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North West News

MORE THAN 900 PEOPLE THROUGH THE DOORS FOR ANNUAL HOMELESS CONNECT DAY

Hundreds of people in Tamworth are sleeping rough each night¬†and the aim of today’s Homeless Connect forum was to help break the cycle. Representatives from more than 44 different services filled the Entertainment Centre, offering everything from advice to haircuts and food. “They all work well together, so if they’re not the right one, more than likely they’ll know who is and they’ll actually get you to the right people. But the earlier you do it, the easier it is,” Leigh Smith, Tamworth Family Support Services. By having all services in one place, it’s hoped homeless people might have a better chance of turning their lives around. NOTE: AUDIO IN PARTS ONLY

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VIADUCT WOES COULD SOON BE LIFTED

It’s a piece of infrastructure that’s long divided opinion. But now, Armidale Regional Council has thrown its support behind a plan to remove the McLennan Street Viaduct, which hasn’t been used in more than 30-years. “Some councillors raised other options about putting roads across the railway line at a different location but the reality is that the cost of the would be quite high,” Armidale Regional Mayor, Councillor Simon Murray. Council has resolved to write to local member Adam Marshall and the New South Wales Transport office, to approve its temporary removal. “We’re just requesting that they lift it, put it aside and if ever, ever the rail comes back we can put it back in place.” NOTE: AUDIO IN PARTS ONLY

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IMPRESSIVE TENURE COMES TO AN END FOR SERGEANT DAVID WALKER

After more than three decades in the job, Detective Sergeant David Walker has left Tamworth police station for the last time. Today, in a symbolic exchange, the veteran officer handed over his police leathers. “And I now hand you back to your family.” He then marched off, to the applause of his peers. Sergeant Walker has had many roles during his time with the force, from general duties to detective work, and he was most notably involved in the capture of fugitive Malcolm Naden in 2012. “Or my general work as a state protection support unit operational officer, tied up with Durkin with the capture there and also with the Stoccos, which we played a significant role in,” Sergeant Walker said. NOTE: AUDIO IN PARTS ONLY

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COLEDALE’S CENTENARY PARK SET FOR OVERHAUL

Coledale’s Centenary Park is set for a major overhaul following the announcement of a $200,000 grant for a new playground and basketball courts. The new additions will be built beside the Tamworth Regional Youth Centre – the funds split between council and the state government. “In 2016, council undertook a survey of the local community and they indicated quite resolutely that they wanted activated space.” Construction is expected to begin by the end of October. (vision and audio in parts)

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UNIVERSITIES LOOK TO SET UP SHOP IN TAMWORTH

There are more tertiary education options on the horizon for Tamworth students with the state government confirming a number of universities have shown an interest in the city. While the University of New England and the University of Newcastle already have a presence in Tamworth, local MP, Kevin Anderson says there needs to be more options on the table. “We’re talking to UNE at the moment. There are a number of other universities that we’re talking to. They are circling, they can see the growth, the potential and the opportunity.” Mr Anderson wants to see a major focus on agriculture and aviation while ensuring services can sustain a growing population. “We have been identified as one of the northern centres for significant growth. We need to make sure we match that growth, provide the services, so that it attracts people …

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