Best in Narrabri West 2018

Narrabri West is home to some of Narrabri Shire’s biggest businesses and to dynamic family enterprises of all sizes.This feature illustrates the depth of expertise, knowledge and services that Narrabri Shire residents are very fortunate to have at their doorstep. The businesses featured here are run by people who care and derive satisfaction from meeting the challenges of doing business in their community. Their contribution in servicing the needs of residents of Narrabri West and the wider area and keeping it alive and vibrant is considerable.

Best in Narrabri West 2018

Dynamic West businesses serve the region


Narrabri West is home to some of Narrabri Shire’s biggest businesses and to dynamic family enterprises of all sizes.

Their customers are from across the shire and the region.

Narrabri West residents have long acknowledged the West as an identifiable and cohesive community in its own right.

The West has its own post office, school, hotel, supermarket, lake, tennis courts, netball court and is the home turf of Narrabri’s Blue Boars.

The West is proud of its traditions - it was once a separate municipality - and proud of its progress.

Apart from a thriving residential population - predicted to grow on the West’s flood-free lands - Narrabri West is home to a significant number of successful, independent, locally owned small businesses, and large corporate entities.

Service industries, retail, recreational and high tech - all are represented in the West business community.

Professional service and commitment to training

CL Dickinson Auto Electrics provides professional service to customers across the shire and the region and also a career pathway for trainee and apprentice tradespeople.

The business relocated to its current site on Cooma Road in January 2015 and has continued to grow in its role as a local and regional business based at Narrabri West.

First year apprentice Jack Squire, school-based trainee Clare Mead, Warialda, tradesmen Matthew Burtenshaw and Aaron Hall and workshop manager Daniel Hobden in the CL Dickinson Auto Electrics workshop.

Proprietors Clayton and Cassie Dickinson have a team of qualified tradespeople and young apprentices and trainees learning on the job under the guidance of Mr Dickinson and workshop manager Daniel Hobden.

CL Dickinson Auto Electrics focuses on service and repairs for the range of automotive electrics and automotive air conditioning and communications needs for vehicles of all kinds from heavy trucks to farm machinery, four wheel drives and cars.

The team comprises nine staff, with three apprentices and Brad Carver working across the district in field service for customers, Tim Kennedy a specialist radio technician and Julie Noble in administration.

GCJ All The Way

GCJ Glass and Aluminium team members Grant Johnson, Helen Smart, apprentice William McMahon, Ben Brien and Cass Johnson. Apprentice Tyler Arnold absent from photo.

Narrabri home and business owners have access to professional manufacturing of glass and aluminium windows doors and other fittings at GCJ Glass and Aluminium.

The family business, operated at Narrabri West by Grant and Cassie Johnson and their team for 11 years, will design and make doors and windows to your specifications, for security and comfort at home and at work.

GCJ Glass has built a reputation for tradesmanship across Narrabri Shire and the wider region and undertakes glazing work of all kinds from homes to corporate clients.

A casual conversation between The Crossroads Hotel owner David Hammel and Narrabri West based One Of A Kind Regional Site Manager Jenny Garnett and her husband Mark led to a win-win for both organisations...

“Jenny explained to me the kind of work One Of A Kind was doing with Work For The Dole participants at Narrabri,” said Mr Hammel.

Work for the Dole participants have custom built this and many other indoor and outdoor tables for The Crossroads Hotel. Work for the Dole supervisor Keith Holmes is pictured with a pleased customer, The Crossroads Hotel operator David Hammel.

“At the Crossroads Hotel we had been talking about replacing some of our furniture, and One Of A Kind was producing furniture from recycled pallets and other timber so it was a perfect fit.”

Soon, the new furniture was in place at The Crossroads inside and outside areas.

“The large outside tables are beautifully made from recycled Telstra cable reels,” said Mr Hammel.

“Inside we have a range of great occasional tables of various sizes, all made from recycled timber in the Work For The Dole scheme.

"We are ordering more.

"The Work For the Dole participants can be very proud of their carpentry skills.”

Absolutely everything at Absolute Spares

Since starting in business in December 2015, Absolute Spares’ growth and success has seen proprietors Ruth Maunder and Brett Goddard move to a bigger and better location, at 79 Fraser Street, on the corner of Cooma Road and Fraser Street.

Absolute Spares is a local, family owned business.

“We have been strongly supported by many loyal local and interstate customers in the transport, industrial, automotive and agricultural industries,” said co-proprietor Brett Goddard.


Absolute Spares’ Gilly Goddard and Brett Goddard in the spacious showroom on Cooma Road.

“With the needs of our clients in mind, our product range now includes over 16,000 line items in stock, and we keep multiplies on hand to ensure that maintenance and down time costs can be kept to a minimum where possible.

“We’re very thankful to our wonderful customers and local community for the support so far and look forward to offering many more years of service and supply.

