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North West News

FARRER STUDENTS THINK BEYOND SCHOOL GATES

Students at Farrer Agricultural High took time to think about life, beyond the school gates today. As part of the state business chamber’s skills roadshow, counsellors were on hand to talk about career options. “We’re trying to tackle the unemployment rate, it’s upwards of 16 per cent in the New England area, it’s a horrible statistic, so the earlier we can get these guys thinking about career stuff and just plant the seed early, the way better chance they’ve got down the track of actually being successful and moving into those good careers.” The roadshow will visit a number of schools in Tamworth over the coming weeks, before heading to the Hunter. (VISION AND PARTS OF AUDIO)

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THIRST QUENCHERS IN TAMWORTH’S CBD

Walkers and their pooches won’t be short of fresh drinking water in Tamworth’s C-B-D with council installing three new water stations. Costing around $5-thousand each… the first was unveiled this morning on Peel Street. “The stations have the ability to fill, re-fill bottles, and also there is a bubbler facility and additionally a doggy bowl as well.” The new piece of infrastructure getting the thumbs up from the Heart Foundation. “Here in Tamworth we are a hotspot for obesity and we know that replacing sugary drinks with water is a wonderful way and a very effective way to reduce our risk of weight gain.” They’ve been built to encourage people to stop using plastic bottles. (VISION AND PARTS OF AUDIO)

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GUNNEDAH WOMAN CONVICTED OF ANIMAL CRUELTY

A 62-year-old woman has been handed an 18-month good behaviour bond and ordered to pay more than $130,000 in vet costs, after pleading guilty to nine charges of animal cruelty in Gunnedah Local Court. The charges relate to 51 Koolies and mixed breed dogs, which were seized by RSPCA inspectors from squalid conditions at a Gunnedah property owned by Leith Gatenby. The RSPCA says one Koolie’s condition was so severe, veterinarians deemed it cruel for her to be kept alive, while the remaining dogs suffered a range of health issues including flea burdens, ear infections, gastrointestinal parasites, conjunctivitis and untreated eye issues. As well as the good behaviour bond and vet costs, Ms Gatenby has been ordered to pay more than $4000 in fines to the RSPCA and is prohibited from owning any more than five de-sexed dogs.

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OXLEY LAC TOPS THE STATE IN GUN AMNESTY

The Oxley Local Area Command has so far received around 200 guns as part of the National Firearms Amnesty, the highest number in New South Wales. Among the items surrendered, a Chinese military assault rifle and an antique gun dating back to 1763. More than 6400 firearms have been handed in for sale, registration or destruction across the state during the first month of the amnesty. Police say they’re pleased with the strong community response in helping reduce the number of unregistered and unwanted firearms. The amnesty runs until the end of September.

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PUSH FOR DISABILITY HUB IN TAMWORTH’S CBD

A report will also be tabled at tonight’s meeting, pushing for better disabled access to public amenities in Tamworth’s CBD. A group of local service providers is seeking approval to develop a disability transport hub on council-owned land. “This will be a purpose built facility for the disability sector. A change room and showers and toilets, plus a transport area as well.” Vacant land next to Tamworth’s Town Hall has been earmarked as a possible location – council has also suggested transforming the amenities block at Bicentennial Park. “It is something council will welcome, however we need to work further with the group and to work out the best site for that.” The development could cost up to $400, 000, and would be funded by Transport New South Wales and council. (VISION AND PARTS OF AUDIO ONLY)

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OXLEY LAC TOPS STATE IN GUN AMNESTY

Oxley Local Area Command has so far had the highest number of firearms surrendered under the New South Wales police force’s gun amnesty. It’s closely followed by the Northern Beaches and New England regions. Across the state more than 6000 firearms have been handed in. Residents have until the end of the month to surrender unwanted firearms. (VISION ONLY)

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DYING ENGLISH OAK TREES TO BE REPLACED

Dying English Oak Trees along Tamworth’s King George Avenue will soon be removed, with council preparing to purchase 20 new replacements. A working group was established earlier this year to help manage the trees, which were heritage listed in 20-14. Council was recently awarded a $30, 000 state government grant to maintain the iconic strip. A meeting will be held in the coming weeks to identify which trees need to be removed. (VISION ONLY)

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