what the arrival of summer would bring. Now we know and it hardly seems possible the calendar season of summer has come to an end. The long hot summer continued to taunt us to the very end with the final weekend producing the best, possibly the only, real rain of the season. It was sorely needed and while not drought breaking at least provided some welcome reprieve. Now roll on autumn and see what that brings – apart from a mess of soggy falling leaves. (For the record, daylight saving still has a month to run.)

Crowd funding anyone?

WONDER if we could organise a little crowd funding to help out our council with just a single strip of Armco railing to replace the embarrassing rusted eyesore on the Sandford Avenue railway bridge. Could start a trend there.

Get involved

START thinking what you could do to assist Lithgow Show, perhaps with an exhibit or two or three or some voluntary help. Now just a couple of weeks away and there’s a role for everyone.

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