“We believe in not only providing quality products, quickly and competitively but offering quality service to our customers, from mechanical diagnoses, parts and machine identification and records for easy routine maintenance and minimise downtime and headaches in breakdown situations.

“It’s the simple phone call to let you know you’re parts have arrived, knowing our customers by name and rego that set us apart.

“Our large product range – from truck and trailer parts – filters to oil – tools, nuts and bolts- hose and belts - auto electrical and safety, provides our clients a one stop shop for their serious mechanical needs.

“Absolute Spares has an extremely large supplier base for all things automotive, transport, industrial, mechanical and workshop.

“With access to thousands of specialised vehicle components for many makes and models of cars, trucks, semi and box trailers, machinery, engines, we order specialised parts, accessories and tools daily for many clients providing helpful, experienced knowledge and advice for those not so easy to explain mechanical situations.

“Our large supplier base ensures we have access to a competitive and comprehensive range of products for all of our customers’ growing requirements.

“We are forever listening to the needs of our customer and now not only specialise and supply truck, trailer and box trailer parts but have access to thousands of parts for cars and four wheel drives.”

Since moving to their new premises in late January this year, Absolute Spares’ showroom has been quadrupled in area, offering their clients an easier, pleasurable shopping experience.

“We are very excited to be able to showcase our large range of products in our bigger better store, which features a dedicated Gates Belt Room as well as truck trailer parts, exhaust, filter, auto electrical, tool, and workshop consumable departments throughout, complimented by a large storage facility for bulk oil and trailer products,” said Mr Goddard.

New state of the art bowsers BP Roadhouse

ill Tick’s BP Roadhouse is always busy but in recent times not quite as busy as he would have wished.

Operator of the BP Roadhouse, Bill Tick - the Roadhouse is open from a chilly 4am onwards seven days a week.

“We had to operate with just one set of fuel bowsers for a few weeks while we had new bowsers installed,” said Mr Tick.

“But now we are fully back in action with three new state of the art petrol bowsers.”

There is much more to the BP Roadhouse than fuel and a steady flow of early visitors on their way to work arrives at the service station each day to pick up one of the Roadhouses famous breakfasts.

The service suits the early starters because the Roadhouse is open from 4am and remains open until 8.30pm, seven days a week.

Mr Tick has operated the BP Roadhouse for 11 years and employs three shifts of staff, providing a total of 15 local jobs.

“We are busy all the time,” he said.

New menu, same friendly service at the Wilga Hotel

Wilga Hotel operator Bill ‘Sonny’ Chater has welcomed Amy Willis and chef Chris McGrath to The Wilga where they will manage the kitchen and catering for hotel patrons and private and community functions.

The Wilga Hotel is the social hub of Narrabri West and hands on owner Bill ‘Sonny’ Chater is behind the bar to greet patrons and ensure the popular venue remains a family friendly hotel.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Mr Chater. “This is a family hotel, there are no strangers at The Wilga, only friends.”

The Wilga is traditionally a popular venue for charity fund raisers and community events with full barbecue facilities available.

Amy Willis and Chris McGrath have taken on the role of catering for hotel patrons and diners. They started in the kitchen at the Wilga yesterday.

“We are currently preparing a complete new menu, a cafe style with many exciting dishes featured,” said Ms Willis.

“We will be offering meals from 12 noon to 2pm and from 6pm to 8pm seven days a week.”

Diners will be able to enjoy a meal in the dining room or in the open air.

Noel Burke Motor Repairs - long established family business

Noel and Margaret Burke, proprietors of Noel Burke Motor Repairs. Noel Burke leads the team at Cooma Road while Margaret has stepped back from day to day business activities.

One of the most valued features of many Narrabri West businesses is their decades of experience and engagement with their community and customers.

Service underpins their operations.

Noel and Margaret Burke have been in business at Narrabri West for more than 20 years.

Noel Burke Motor Repairs is a long established, trusted and iconic Narrabri West business, providing the full range of automotive repairs and maintenance services, delivered by their team of qualified mechanics and technicians.

Santos progressing Narrabri Gas Project

The Narrabri West operations centre for the Narrabri Gas Project is the hub of a multi million dollar business engaged in developing a natural gas industry in the Pilliga forest. The project employees many people in the district. Above, John Higgins and NSW operations manager Todd Dunn.

Santos recently lodged its response to submission document with the NSW Government, marking a major step in the comprehensive assessment process for the Narrabri Gas Project.

The RTS carefully considered the public submissions on the Environmental Impact Statement and confirmed the Project can be developed safely and sustainably.

Santos’ proposed Narrabri Gas Project has the capacity to supply up to half of the natural gas used in NSW homes and businesses each day.

At a time when Australia needs more gas to meet demand and lower energy prices, the Narrabri Gas Project will deliver much-needed gas supplies to the domestic market and support the more than one million homes, 33,000 businesses and 300,000 jobs in NSW that rely on natural gas as a source of energy.

