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MAN CHAINED TO EXCAVATOR TO STOP DEMOLITION AT HOSPITAL SITE

Work at the former Mullumbimby Hospital site came to a halt today, as activists chained themselves to an excavator. When workers arrived at 7am, they found filmmaker David Bradbury with a metal chain around his neck, tied to the giant excavator which was brought in to demolish the buildings. Bradbury says he’s making a ‘one-minute-to-midnight’ appeal to Byron Shire Council, to stop the hospital from being destroyed. “I can’t see any other way to draw attention to this issue before this monster behind me here starts knocking over this building that was built with love and energy and of previous generations.” Council bought the hospital site from the state government at the bargain of 1-dollar in August last year. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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INQUEST UNDERWAY INTO DRUG RELATED FESTIVAL DEATHS

It’s an emotional and fiercely contested debate, but on Tuesday the coroner began looking for solutions on how to stop young people from dying at music festivals. As an inquest into five recent drug related deaths was opened, the government was preparing for the worst – increasing medical staff at events over the Australia Day weekend.

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LEVEL TWO RESTRICTIONS ON THE CARDS FOR TAMWORTH

Level 2 restrictions could be just weeks away for Tamworth residents. Despite level one restrictions being put in place last week, there has been no drop in the amount of water used. “Daily consumption has remained above 40 megalitres a day, our target for level one is around 25 megalitres a day.” Tamworth Regional Council says the thousands of campers making the city home this week is NOT having a major impact on consumption. Rather, it says the biggest problem is locals trying to keep their lawns alive- and it won’t be cheap if they’re caught doing it outside of designated hours. “They’ll be fined $220, following that they can also have a water restriction device placed on their meter which brings their water flow down to about 3 litres a minute.” Chaffey Dam needs to drop just over 1 …

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MATILDAS COACH SACKED JUST FIVE MONTHS FROM WORLD CUP

Australia’s preparations for the FIFA women’s world cup have been dealt a major blow, with coach Alen Stajcic sacked from his position by Football Federation Australia. FFA chief executive David Gallop and chairman Chris Nikou made the announcement in Sydney a short time ago. It’s understood an investigation by the FFA identified a poor culture under Stajcic’s watch. The 45-year-old took on the role in 2014, overseeing the most successful period in the Matildas’ history. His replacement is yet to be announced. The women’s world cup gets underway in France in June.

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GAV’S WEATHER | HEATWAVE BEGINS

An extreme heatwave is set to affect much of northern NSW this week, with some locations west of divide likely to reach the xxxx 40s. Along the coast seabreezes will bring some relief from the rising mercury. Hot air being drawn down from Central Australia will ensure the temperatures continue to rise over the next two days.

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REHAB PETITION HOPED TO BOOST SIGNATURES AT COUNTRY MUSIC

A petition in favour of seeing a Drug and Alcohol Unit for Tamworth is gaining momentum. More than 500 people have now signed, meaning it will be lodged with the state government. The goal remains at 10,000 so it can be debated on the floor of parliament, those behind the petition hoping to attract many more signatures during the Country Music Festival. Advocate, Narelle Langfield, says the service would benefit the whole North West and beyond. NOTE: VISION ONLY

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