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North West News

CRIME STATISTICS RELEASED

Tamworth police say they’re making inroads into reducing break and enter offences, despite the release of alarming new crime figures. The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research reveals the number of incidents has almost doubled in the past two years.

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BUS SERVICES INCREASE FOR FESTIVAL

Revellers at Tamworth’s country music festival can be assured of a ride home, with the state government committing $10,000 to extend bus services during the January event. Tamworth Regional Council approached the member for Tamworth, Peter Draper, to ensure the funding matched the among allocated in previous years. He says the money is crucial, given Tamworth’s population doubles to 100,000 people during the event. (*****)

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FLOODWATERS HEAD WEST

Gunnedah has escaped inundation again, after the Namoi River peaked at 6.17 metres this morning, well below the minor flood level. Around Tamworth, most local roads re-opened today after the Peel River reached 3.9-metres over the weekend, causing problems for low lying areas. O’Brien’s Lane at Calala remained close late this afternoon. Minor flooding is expected along the Lower Namoi River on Thursday. Landholders are being advised to move stock and equipment to higher ground, with some low lying farmland and rural roads expected to be affected by floodwaters.

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AEROPELICAN LODGES BID

Regional airline, Aeropelican, has lodged a formal expression of interest for the Narrabri to Sydney route. The company believes the service is viable, with plans to offer a similar flight schedule to Qantaslink.

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STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT WAR

Students across the New England will be given a rare insight into the history of war, when they hear the personal stories of the diggers who returned home. The Armidale and District Historical Society has launched a three day seminar, open to students with a strong interest in Australian military history.

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HOLIDAY FOR MEDICAL WARD

The health service has assured the public that plans to close the medical ward at Armidale Hospital for four weeks won’t jeopardise patient care. The ward will shut down over the Christmas-New Year period to allow for urgent electrical work.

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GUNNEDAH A MAJOR COAL PLAYER

The Federal government’s $580-million plan to upgrade the Hunter Valley coal rail line through the Liverpool range will help cement Gunnedah’s place as a leading coal producer. Gunnedah Mayor, Adam Marshall, has welcomed the move, claiming it will mean a reduction in transportation costs for coal companies in the Gunnedah basin and an increase in production. He says the investment is a sign the government is aware of how important the coalfields are to the economy. Mr Marshall said ” I think it’s obvious at a state and federal level looking at resources and industry and the future potential there. This basin has a humongous opportunity to really be a driver definitely for the state’s economy and a big player in the national economy as well.”

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