Good morning Ballarat and happy Friday, we've got all the news headlines you need right here.
VICTIMS EXPECTED TO BE COMPENSATED
People who became sick after being exposed to toxic chemicals linked to the CFA’s contaminated Fiskville Training Centre will likely receive compensation. Read more.
FRONTRUNNERS IN BEST DRESSED COMPETITION REVEALED
FIREFIGHTERS TAKE A STAND
Ballarat firefighters will don their trucks with white ribbons in a bid to stop violence against women. Read more.
WARNING FOR DISTRICT FARMERS
Farmers have been warned to look out for flystrike this summer. Read more.
LUCKY ESCAPE FOR MOTORIST
A motorist was lucky to esape with minor injuries when their car rolled on Thursday. Read more.
McCLUGGAGE A TOP CONTENDER FOR NUMBER ONE DRAFT PICK
North Ballarat Rebels player Hugh McCluggage is tipped to be picked up by an AFL club today. Read more.
State of the Nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.
► HUNTER, NSW: An armed bandit got more than he bargained for when he was pelted with bags of lollies during an attempted hold-up at Aberdare. The balaclava-clad robber copped the barrage after trying to enter the BP service station while brandishing a metal bar at about 5.45am Sunday. More here.
► BENDIGO, VIC: The state government has released a 10 year plan to end family violence. It promises to invest a further $218 million into social housing and private rental assistance, establish a network of support and safety hubs, and recruit new specialist family violence workers. More here.
► BALLARAT, VIC: When 13-year-old Emily Baker takes to the stage as Little Women’s Jo March next week, she will be following in a firmly established Ballarat tradition. Little Women is Miss Baker’s performance debut with Ballarat National Theatre. But her way to the stage was carved by her grandfather Bob Baker, who appeared in more than 50 shows with the community theatre group. More here.
► ALBURY-WODONGA: A FAMILY day care operator behind a multi-million-dollar government rip-off has maintained her innocence right to the very end. Melissa Higgins has been found guilty of a $3.6 million child care benefits rort despite consistently claiming she had done nothing wrong. More here.
► WAGGA WAGGA, NSW: IT WAS an innate sense of justice that would not allow Erwin Richter to sit on the sidelines and watch individuals or his city suffer when he could do something to help. “My long-held philosophy has been that if it is at all possible to make a difference for the better of just one person any effort on my part would be justified,” Mr Richter told The Daily Advertiser in 2010 after being told he had been made a Member of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to the community. More here.
► ILLAWARRA, NSW: Thieves have forced the closure of Helensburgh’s only bank, with a brazen pre-dawn ram raid leaving the branch in ruins. Residents of Parkes Street were startled from their sleep about 2.20am Wednesday, as a Nissan Patrol smashed inside the Illawarra Credit Union. The car took out the shop front and connected with the street-facing ATM, pushing it over. More here.
►GOULBURN, NSW: A Goulburn district farmer given a suspended jail sentence on charges of aggravated cruelty to 31 of his sheep has accepted “full responsibility” for his actions. More here.
► ORANGE, NSW: Two weeks after the National Party was spectacularly swept from the Orange electorate, the party’s state leader John Barilaro returned to survey the damage. Mr Barilaro stepped in to replace Troy Grant following his resignation after the Orange byelection. More here.
► SUTHERLAND SHIRE, NSW: For the past 20 years, Cliff Jackson has caught the 478 bus from Ramsgate to Rockdale followed by the 400 bus from Rockdale to Enfield. He started this routine when he lost his sight in 1996. Mr Jackson, 91, from Monterey, volunteers at Vision Australia in Enfield four days a week. More here.
► TAMWORTH, NSW: The Deputy Prime Minister rubbished calls for a tax on sugary drinks, saying people should simply “stop eating so much and do a bit of exercise”. New England MP Barnaby Joyce and his National party colleagues dismissed the recommendation, but the idea has broad public support, including a local woman who gave up sugar for the health benefits. More here.
► LAUNCESTON, TAS: Ever thought about what an amazing life a child could lead if their sense of self-belief didn’t disappear? Angela Bertram has and it’s known as Where All Amazing Things Start. More here.