The Narrabri Gas Project will also deliver around $1.2 billion in royalties directly to the NSW budget to help fund essential government services like health, transport and education.

Locally, the Project will provide around 1,300 jobs during construction, 200 ongoing jobs and a regional benefit fund of up to $120 million to invest in local community programs.

The Project will also provide significant benefits to local contractors and businesses.

Santos has the track record and expertise required to safely and sustainably develop the Narrabri Gas Project and deliver clean energy to NSW for many years to come.

We have been operating safely across Australia for more than 60 years and we are proud of the relationships we have built with local farmers and the local communities in which we work.

While the Narrabri Gas Project approvals process continues, our pilot wells continue to produce gas to supply our nearby Wilga Park Power Station which generates electricity for local households and businesses in the Narrabri area.

Convenience - fresh fruit and vegetables delivered right to your front door

Paradise Fresh offers a unique service in Narrabri and the wider district - the delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables, all Australian grown produce, to the customer’s door.


Owner and manager of Paradise Fresh, Sarah Bennett, with team members Jo Westman and Bert Gay. Inset: the business premises at 37 Dangar Street.

Paradise Fresh operates from premises on the highway in Narrabri.

It’s easy to order.

Choose the items you want or select from a variety of pre-packaged fruit and vegetable packages, all with the freshest seasonal produce.

Customers can drop in to pickup their order or simply go online, or phone, order their selection for the week, indicate a preferred delivery time and it will be brought to their door.

Deliveries are made to Narrabri, Baan Baa, Boggabri, Wee Waa, Moree, Bellata and Burren Junction.

Full Post Office service - plus a FREE book exchange

Customer at Narrabri West Post office Beverly Orman with Post Office owner Cathy Redding.

Narrabri West has its own Post Office, a busy, full service facility which is popular with customers every day.

Post Office proprietor Cathy Redding has run the outlet for 15 years and makes sure the PO provides the widest range of services to its customers.

Locals top up their phones from the full range of phone rechargers and, among the big range of retail lines, can also take advantage of the Post Office’s unique and well supported book exchange.

Customers are welcome to borrow a book, read it and exchange it, a service which underlines the community atmosphere of the West Post Office.

Kogil Street: a place to grow, have fun, and learn

Kogil Street Pre School has gone from strength to strength in the last 18 months.

Going into its 51st year of operation, the centre has some very exciting news and events happening.

Historically, Kogil Street Pre School has only been operating 48 weeks of the year.

At a committee meeting last month it was decided to extend our operations to 50 weeks of the year.

This is a positive step forward for Kogil Street Pre School and one that is only going to benefit our community and parents.

At the beginning of the year we employed Megan Longstaff, who moved from Victoria, as our Early Childhood Teacher. With a double degree in Education, Meg is both primary and early childhood trained.

Kogil Street Pre School director Heidi Harper, left, and Early Childhood teacher Meg Longstaff, with pre-schoolers Kayleb Stove and Max Eather. Kogil Street pre-schoolers are being intoduced to a world of interest, including basic Italian words and phrases, through the Early Learning Languages Australia program.

Meg is such an asset to KSPS and uses her knowledge and skills to head our Transition to School Program, providing great experiences and

routines that develop the skills necessary for success at ‘big school’.

This year we were successful in our application to run the ELLA (Early Learning Languages Australia) program.

The children have been immersed in the Italian Language and Culture which has been such a great opportunity and experience for them.

Although this program is for children going to school next year, all children at KSPS have the opportunity to learn language through our cultural program.

We have a strong focus on embedding Aboriginal culture and language into our daily program.

The children participate in daily ‘yarning circles’ where everyone’s voice is heard and good listening skills, communication skills and respect is promoted.

It is also a great opportunity for extending the children’s knowledge on a variety of topics.

Another focus at Kogil Street Preschool is our community

involvement and ‘giving’ program.

This program started last year with our visits to the residents at Jessie Hunt nursing home and merged into a ‘12 days of Kindness’ program at Christmas time, supporting the children to develop their emerging sense of identity and an understanding of reciprocal rights and responsibilities as a member of our community.

As part of this program, the children baked goods and delivered to emergency services, collected food and pet donations which were delivered to Winang-Li and Animal Rescue, performed concerts for the senior citizens group from Community Health and delivered hand made Christmas cards to Jessie Hunt residents.

It was such a proud moment seeing our recipients happiness and knowing that we were helping spread cheer and goodwill. This program will be continued every year as we help foster the children’s community spirit.

We have had a real year and a half of growth at Kogil Street Pre School, having Meg come on board has allowed us to open up 10 more spaces each day to offer our full 39 licensed places.

The changes and growth we have experienced could not have happened without such a group of dedicated and committed educators.

