Good morning Ballarat and happy Thursday, the first day of summer! Here are today's top stories.
Elderly man left hospitalised after brutal supermarket attack
An 89-year-old man who was randomly attacked while doing his supermarket shopping is undergoing surgery. Read more.
Bogged vehicle hinders getaway
A Sebastopol man who attempted to get away from a house he had allegedly just robbed, only to get bogged on the way out, will face court next month. Read more.
GPS leads to recovery of missing car
Technology, the power of social media and a GPS tracking device helped a group of Ballarat residents track down their car on Tuesday night. Read more.
BHS result reveals the financial cost of staff bullying
The chairman of the directors of the Ballarat Health Services board has apologised publicly for what has occurred at the hospital in recent years, saying that the processes for identifying and addressing bullying and harassment were “inadequate and wanting”. Read more.
Young songwriter-singer’s touch of class | video
Eight-year-old Ballarat singer-songwriter Chloe Yeluri has wowed classmates by winning second place in a national songwriting competition held by The Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF). Read more and watch the video here.
What a beautiful morning it's been to kick off summer! The nice weather is only going to continue as well.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing? Well, we have you covered.
► NEWCASTLE, NSW: It was an horrific murder of a Lake Macquarie couple that remains unsolved nearly nine years after they were killed. With the coronial inquest into the murders of Robert Pashkuss, 50, and Stacey McMaugh, 41, at Caves Beach to reconvene in Newcastle on Thursday, the state government has announced an increase of the reward for information relating to the 2008 murders to $250,000. Read more.
► BALLARAT, VIC: A 24-year-old Elmhurst man who allegedly committed a series of offences in the Ballarat region six weeks after being released from prison has been refused bail. Samuel Heywood faces 77 charges which include three aggravated burglaries, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, armed robbery and multiple thefts of cars, one of which was found burnt out in Bungaree. Read more.
► TASMANIA: The majority of farmers across Australia are counting the costs of climate change, according to survey results released by agricultural group Farmers for Climate Action. Nine out of ten farmers surveyed said they are concerned by the impact of climate change on their farms. Read more.
► CESSNOCK, NSW: A church community is fuming after a fluctuation in power left the Hope Valley Church at Cessnock with a broken air conditioner in the lead-up to summer. Senior Pastor Luke Main is appealing to energy provider Ausgrid to come to the table with enough compensation to restore cool air flow in the church’s main congregation area, with temperatures tipped to reach 37 degrees on Friday. But the church believes it will take more than double the amount Ausgrid has offered to solve the problem. Read more.
►WARRACKNABEAL, VIC: Warracknabeal’s Chloe Bibby will move to the United State to play basketball with Mississippi State University next season. Bibby said she was ecstatic to be able to make the move and take the next step in her career. “It’s just so exciting,” she said. “I’m like, ‘holy moly, this is really happening’. Read more.
► MORETON BAY, QLD: A plan to cut marine plastic pollution by 70 per cent would be a major environmental boost to Moreton Bay, say its proponents. The plan is reputedly the first of its type in the world and includes figures showing the amount of plastic in Australian waters – about 1.7 million tonnes – is much worse previously thought. Read more.
► MANDURAH, WA: Consumer Protection has warned out-of-work miners to be careful when looking for new jobs, with the discovery of a fake mining jobs website. The fake website miningjobswa.org is mimicking a legitimate employment website miningjobswa.net.au and is using an ABN stolen from an Australian company with a similar name. Read more.
► ILLAWARRA, NSW: Symbio Wildlife Park keeper John Radnidge has wished tough justice on a confessed monkey trader who procured, then attempted to sell, one of three pygmy marmosets stolen from the zoo at the weekend. Read more.
► TASMANIA: With one sitting day left in Parliament for the year, a decision on the controversial backpacker tax is yet to be finalised. Tasmanian Liberal Senator Jonathon Duniam said uncertainty for the horticulture and tourism sectors would now continue. Read more.
► One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and Queensland senator Malcolm Roberts have cancelled a planned event with a Jewish group on Sunday, citing security fears. The pair had been invited by conservative Jewish gym owner Avi Yemini to speak in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield, in the heart of the city's Jewish community, about the "dangers" of Muslim migration to Australia, repealing race hate laws, and other controversial topics. Read more.
► IT professionals are being hired on 457 visas in preference to Australian workers at the same time the NSW government outsources public services. The Public Service Association has called for an urgent inquiry into the Baird government's decision to contract out public services, replacing full-time local jobs with overseas workers on temporary work visas. Read more.
► How can the government know the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax is being rorted by companies? Easy: The petroleum industry isn't complaining about it. Oil and gas companies are not lobbying to have it changed or removed. Even if you know nothing about taxation, this is usually a fool-proof measure that can be employed to determine if a tax is raising the appropriate amount of revenue. Read more.
National weather radar
► COLOMBIA: Rescuers searching through the wreckage of a charter plane that crashed into a mountain in Colombia had all but given up hope of finding any survivors when, almost six hours after the devastating impact, a police officer heard moans coming from the twisted fuselage. Read more.
► UNITED KINGDOM: CCTV footage has emerged of a British van driver launching a terrifying attack on a fellow motorist after he asked for his insurance details after a collision on a UK motorway. The footage of the road rage incident near Manchester shows the van driver pulling the truck driver into a headlock, ramming his car into the truck and smashing the truck's windows with a shovel while the driver and a passenger are trapped inside. Read more.
On this day
December 1, 1974: A horrible day in US air history. A Boeing 727-231 en route from Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio, to Washington Dulles International crashed into Mount Weather, Virginia, killing all 85 passengers and seven crew members on board. The same day, A Boeing 727 crashed in Harriman State Park near Stony Point, New York. The Northwest Airlines 727 had been chartered to pick up the Baltimore Colts football team in Buffalo, New York. All three crew members on board died when the aircraft struck the ground. Learn more about the first crash here:
The faces of Australia: Tony Brown
TONY Brown had wanted to be a firefighter since he was a child.
“It’s been a lifelong dream since I was a kid,” he said.
”I like helping the community.”
Mr Brown has been a retained firefighter for NSW Fire and Rescue for almost 22 years in Goulburn.
But on Monday he joined its permanent ranks. Read more.