IT SEEMS no one can resist the lure of our purple spirit in Grafton.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian took time on a visit to the North Coast to stop in at Grafton and admire the blooms first hand.

The premier met Jacaranda Festival manager Mark Blackadder at Market Square to admire the jacarandas, before walking to I Scream, where she was served some iconic jacaranda ice cream.

"Yummo," was her response.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian tries out some purple ice cream in Jacaranda season on a visit to Grafton
Premier Gladys Berejiklian tries out some purple ice cream in Jacaranda season on a visit to Grafton

She enjoyed a casual conversation with several people including Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, Mr Blackadder, I Scream owner Jeff Smith, Giane Smajstr from Our Healthy Clarence and Skye Sear from New School of Arts, Grafton Chamber of Commerce's Carol Pachos and Justin James.

Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis brought NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to the Northern Rivers on Monday so she could personally thank bushfire affected communities, receive an update on recovery efforts and offer special grants for local projects.

Her trip started early this morning in Rappville, travelling through Grafton and onto Nymboida.

One year on since the bushfires devastated a number of communities in the region, the Premier will also to present prestigious NSW Government Community Service Awards to four locals who rose to the challenge going above and beyond in supporting their communities in the aftermath of the catastrophic bushfires.

Cr Richie Williamson and member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis with premier Gladys Berejiklian in Grafton
Cr Richie Williamson and member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis with premier Gladys Berejiklian in Grafton

The Premier also paid tribute to Clarence and Richmond Valley councils for their ongoing efforts in the recovery process, and announced some modest grants for community projects in Rappville, Ewingar and Nymboida communities.

The Ewingar Community Hall, where around 100 locals took shelter during the fires, will receive $30,000 for airconditioning and solar panels.

The tennis courts at Rappville are a huge part of the glue that binds the village together and $25,000 will be invested for much needed resurfacing.

$11,000 will be used for a project at bus shelter project at Nymboida which will feature a mural commemorating the bushfires.


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