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NBN “NOT GOOD ENOUGH”

Labor is continuing its campaign ahead of the New England by-election, headed by candidate David Ewings. After questioning the Nationals’ commitment to local highways earlier this week, they were back today with concerns over the National Broadband Network. “Our data consumption is doubling every two years and the network that Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce are rolling out at the moment is not fit for our existing demands, yet we’re expected to have this well into the future,” Stephen Jones, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications. (AUDIO IN PARTS ONLY)

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BUSINESS CHAMBER CANCELS CANDIDATES FORUM AFTER JOYCE BACKS OUT

The Tamworth Business Chamber has been forced to cancel its upcoming ‘meet the candidates’ forum, ahead of the New England by-election. The event was due to take place in Town Hall next Monday night, but president Jye Segboer says only a handful of candidates expressed their interest in the event. He also said interest from the general public dropped off considerably, after it was confirmed Barnaby Joyce would not be taking part. (VISION ONLY)

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MORE DRS NEEDED FOR GUNNEDAH RURAL HEALTH CENTRE

The hunt is on for doctors at Gunnedah’s Rural Health Centre, with Mackellar Care Services now formally taking over the site. The Department of Health officially signed off on the sale late last week – the centre has been vacant since July, after it was forced into voluntary administration. Mackellar Care Services says while office staff are ready to go, there’s still a number of GP positions to be filled before it can open. It was hoped the centre would be open by Christmas – that’s now expected to happen in the new year. (VISION ONLY)

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NORTH WEST VOTES YES!

And in the North West, New England residents voted in favour of same sex marriage. Almost 77 per cent of people returned the postal vote, with 52.5 per cent voting yes. It was a similar case in the Parkes electorate…around 73 per cent of residents responded, with 52.7 per cent voting in favour. Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, says he will respect the wishes of the Australian public and support a change in legislation, despite his own personal views. (VISION ONLY)

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EXPERTS WARN OF FLYING FOX DANGERS

North west residents are being reminded about the dangers posed by flying foxes, with the breeding season about to start. New South Wales Health says almost 150 people have been treated around the state in 2017, due to exposure to the animals. Tamworth and Inverell have been home to large colonies in recent years, while 1,000 recently moved to Armidale. Authorities warn that flying foxes can carry infectious diseases, and say people should seek immediate medical assistance, if they come into contact with one. (no audio)

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AGRICULTURE HOT TOPIC IN TAMWORTH

Producers and industry stakeholders came together in Tamworth today for the ABARES regional outlook conference. They heard from a range of speakers about the challenges facing the agriculture industry, as well as opportunities for growth and innovation. Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie was in town to give the opening address… pointing to the government’s commitment to providing secure and affordable water. “Our $75-million commitment to Dungowan Dam is among $293-million worth of commitments to build water infrastructure needs of the 21st-century.” (VISION AND PARTS OF AUDIO ONLY)

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