Good morning Ballarat and happy Monday, today's news headlines:
Midland Ballarat upgrade shelved
Progress on the Ballarat to Meredith stretch of the Midland Highway looks set to remain at a standstill despite the government preparing to undertake extensive work on the road between Geelong and Bannockburn. Read more.
Family violence orders ignored
Two Waubra footballers rushed to hospital
Two Waubra reserves footballers were rushed to hospital in Ballarat on Saturday afternoon following separate incidents in the side’s Central Highlands Football League clash with Hepburn. Read more.
Ballarat man close to deadly Portugese bushfire
In a grim reminder of Black Saturday, a bushfire in Portugal has killed at least 58 people, most of them trapped in escaping cars that were caught in the blaze. Read more.
Huge step for regional children
Six-year-old Archie Sims would love to turn corners and walk about school with his friends. Read more.
Another relatively pleasant week ahead, given we are well into winter now.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
►Albury: Albury: NOBODY was injured when a car drove through the emergency fire doors at Albury’s Commercial Club on Sunday morning.
Inspector Ian Youman, of Albury police, said a 79-year-old Wodonga man had been attempting to correct his park in the club’s car park about 9.30am. Read on.
► Newcastle: She was there “to lend a hand” or foot by pushing celebrity sliders into a pool of ice-cold water.
But Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes proved a good sport when she agreed to also take the plunge for Motor Neurone Disease as part of the inaugural BigFreeze, Newcastle at No.1 Sportsground on Saturday. Read on.
► Bathurst: A COMMUNITY survey of bird populations within the Bathurst region has confirmed fears that feral species are becoming increasingly dominant in the local area.
Ninety-five Bathurst volunteers took part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, sitting for 20 minutes at a time and using a phone app or website to record the birds they saw. More here.
► Canberra: About 20,000 cupcakes, three years of lessons and countless trips to Cowra later, Jerrabomberra teenager Jade Esler can enjoy the sweet taste of success after becoming Australia's youngest licensed recreational pilot.
The bright Merici College student completed the practical pilot's licence test on Saturday - her 16th birthday. More here.
► BALLARAT: SIX-year-old Archie Sims would love to turn corners and walk about school with his friends. He is gradually building up leg strength to walk upright and now has hope to get turning sooner. Disability advocate Scope will launch the first mobile specialised physiotherapy for rural children this week in Ballarat. More here.
► Crossbench senator Derryn Hinch has slammed the Victorian Supreme Court for threatening three Turnbull government ministers with contempt charges, saying the judiciary is not above criticism and he would have told the court to "go jump".Read on.
► Naked bodies adorned with offal and drenched in blood; a frenzied crowd tearing at the bloodied insides of a cow carcass with their bare hands. Sound like a fun weekend out? On Saturday Austrian "Aktionism" artist Hermann Nitsch and a team of performers staged a controversial "action" in Hobart as part of the annual Dark Mofo festival. Full report here.
National weather radar:
► Sumatra: Ardi Rizal is known around the world as "Indonesia's smoking baby". Shocking footage of the toddler precociously puffing on fags went viral on YouTube and became a symbol of the smoking crisis in a country described as a last Eden for tobacco manufacturers.
"This is a tale of two cities."
An emotional British politician has invoked Charles Dickens while describing the injustices of this week's Grenfell Tower fire in London, imploring Britain to care for its poor.
Labour MP David Lammy, who spent his childhood playing in a housing estate in Tottenham, in northern London, says he is heartbroken. Read on.