Officers from Oxley Police District established Strike Force Chowan to investigate armed robberies at Narrabri and Oxley Vale in late September 2019.

About 4.40am on Thursday, September 2, 2019, two men entered a service station on the Newell Highway at Narrabri and allegedly threatened an employee with a knife before leaving the scene with cash and cigarettes.

Three days later, a man entered a supermarket on Manilla Road, Oxley Vale, and allegedly threatened two employees with a knife before stealing cash and cigarettes about 6.40pm on Sunday 29 September 2019.

Following extensive investigations, and a public appeal for information, strike force detectives arrested a 28-year-old man at Narrabri Police Station about 1.45pm yesterday (Tuesday 22 September 2020).

The Narrabri man was charged with two counts of robbery armed with an offensive weapon.

He was refused bail and is due to appear in Inverell Local Court today and investigations under Strike Force Chowan are continuing.


The NSW government has changed the Covid health orders to say that all attendees at private gatherings at homes in the state above the 20-visitor limit risk being slapped with a $1000 fine.

Before yesterday only the organiser of a gathering was liable to receive a fine if the number of people at the premises breached the Public Health Order but, from Monday, every person in attendance will now be held individually responsible for the breach.

The total number of visitors includes adults and children but members of the household are not counted among the 20-visitor limit.

The changes aim to ensure the safety of the community ahead of an expected increase in gatherings associated with Christmas and end-of-year festivities.


Tamworth Regional Council has voted to suspend all of its Tamworth Country Music Festival activities in 2021 and endorsed the production of the Golden Guitar Awards as a virtual event.

It was a unanimous vote and the decision was not made lightly amid fears that if the festival went ahead and the city became a Covid hotspot, the worst case scenario could be brought to the community and lives could be lost.

Cr Glenn Inglis said the Council has a fundamental role to protect the community and the Wests Entertainment Group and The Pub Group, the police and public health organisations already support this decision.

Cr Helen Tickle said "the health and wellbeing of the community had to be the priority and it’s great we are still going to have the 49th Country Music Awards with a worldwide audience that everyone can tune into, regardless of where they live," she said.

A live-streamed Golden Guitar Awards would still see appearances from major country music artists and is possible within the Council's budgets.

A concert series over seven days was out as there were logistical complications in ensuring that anyone from Covid hotspots was not importing the virus.

Stay tuned to 88.9FM and 96.3FM and our Facebook page and website for follow-ups and reaction from businesses, artists and the community.


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