Good morning Ballarat!
We're in for a partly cloudy day with a slight (20%) chance of a shower. Expect a top of 14 degrees in Ballarat.
Catch up on news here:
A deadly altercation in a central Ballarat Indian restaurant has left one man dead and another facing murder charges. Read more here.
The city’s Indian community has been left shocked and saddened by an alleged murder at the Ballarat Curry House. Read more here.
An express train service between Ballarat and Melbourne has been ruled out for V/Line’s first 2017 timetable. Read more here.
One of Cardinal George Pell’s alleged victims has welcomed news Australia's most senior Catholic cleric was interviewed by Victoria Police detectives over child sexual abuse allegations. Read more here.
Imported stayer Grey Lion is guaranteed a start in the Melbourne Cup. The withdrawal of overseas visitor Scottish on Wednesday means the Ballarat-trained Grey Lion is safely inside the top 24 cut-off. Read more here.
Need a national news snapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.
► GOLD COAST: Several allegations of serious safety issues at the Dreamworld theme park have emerged as investigators probe a ride malfunction that killed four adults, including two mothers who died in front of their young children.
A raft carrying six people crashed into another raft as it reached the top of a wooden conveyor belt on the Thunder River Rapids ride on Tuesday afternoon, causing it to flip over backwards and crush or drown its occupants.
Two children miraculously survived in what police described as "the providence of God".
Dreamworld announced they will reopen on Friday, three days after the tragedy, to hold a memorial day for the four people that died on the park's well-known ride.
► SYDNEY: Greg Tannos nearly fell off his mountain bike when he saw the size of a goanna beside a trail at Loftus in Royal National Park.
“I have seen others in that area that would have been a bit bigger, but this one was certainly right up there with them.”
► KIAMA: Kiama district resident has taken home the world’s richest portraiture prize on Wednesday, The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.
Artist Megan Seres, who also works as a cleaner, was announced the winner of the $150,000 honour in Sydney for a painting of her 10-year-old daughter Scarlett Hill in colonial dress.
The Portrait judges commented: “When we know the reason for creating this painting we understand a fuller emotional account of the portrait’s subtle force. Seres’s daughter Scarlett had been studying Colonial Australia at school, and was cast as the convict Mary Wade in a play.”
► GOULBURN: It is a courageous thing to just throw your guitar into a car to busk around the country, but Mel Yeates is no stranger to such challenges.
Mel, 30, created A Girl, Her Car and a Guitar and has since raised more than $22,000 for beyondblue and Love Your Sister.
The niece of actress Fiona Churchill, Mel is heading out to busk her way around Australia soon in a bid to raise more money for such good causes.
She has been propelled to action by personal tragedy. In Year Nine, two of her friends were killed on a Duke of Edinburgh hike when a huge tree fell on their tent.
► PARKVILLE: Three Border teenagers who took part in an armed riot at the Parkville Youth Justice Centre caused a $123,010 bill, smashing the centre apart over seven hours and taking photos of themselves on a stolen camera.
The destruction could have been much worse, but staff members cut power to buildings to prevent machinery from being started.
Magistrate Ian Watkins said there was no question it was “appalling behaviour” during a hearing on Tuesday.
“That’s a lot of money the taxpayers’ had to pay,” he said.
► VICTORIA: Cardinal George Pell, has been interviewed by Victoria Police detectives over child abuse allegations.
In a statement, Victoria Police confirmed "three members of Victoria Police travelled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault".
"As a result of the interview further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time," the statement said.
Police are investigating multiple allegations of sexual assault alleged to have occurred in Ballarat East between 1976 and 1980, and East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.
► SAFETY: One in two women in Australia does not feel safe walking alone at night, according to a report released as state and federal ministers prepare for a summit on family violence.
The report, by the Community Council of Australia, looks at the kind of country it believes Australians want to live in, using a range of factors such as personal safety, education levels, suicide, incarceration rates and the gap between rich and poor.
"We want a generous and kind Australia, where we take pride in supporting the less fortunate," the council's chairman, Tim Costello, said. "Ultimately, we are all much more than passengers in an economy."
► NSW JAIL: Children are locked alone in NSW jail cells for 23 hours a day and spend their one hour of "recreation" wearing handcuffs, according to leaked documents which reveal lengthy confinements of teenage boys approved by senior levels of Juvenile Justice.
But Corrections Minister David Elliott told Parliament last month "there is no provision or practice of isolation of young people in custody".
"This is institutional child abuse," UNSW criminology professor Chris Cunneen said. "Twenty-two, 23 hours a day, that amounts to solitary confinement."
► CLIMATE: Australia is already experiencing an increase in extreme conditions from climate change and more sophisticated modelling is allowing scientists to pinpoint humans' contribution to the wilder weather, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO said.
The fourth State of the Climate report found Australia's mean surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree since 1910, rainfall patterns are shifting away from the nation's south, and there is a marked increase in heatwaves and extreme fire weather days.
"Climate is happening now and it's having a tangible impact on Australia," Karl Braganza, manager of the bureau's climate monitoring, said.
► BEIJING: A Melbourne grandmother who protested her innocence after being listed by Chinese authorities among its most-wanted international fugitives will be prosecuted on corruption charges, despite voluntarily returning to China in an attempt to clear her name.
Zhou Shiqin, 64, denies accusations she embezzled millions of yuan from the state-owned railway authority she worked at as an accountant more than a decade ago, before immigrating to Australia.
Her decision to volunteer herself to the whims of China's opaque judicial system by returning home in April stemmed from the psychological pressure of having her photo and Interpol red notice emblazoned across Chinese state media outlets, and her younger sister's assets being frozen in China in connection with her case.
► 1964: Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of the Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launches his political career and comes to be known as "A Time for Choosing".
► 1973: A 1.4 kg chondrite-type meteorite strikes in Cañon City, Colorado.
► 1992: United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay, precipitating debate about gays in the military that resulted in the United States "Don't ask, don't tell" military policy.
► 2014: Britain withdraws from Afghanistan after the end of Operation Herrick which started on June 20, 2002 after 12 years four months and seven days.
Whe he was a 17-year-old boy Toney Fitzgerald learned the pub game by tapping kegs and pouring beers at the Metropolitan Hotel after footy games.
More than three decades on he’s hoping the venue’s beer taps will once again help him out.
Mr Fitzgerald is the man behind the rebirth of Walkers Brewing Co, a name which in the early 20th century was as synonymous with top-drawer beers as Reschs and Tooheys. Read more of Toney’s story here.
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