Good morning Ballarat and happy Thursday, we've got all the news headlines you need right here.
Circus performers stranded by big top liquidation
Thirteen international circus performers are stranded, cashless in Ballarat after the Great Moscow Circus went into liquidation this week. Read more.
No cash back for circus ticket holders
The Great Moscow Circus has claimed “very soft ticket sales” are the reason for cancelling its tour of Ballarat. Read more.
Rubbish dumping at recycling, charity bins blight on city
Regional Victorian charities are being forced to throw out up to 700 tonnes of unusable donations at a cost they cannot afford. Read more.
Gun put to head in theft dispute
A 30-year-old man who used a gun to confront a man he thought had stolen items from a mine he invested in will be sentenced later this month. Read more.
Mixed view of Ballarat rail precinct
Hundreds of residents say the state government’s $25 million proposal for the Ballarat Railway Precinct falls short of activating the site. Read more.
Showers throughout the day but it will still be relatively warm.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
Police raided eight homes at Unanderra, Warrawong, Warilla, Corrimal, Port Kembla and Cringila about 8.30am on Wednesday.
Seven kilograms of MDMA, ice, cannabis, cocaine and heroin were seized during the searches. Read more
►SA: South Australian Irrigators will receive the full 100 per cent water allocation for 2017/18, thanks to the highest flows in the River Murray for 23 years.
The opening 100 per cent allocation follows high rainfall in spring and the state’s wettest summer since 1937.
It means South Australia is now expected to receive its full State Entitlement Flow of 1,850 gigalitres. Read more
►QLD: New technology described as a “fitbit for a cow combined with a virtual fence” will hit the market later this year, taking grazing to a whole new level.
Ian Reilly, chief executive officer of Agersens, said the Livestock Virtual Shepherd involved the grazier using their phone or table to create a fence from a grazing program, and moving the fence or stock from that device. Read more
►VIC: A band of residents and business owners from rural towns across Victoria are demanding a ban on duck hunting, a move they say would protect the animals and safeguard tourism to their regions.
Dozens of people with property and businesses backing on to popular hunting sites have joined new group Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting in the last fortnight. Read more
The AMC is in the process of engaging with the Tasmanian government to develop a state-wide defence strategy that could feed into the national industry. Read on
►NSW: In late summer and early autumn the processionary caterpillar has been known to horrify the odd gardener on the New South Wales Mid North Coast.
They travel in long lines of hundreds or more in search of food or a suitable place to begin the transformation into their adult form: the bag-shelter moth (Ochrogaster lunifer). Read more
►Labor leader Bill Shorten distanced himself from the newly minted ACTU leader Sally McManus after the union boss condoned breaking laws she sees as "unjust."
Ms McManus was endorsed as the ACTU's first female secretary on Wednesday. In her first major interview, Ms McManus was asked if she would distance herself from the CFMEU union, which its critics describe as militant.
"There's no way we'll be doing that," Ms McManus told the ABC's 730 program. Read more
►A delegation of Australians has travelled to India to confront Gautam Adani over the proposed Carmichael coal mine, urging the business tycoon to abandon the project and protect the environment.
The group - comprised of businessman, conservationist and former Howard government adviser Geoff Cousins and three other campaigners - will also deliver a letter signed by 90 prominent Australians. Read more
National weather radar
What’s coming you way …
►SPAIN: Spanish police have seized more than 10,000 weapons of war, including assault rifles, anti-aircraft machine guns, shells and grenades, destined for criminal and terrorist groups in Europe.
The massive haul was seized by Spanish National Police with help from Europol in January, but its scale was only announced on Tuesday (local time) because of the time it took to compile a complete inventory, a police statement said. Read more
►GENEVA: The Turnbull government has refused to back an international investigation into atrocities against Rohingya Muslims despite a motion passed in the Senate urging Australia to call for a United Nations commission of inquiry.
Australia's statement at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva called for Myanmar to conduct its own investigation with international help into what the UN says could amount to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in the country's western Rakhine state, home to more than one million Rohingya. Read more
On this day
The faces of Australia: Mel Wells
Mel Wells has given her two friends the ultimate gift.
The Northern Tasmanian woman gave birth to a baby boy she carried for a same-sex male couple from Sydney.
Ms Wells, a first-time surrogate, was a self-proclaimed “oven” for the baby, conceived with an embryo from a Melbourne donor through IVF.
She laughed that the situation was the epitome of a modern family. Read more