I am very proud of our staff and the level of time, effort and education they put into the children’s curriculum. We really focus on making a warm, inviting and inclusive environment and I think that is evident every day at KSPS.

Aesthetically we have added more sun protection in the form of shade sails and verandah blinds, we have installed new air conditioners and new flooring in our Bandaarr room. We have been working hard on our strategic planning and look forward to our continued quality improvements.

‘Old school’ experience teamed with technology

Narrabri High School Year 9 student Thomas Bruce is making the most of a great opportunity to learn about the auto electrical trade.

Each Tuesday for nine weeks Thomas is working alongside Jamie Charlton, owner of B and C Auto Electrical at Narrabri West, who is well qualified in the trade with more than 22 years’ experience.


Narrabri High School Year 9 student Thomas Bruce is learning about every aspect of the trade from Jamie Charlton during Thomas’ placement over eight weeks.

Mr Charlton took over the family business B and C Auto Electrical after the passing of his father, Brian Charlton.

He grew up learning the trade at his father’s elbow and acknowledges that he benefitted from ‘old school’ training, applying the lessons learned initially from Mr Charlton senior but latterly through his years of experience over the complete range of auto electrical work.

His daily work encompasses every aspect of auto electrical maintenance and repair, across starter motors and alternator rebuilding and repairs, wiring, dual battery systems and solar power for caravanners to keep their batteries charged cheaply.

“Basically anything electrical,” he said.

And the work ranges from cars to trucks to four wheel drives, quad bikes, boats, hot rods and even rewiring fish finders in kayaks.

“The variety makes it very interesting,” he said. “Every day is different.”

Meanwhile, as trainee Thomas Bruce said “no day is the same here - it’s so interesting - we have a different job to undertake every day and we are always busy.”

Thomas also has an advantage not all trainees get - he works in an immaculate workplace.

“We finish a job and clean up as we go, no mess,” said Mr Charlton. “It makes life so much easier.”

All the supermarket services plus fine foods fast at Bell’s Westland


Some of the Bell’s Westland Supermarket team members, Dianne Baker and Anne Brown with proprietor Grant Bell.

Narrabri West has its own supermarket -Bell’s Westland Supermarket.

Westland Supermarket is a mecca for the local community for their

lottery, newsagency and grocery needs. Fine food, fast, is a feature of Bell’s Westland Supermarket.

Customers begin to arrive early to take delivery of breakfast before setting off for work - the doors open at 6am from Monday to Friday and from 7am on weekends.

Customer service underpins family business

Richards Metaland proprietor Jeff Richards and team members Mary Ann-Sheridan, Cody Wilson and Brett Hannaford.

Richards Metaland is a long-established Narrabri family business based at Narrabri West and run by Jeff Richards and his team.

Richards Metaland is supplier of steel and other metal products to the builders, businesses, farmers and homeowners of Narrabri and the wider district.

Service to customers underpins the business.

“We operate based on customer service, and we care about what we are doing,” said Mr Richards.

Richards Metaland has operated from its Morath Street address since 1989.

The business was launched by the late David Richards and his wife Judy.

“Metaland is part of a national network, but our focus is very much local,” said Jeff Richards.

“We supply steel, stainless steel, aluminium. We are mainly re-sellers of steel, and we have a big range of products.

“We aim to stock the kinds of steel and metal that is needed locally and look after our customer’s needs.

“We offer a cutting service for steel, and cater for those who only need a small quantity or length of steel.”

Richards Metaland sells roofing products, pool and garden fences, stainless steel and aluminium.

The business provides plate and sheet steel, pipes, RHS beams, round bar steel, steel for cattleyards and fencing, galvanised sheets, aluminium sheets and grid mesh.

All things automotive at Repco


Repco Narrabri sales team members Zaine Jeffries, Matt Tubner and Danny Anderson.

Repco Narrabri is home to all things automotive and the current Repco catalogue now out has special bargain prices across the range of products from the major suppliers.

The Repco team has the right advice and product knowledge to help customers choose.



Nandewar a popular dining venue

Cynthia Smith has a well earned reputation as a leading cook and caterer in the Narrabri district.


Cynthia Smith’s cuisine has won her many fans among district diners.

Mrs Smith is in charge of the kitchen at the Nandewar Motel Restaurant,a popular venue which seats up to 70 people from everyday diners enjoying gourmet cuisine on a special night out to functions and event catering.

She has many years’ experience, 19 in all at the Nandewar, and knows the dishes which are perennially popular as well as regularly adding innovation to the bill of fare.

The Nandewar Restaurant menu is complemented by a comprehensive wine list.

Mrs Smith has recently introduced a new winter menu featuring the kinds of dishes for the cooler weather.

Red and green curries are a winter specialty, ranging through to Mrs Smith’s famous steaks, cooked exactly to the diner’s specifications.