A daring Italian job

Dangar FallsAN ITALIAN plans to put Armidale in the spotlight by risking life and limb with an audacious tightrope walk across Dangar Falls.

Former Armidale citizen of the year Anthony Kelly is promoting the professional tightrope walker’s efforts to become the first person to achieve the feat at Dangar Falls since 1860.

Mr Kelly has renewed his push for the stunt to be held in New England after watching American daredevil Nik Wallenda cross the top of Niagara Falls last month. But his bold bid is set to be thwarted, with negotiations between Mr Kelly and Armidale Dumaresq Council (ADC) believed to have since broken down.

Mr Kelly, who has consulted with Council for the past 12 months, told The Express he’s been left feeling confused over their failure to reach an


“All I want is to see it happen; as far as safety goes there’s no concern really; it’s no death-defying stunt,” he said. “Council tourism has never helped me with any exposure in the past, which I find very strange.”

Despite the claims, ADC’s tourism, marketing and economic development project manager Tony Broomfield said Council had to operate within its own constraints.

“It would be a great thing for Armidale, but we don’t have huge resources available,” he said. “We have to go for the things we can realistically achieve, and this isn’t one of the easier ones if I’m being honest.

“There are also huge legal questions that still have to be answered, and they aren’t council related.”

But Mr Kelly said if the event went ahead it would give Armidale worldwide exposure.

The Guinness World Records guru said the focus on Mr Wallenda’s walk across Niagara Falls proved it would be a

successful stunt.

“I’ve drawn a lot of attention to Armidale both nationally and internationally over the years through my stuntwork and I want to continue doing that,” he said. “I think it’d be a great opportunity to show off people’s skills and to display what we have to offer.”

Meanwhile, Mr Kelly has been officially recognised as the Guinness World Record-holder for the most tennis balls caught in one hour. He achieved the feat at Armidale Bowling Club last November, plucking 904 balls from the air.

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