► GLOUCESTER, NSW: At least 30 current Essential Energy employees will be made redundant prior to Christmas. The move follows a Fair Work Commission determination in the long-running dispute over new Enterprise Agreement negotiations between the energy provider and the unions. More here.
► BURNIE, TAS: The controversial trawler, the Geelong Star, is no longer in Australian waters and is not set to return. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority confirmed on Tuesday that the freezer factory trawler, which had been operating in Australian waters since April 2015, was no longer in Australian jurisdiction. More here.
► CLEVELAND, QLD: FIRE brigade officers fought a major blaze in a highset, chamferboard house at Alexandra Hills on Thursday morning. Despite the best efforts of firefighters, much of the interior of the house in Sallows Street was burnt out. More here.
► MANDURAH, WA: Mandurah woman Carmen Carmody is livid after her attempt at a therapeutic and calming walk along Melros Beach this morning was squashed by the pong of exposed dog faeces being savaged by flies. More here.
► KATHERINE, NT: KATHERINE’s drinking water contains traces of the chemicals which have leached from the Tindal RAAF Base. The Northern Territory’s Department of Health is expected to announce confirmation of its test results tomorrow. More here.
► ESPERANCE, WA: Esperance Senior High School students have rallied behind their school chaplain to prevent his dismissal. Ready to make a stand against the decision to dump Mr Meadley, a group of students gathered 173 signatures when they walked around the school at recess and lunch time on Tuesday. More here.
► MURRAY VALLEY, SA: Always say ‘I love you’ – that is the mantra of the Kneebone family after they tragically lost their daughter and sister, Molly, in a car accident. On December 13, 2013, 18-year-old Molly Kneebone was killed in a single car accident on her way to her new adopted home. More here.
► The reigning Premiers, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, will open the 2017 NRL season with a blockbuster match against the Brisbane Broncos. NRL boss Todd Greenberg announced the 2017 schedule on Thursday morning. More here.
► The new John Farnham? Get outta here. Where's the mullet? The artist known as Flume doesn't sing, doesn't dance and he wasn't even born when the first ARIA Awards were held. But Flume, or Harley Edward Streten as it says on his well thumbed passport, dominated the ARIA Awards on its 30th anniversary just as Farnham did on that first (non-televised, pre-social media, drinks flowing) night in 1987. More here.
► Below average rainfall, warmer days and increased bushfire threats can be expected across much of the nation for summer. Warmer days and nights are likely across eastern and northern Australia, with cooler days and nights more likely in Tasmania and south-west WA, the Bureau of Meteorology says. More here.
National weather radar
► My oh my. What a bill. The cost of Brexit has been revealed in the first budget update released since the June 23 referendum - an expected £58.7 billion ($98.76 billion) hit over the forward estimates. More here.
► Mariah Carey would prefer to talk about diamonds, taking bubble baths at 4am and Christmas cheer and decor than her ex-fiance, James Packer. The singer was elusive when she spoke about the Australian billionaire with Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday as she promoted new E! "docuseries" ("not reality TV show"), Mariah's World. More here.
On this day
1783 - During the Revolutionary War, the British evacuated New York. New York was their last military position in the U.S.
1952 - Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" opened in London.
1966 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience made its London performance debut at the Bag O' Nails Club.
1976 - O.J. Simpson (Buffalo Bills) ran for 273 yards against the Detroit Lions.
1990 - Poland held its first popular presidential election.
1992 - The Czech parliament voted to split the country into separate Czech and Slovak republics beginning January 1, 1993.
2013 - One Direction's third album "Midnight Memories was released.
John F. Kennedy, Jr and actress Christina Applegate celebrate birthdays today.
Faces of Australia: Jacob Stapleton
Junee High School student Jacob Stapleton has always dreamt of riding a bike.
Jacob, who suffers from cerebral palsy, never let the physical disorder crush his dream, while a secret group of peers and teachers worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help him realise it.
The school combined with the Junee Lions Club to present Jacob with a bike of his own this week.
The presentation was made at Monday morning’s assembly, where Jacob enjoyed his first ride of the new bike in front of the whole school and his emotional family.