Good morning Ballarat!
We're in for a sunny day with an expected top of 18 degrees.
Costello takes aim at Responsible Gambling Awareness Week
Leading social services figure Tim Costello has hit out at the concept of the state government-supported Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, saying the onus needs to be placed back on the gambling industry. Read more here.
Gold Bus Ballarat driver faces court over Montague St bridge crash
A Ballarat bus driver who crashed into South Melbourne's notorious Montague Street bridge, causing 11 passengers to be hospitalised, has faced court charged with dangerous driving and traffic offences. Read more here.
Troy Barnes faces court over failed robbery of police in Canadian State Forest
A Ballarat man allegedly involved in the failed robbery of two plain-clothed police officers earlier this year has been committed to stand trial in the County Court. Read more here.
Lifeline CEO says service inundated with calls for help in wake of royal commission
Lifeline has been inundated with calls for help in the wake of the royal commissions into child sexual abuse and family violence. During a visit to Ballarat on Wednesday, Lifeline chief executive Pete Shmigel said calls to the service related to past childhood trauma and family violence have been steadily increasing. Read more here.
Dog’s all good
Western Bulldogs premiership hero Jordan Roughead doesn’t believe an operation to correct a hip issue will hamper his preparations for the 2017 AFL season. Read more here.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
► ROSEWHITE: Breanna Johnson had a simple assignment at school. Research a part of the brain and present it to the class. She asked her nurse mother Margot for help, and the 15-year-old chose to focus on the temporal lobe. That was in April this year. Days later her healthy 51-year old father Steven, from Rosewhite near Myrtleford, would be diagnosed with stage four brain cancer in the temporal lobe after going to hospital following a car accident. More here.
► RIVERINA: Farmers and gun-owners have backed calls to legalise a cheap, rapid-fire shotgun. The Abbott government banned the seven-shot Adler A110 in 2015, amid concerns it could be modified to fire 11 rounds without reloading. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday extended the ban until states and territories hash out how to classify the contentious firearm and what sort of permit a gun-owner would require. More here.
► BELLBIRD: It was a homemade “firearm” which he hoped would be enough to scare a poor Coalfields service station attendant to hand over some cash. It wasn’t and it didn’t. More here.
► HEATHCOTE: The former coach of a central Victorian club in shock after as its star forward fights for his life following a suspected ‘flakka’ overdose has said illicit drugs have “become the norm” in Australian rule football – from the AFL to local football leagues. More here.
► HARVEY: One of three farmers dropped by Brownes Dairy at the end of last month has been forced to tip his grade one milk out because no one wants it. More here.
► ST MARYS: A couple who have cared for their son for 30 years are pleading for accelerated access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. More here.
► MACKSVILLE: When she was a baby Kymberlee Blair was fighting for her life, her small body wracked with the fevers and pain of double pneumonia and swine flu. More here.
► WODONGA: When 16-year-old Alexia Brown requested Hamish and Andy attend her year 10 formal, she didn’t expect to get a “yes” back. But on air Monday afternoon, the radio personalities announced Catholic College Wodonga would be the first stop in their band’s tour. More here.
► PORT MACQUARIE: There is a common belief among those who work in healthcare or emergency sectors that a full moon can create a hectic night for employees. More here.
► Australia is missing out on key events aimed at improving gender diversity due to the lack of policy initiatives designed to get women into public and private sector leadership positions, says the chief executive of Business Events Sydney, Lyn Lewis-Smith. More here.
► The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spent an estimated $215,000 or more sending nearly two dozen senior bureaucrats from Canberra to Paris to attend an inhouse talkfest about ways to save money. More here.
► More than one in four Australian workers feel financially stressed and find it difficult to make ends meet, a national study has found. More here.
► The RSL NSW has nearly $350 million in cash and liquid assets held across hundreds of sub-branches, much of which critics say is not being properly used to help needy veterans. More here.
National weather radar
► LONDON: The British government is counting on Australia's taste for British beer and cider to boost its Brexit trade plan – and is planning an ad blitz to whet our appetites. More here.
► BANGKOK: Thai authorities say they have uncovered a plot to explode bombs in Bangkok where millions of Thais are mourning the death last week of long-reigning King Bhumibol Adulyadej. More here.
► GERMANY: Four police officers have been injured, one critically, after they were shot at during a raid on a home in southern Germany. More here.
On this day
The faces of Australia: Simone O’Brien
At the start of the year Horsham’s Simone O’Brien set herself a pretty typical goal – to tackle the Melbourne marathon. But O’Brien is not your typical woman.
Four years ago she was violently attacked, and now dedicates her time to starting a public conversation about domestic violence. Read more here.