Good morning here’s your headlines from around regional Australia and beyond. Scroll down and refresh for weather, road reports and more.
QUEANBEYAN: It was a day late for Valentine’s Day but a barbecue with all the trimmings was the ideal gift for Queanbeyan’s Headspace.
Donated by the Rotary Club of Queanbeyan, the barbecue will be used to help engage youth in the region, and introduce them to Headspace, which provides vital mental health and wellbeing services for young people aged 12-25. Read more.
YASS: Three people have died in a water tank in what appears to be an accident on a property at Oolong, between Yass and Gunning, on Thursday evening. Police will hold a press conference on Friday morning about the incident. Read more here.
GOULBURN: An old cottage believed to have been one of the earliest built in Goulburn will not be demolished to make way for a council car park.
The Georgian house at 4 Hetherington Street was destined for the bulldozer to construct a carpark for the council’s new office building, to be built on the same land. The office supplements a new depot under construction opposite. Read more.
CANBERRA: Batemans Bay is nearly 150km away from Canberra and even further away from Bondi Beach, but all three destinations have played a part in molding the Far South Coast male Junior Lifesaver of the Year for 2016/17.
Canberra’s Joel Doble was announced as the recipient of the award for his tireless work within the Batemans Bay Surf Club. Read more.
BRAIDWOOD: A Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Monaro Alpine, Central Ranges, Southern Ranges, Lower Central West Plains and Southern Slopes for Friday, February 17, 2017 due to forecast hot and windy conditions. Read more.
Roads and rail:
The Southern Highlands rail line is running on time this morning. There are no delays on the roads either.
State of the nation
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
►YASS: Three people have died in a well on a property near Yass. It is understood a woman had fallen into the well on the property and two men had attempted to rescue her.
►CANBERRA: Telstra could lose billions in revenue if the government decides to scrap the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation. he TUSO was legislated in the 1990s to ensure every Australian had equitable access to a standard telephone service, including pay phones. To fulfill this obligation each year the government pays Telstra a whopping $253m to supply fixed line telephones and $44m for public payphones.
►WOLLONGONG: Hundreds of people have rallied behind a Helensburgh couple who have been fighting for the past three weeks to stop their dogs being put down due to a Wollongong City Council order.
Ian and Robyn Wilson say their time is running out, with a stay on the dogs’ scheduled deaths due to expire at midday today.
►BENDIGO: Cycling identity Rik William McCaig has pleaded guilty to paying secret commissions to a former Ballarat City Council officer.
McCaig, who was charged with one count of corruptly giving former Ballarat City Council officer Lukas Peter Carey $8000 as a reward for allocating contracts to him, appeared before the Ballarat Magistrates' Court for committal mention on Thursday.
►CHINCHILLA: landholders are calling for the Federal Government to intervene and stop a waste salt landfill site approved beside river systems and priority agricultural land.
►A Beechworth couple want to take the celebration of social diversity a step further with stickers for businesses to display in shopfronts showing their support.
It comes after more than 700 residents attended a walk through town in December in an event Indigo Council Mayor Jenny O’Connor described as “uniting” the community. Read more
►A Coalition senator has accused his own government of caving to "populist pressure" with its crackdown on parliamentary perks and blamed "shock jocks and dishonest journalists" for stoking unfair criticism of politicians.
►Declining rates of home ownership aren't necessarily a bad thing, according to the Reserve Bank.
Addressing a conference of housing researchers in Melbourne, the Bank's head of economics, Luci Ellis, said participation in the housing market "need not be about owning your own home".
►A One Nation candidate receiving Liberal preferences in the West Australian election once advocated killing Indonesian journalists, and attacked "poofters", Muslims and black people on his now-deactivated Twitter account.
National weather radar
►KUALA LUMPUR: A second woman has been arrested over the assassination in Kuala Lumpur of the playboy half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.
Police said the woman was in the possession of an Indonesian passport naming her as Siti Aishah born in Serang on February 11, 1992. She was arrested at 2am Thursday.
►BEIJING: As many as 79 people died from H7N9 bird flu in China last month, the Chinese government said, stoking worries that the spread of the virus this season could be the worst on record.
On this day
1568 Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II agrees to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire for peace
1865 Columbia, South Carolina burns down during American Civil War
1876 Sardines first canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine
1969 Golda Meir sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Israel
1972 British Parliament votes to join European Common Market
2004 US singer Doris Troy died. She had been a session singer with Dionne Warwick, sang on Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon.
The faces of Australia: Meg Murray
Eight years ago, award-winning sand sculptor Meg Murray, experienced the greatest loss a mother could.
Tragedy struck when her teenage son, Jello, died in a motorcycle crash.
“I lost my son five days before Christmas and my world came crashing down,” she said. “He was 19 and beautiful...sometimes people may never come back from something like that.”
Devastated by grief, she found it was her transient art form that helped her deal with his death. Read on