Check out what’s happening in the south-west and beyond.
►BULLDOG DROPS BY: Easton Wood dropped in to his former school on Tuesday. Read more.
►TOUGH GOING: Cyclists in the Great Victorian Bike Ride are being forced to change their route to avoid potholes. Read more.
►SCAM WARNING: South-west businesses should be wary of rogue web developers. Read more.
►IMPORTANT MESSAGE: The #16dayscoffeecups campaign is proving successful. Read more.
►TOP EFFORT: Brauer College student Monique Jones has reason to smile. Read more.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing? Well, we have you covered.
► FLORA HILL, VIC: The weeks leading up to Christmas can be a stressful time for any family, but for parents of children with autism it can be doubly so. For Flora Hill mother Samantha Neaves, whose son Alex was diagnosed with the condition this time last year, a recent experience in a supermarket car park has prompted a call for residents to be a little more patient with each other. Read more.
► ILLAWARRA, NSW: An ambulance chopper has winched a man to safety after his boat disintegrated on calm Lake Illawarra and his wife drifted away. The couple, aged in their 60s, were sailing a catamaran canoe for three hours on Tuesday afternoon before the vessel broke apart about 250 metres from the shoreline. Read more.
► LYNDOCH, SA: A Lyndoch school has become embroiled in a major fraud investigation, with its former business manager accused of siphoning more than $1 million over three years. Read more.
► BALLARAT, VIC: At least one car a week is being deliberately burnt out in Ballarat, latest data shows. At least 50 per cent of the city’s arson, which has risen nearly 60 per cent in the last year, is committed by car thieves who are seeking to conceal evidence, police say. Read more.
►MUDGEE, NSW: A Rylstone man who was supposed to be off the road until 2039 who was caught driving while disqualified once again, was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence in Mudgee Local Court last Wednesday. Read more.
► DEVONPORT, TAS: A man who drank beer and used the toilet in a house he broke into will spend at least nine months in jail. Benjamin James Wright broke into the Devonport residence last year. Police later detected Wright’s DNA on the beer cans and a pubic hair in the toilet. Read more.
► BEGA, NSW: In spectacular scenes, a lost seal was rescued from Jellat Jellat farmland and released into the Bega River mouth on Tuesday morning. Read more.
► BENDIGO, VIC: A Bendigo man who filmed a five-year-old girl in the bathtub and stalked her mother has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for eight years.The 36-year-old was sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to manufacturing indecent images of a child under the age of 18, stalking and other offences. Read more.
► TASMANIA: Don’t pack away all your scarves and hats just yet – a cooler summer is on the cards for Tasmania this year. The Bureau of Meteorology’s outlook for December predicts temperatures will be, on average, a few degrees lower than normal across Tasmania. Read more.
► NSW: With the coming changes to the Native Vegetation Act set to impact farmers and landholders across the state, The Leader sat down with Primary Industries, Land and Water Minister Niall Blair to get the facts. Read more.
► All Aboriginal children have been removed from Barwon prison after the state government backed down in the face of a Supreme Court challenge, a move which could see the collapse of its tough approach to rioting youth detainees. Read more.
► Corinna Horvath spent years feeling as if she was a victim. In 1996, the door of her house in Hastings was kicked in by eight police officers without a warrant, and one of them allegedly punched her in the face, shattering her nose. Long after the pain subsided, she couldn't get over it: the injustice of being a 21-year-old woman belted in her home. She never lost hope that one day someone would be charged with her assault. Read more.
► Fearless politicians have baulked at dramatic plans to expand security at Parliament House, insisting they are already safe and arguing the push to keep people away from the historic building will alienate the public. Read more.
National weather radar
► THAILAND: Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is set to become Thailand's new king within days after the country's military rulers acknowledged the appointment on Tuesday. According to royal procedure, the president of Thailand's military-appointed Parliament will ask the partly Australian-educated prince to become king when he returns to the country this week from Germany, where he has a lakeside villa. Read more.
► ENGLAND: The man who invented the word 'Brexit' says the UK government is making a mess of it and heading for "a stupid Brexit" – and he is trying to force them to do better. Peter Wilding founded the lobby group British Influence (it calls itself a 're-think tank'), which this week launched a legal bid to stop the UK automatically leaving the European single market. Read more.
On this day
November 30, 1982: It's hard to imagine that it's been more than 30 years since the world's best-selling album was released! Michael Jackson's Thriller has sold more than 65 million copies. It was one of the first albums to use music videos as a promotional tool. Three decades later, the Thriller video clip is still making its way into mainstream media – this time through memes.
See it in its original form here:
The faces of Australia: Cyril Barwick
NOT many of us will reach three figures, yet alone still be driving by that age.
But long-time Willow Tree resident Cyril Barwick is, remarkably, about to do both.
The fiercely independent character, who turns 100 on December 23, continues to travel around town in his trusty van.
“I’ve had a driver’s licence for 64 years, with no infringements as far as I can remember,” he says.
“The only thing I’ve had is a few police officers pull me over to tell me I’m driving too slow.
“The freedom to drive means everything to me.” Read more.