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Patrick Allen Boon jailed for murdering Fred Tuffs on job site off Culgoora Rd between Narrabri and Wee Waa in 2017

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A concreter who murdered his boss in the break room of a local worksite with "savagery and ferocity" has been jailed for at least 13 years and 10 months.

Queensland man Patrick Allen Boon struck grandfather Frederick Tuffs over the head with a sledgehammer several times and then continued the bashing with a wrench near Narrabri, on June 13, 2017.

The 57-year-old site manager died in hospital the next morning.

Boon, who pleaded guilty to murder in May, was on Friday jailed for 18 years and six months, with a minimum term of 13 years and 10 months.

Oxley police honoured for bravery, service to the force in Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Wee Waa

Narrabri and Wee Waa.

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Similarly, Sergeant Darren Wallington and Senior Constable Scott O'Brien were honoured for their work in dealing with a siege that unfolded in Wee Waa.

The officers arrived to find a man had barricaded himself in. They started negotiations but the man had doused himself in fuel. Their work saw the situation successfully resolved and the suspect taken into custody, unharmed.

Officers from Wee Waa, Narrabri, Gunnedah, Tamworth and across the wider Oxley district were recognised for their brave actions as well as the years they've dedicated to the force - some of whom notched up 10, 20 and 30 years in the job.

Rare bird and passionate twitchers provide huge economic boost

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Birdwatching can be a compulsive pastime, a never-ending quest to see more species and add to a lifetime list.

Key Points
A study reveals birdwatchers generated an economic boom when they travelled to see the rare bird in 2017
Researchers say the study highlights the potential of bird tourism, especially around rare and vagrant birds
Work is now underway to create a bird trail in the lower Hunter Valley, NSW, to encourage tourism
It drives many devoted twitchers to travel long distances in search of unusual and hard-to-spot birds.

When a rare Alaskan shorebird, the Aleutian tern, was spotted for the first time in Australia in late 2017, hundreds of people travelled to catch a glimpse of the elusive species.

The Aleutian tern breeds in Alaska and eastern Siberia and usually spends the southern summer in the North Pacific and parts of Indonesia, so its appearance on a sandbar, off the small New South Wales mid-north coastal town of Old Bar, came as a surprise.

"There was the tufted duck in Melbourne in 2019, there was a black-headed gull in the Northern Territory, there was Australia's first collared pratincole in Perth, there was the grey-headed lapwing in Burren Junction, near Wee Waa … there's been heaps," Mr Callaghan said.

It's time to work together for the future of Barwon - Roy Butler

Barwon

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This week I had the honour of delivering my inaugural speech in Parliament. An opportunity to talk about my goals for the next four years.  To you the people I represent I restate my election commitments – to work hard and be honest.   
 
Across the electorate I have met many people who are incredibly passionate about the future of  their  community.  They  want  recognition  that  at  this  moment  in  the  history  of  NSW  the government is faced with a choice. They continue to treat the communities of western NSW in the same manner they have been or they change their focus and reinvigorate the bush.  

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