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Bourke gets action on youth crime

Superintendent Sam Crisafulli, Minister Sarah Mitchel, Minister Ben Franklin, Deputy Premier Paul Toole, Minister Bronnie Taylor, Minister Brad Hazzard, Kurt Hancock. PHOTO TWH

Pleas to the state government from Bourke Mayor, Barry Hollman, to intervene over youth crime has paid off, with five NSW government ministers in town last week, including Deputy Premier Paul Toole.

The Deputy Premier, Mr Toole, who is also Minister of Police and Minister for Regional NSW, announced two major initiatives which he said were the first steps in addressing the issue of troubled youth at Bourke.

Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Regional Youth, Ben Franklin, Education Minister, Sarah Mitchell, and Minister for Regional Health, Mental Health and Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor, were also in Bourke for the announcement.

They joined representatives from Bourke Shire Council and Maranguka, local police, community members were also at round table talks at the Back of Bourke Exhibition Centre on Wednesday.

The first of the two initiatives will target at-risk young people in Bourke with support through the appointment of a Youth Action Meeting Coordinator. The new, specialised position will provide on-the-ground support to help address the needs of vulnerable young people. A similar position was trialled in Coffs Harbour with success in reducing the risk of recidivism for more than 60 per cent of young people involved in the program.

The second will be a three-day gala event, working with the Boys To The Bush program.

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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