Good morning here’s your headlines from around regional Australia and beyond. Scroll down and refresh for weather, road reports and more.
CROOKWELL: The Upper Lachlan Shire Council is a shareholder in the Southern Phone, a local government-owned telecommunications provider.
It’s one of 35 councils that each hold two shares, purchased for $1 each.
Dividends are determined by the proportion of revenue generated from each council area. Read more.
GOULBURN: Goulburn Mulwaree Council will ask its neighbour to pitch in for a rail train study.
Councillors decided at their most recent meeting to ask Upper Lachlan Shire Council for a $10,000 contribution. Read more.
QUEANBEYAN: A stolen car was involved in numerous alleged offences in the Monaro region on Saturday before crashing 7km north of Cooma on Sunday.
NSW Police said a 14-year-old girl from Canberra, who was a passenger in the Nissan sedan, was airlifted to Canberra Hospital suffering a spinal fracture.
Two other passengers aged 14 and 17 were taken to Cooma Hospital for treatment. They have since been discharged. Read more.
YASS: Not even four seasons in one day on Saturday could dampen the spirits of the many spectators that descended upon the Yass Showground to enjoy the splendor of the 154th Yass Show.
An exhausted but exhilarated Yass Show Society President, Rob McAuliffe said on Monday the weekend was a successful one. He was even generous enough to declare the rain to be the highlight of the 2017 Yass Show. Read more.
Roads and rail:
The Southern Highlands rail line is running on time this morning and there are no delays on the roads.
Southern Inlands weather:
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
►WAGGA WAGGA. Former Wagga amateur boxer Leroy Fisher was once considered an Olympic Games prospect but now he languishes in jail, sentenced for what a judge described as humiliating and degrading sexual assaults of a woman two years ago.
Fisher was 21 and living in the Wollongong suburb of Berkeley in 2015 when he detained a woman in his home for nine hours. Read more.
► LEGANA: Legana dairy farmers Joe and Tamara Hammond threw open their gates to Tasmanian Dairy Conference farm tour attendees eager to see their autumn calves and innovative irrigation techniques.
The farm, located on the banks of the Tamar River just outside Launceston’s suburban sprawl, is home for this family’s second generation of dairy farmers. Read more.
►WODONGA: AS a chef working in the heart of Melbourne, Leonie Sharma would often escape to the Ovens Valley to breathe in the fresh alpine air.
Then seven years ago Leonie and her husband Vivek decided to settle in the valley.
“We came up here thinking we might stay three years and it’s already been seven,” Leonie said. Read more.
►BALLARAT: A devastated 13-year-old Sebastopol boy with special needs has called on a thief to return his Xbox after he spent months saving up pocket money for it.
Phoenix P-12 Community College student Alie Kabia came home from a dinner with his family on March 18 to find their house broken into, with the Xbox missing from a bedroom. Read more.
► NEWCASTLE: Newcastle’s councillors have scrapped a plan to turn Shortland Esplanade into a one-way street because of concerns about the impact on traffic by the state government’s light rail project.
Councillors had been expected to decide to extend one-way traffic for the remaining length of Shortland Esplanade, between Zaara Street to Watt Street, to make room for the Bathers Way coastal walk project. Read more.
►TAMWORTH: Convicted killer Ian Robert Turnbull has died in custody less than 12 months after he was sentenced to a “de-facto” life sentence for the “terrifying” murder of environment compliance officer, Glen Turner.
Turnbull, 82, was under guard by prison officers when he died in Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick, Sydney, on Monday. Read more.
►WARRNAMBOOL. Warrnambool’s Salvation Army staff see the challenges and effects that rising living costs have on the city’s residents.
Warrnambool corps officer Major Peter Wood said their emergency relief services were in “constant demand”.
“The things people are coming in for are the every day cost of living things,” Mr Wood said. Read more.
►MANDURAH. Coolup residents came together on Sunday afternoon to have a yarn with their neighbours and give the newly installed barbecues at at Don Sparks Reserve a good workout.
The event was part of the Shire of Murray’s BBQ in the Hood initiative, which encourages the region’s communities to get together over a barbecue, have chat and help prevent crime in the area. Read more.
►BAROSSA. Fellas, take note – proposing in a hot air balloon above lush green vineyards is a bona fide winner.
And it’s becoming a semi-regular occurrence for Barossa Balloon Adventures’ Justin Stein – so much so, that he’s had a banner printed especially for the occasion.
“It’s just something I offer my customers, there’s no extra charge,” Mr Stein said. Read more.
►WOLLONGONG. A Wollongong couple has told how they are “scared stiff” as Cyclone Debbie bears down on the Queensland coast.
Geoffrey and Agnes Lawler were holidaying in Airlie Beach, visiting their son, and said they were worried about the coming cyclone.
“I'm scared stiff,” Ms Lawler said. Read more.
►LAUNCESTON. DairyTas Conference farm tour attendees visited four Tasmanian businesses that have thrived despite challenges.
Joe Hammond’s dairy farm at Legana was the last stop on the tour, which also included a visit to Grant and Kim Archer’s new dairy farm at Liffey, lunch at Goaty Hill Winery and Van Diemen’s Aquaculture salmon farm.
Joe and Tamara Hammond live and work at the Legana dairy farm with their children Henry, 5, George, 3, and Hayley, 11 months. Read more.
► Cyclone Debbie appears to have added another blow to the Great Barrier Reef, hammering a region that had escaped the worst of the coral bleaching over the past 15 months, a senior researcher says.
The slow-moving category four tropical storm, which crossed the north Queensland coast on Tuesday afternoon, is likely to have left a trail of extensive damage to reefs in its path, much like Cyclone Yasi in 2011, said David Wachenfeld, director of reef recovery at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Read more.
►The non-profit industry funds want you to think there's nothing wrong. They are most often the funds new employees are defaulted into and they perform the best, on average far better than their for-profit competitors.
They wouldn't mind you thinking the Productivity Commission is in on a plot to let those for-profit competitors destroy them. On television their new advertising campaign shows a gloved hand unlatching the gate of a henhouse to left the foxes in. Read more.
► Politicians will face stricter tests before they can charge taxpayers for travel expenses under a new tranche of Turnbull government changes in legislation to be introduced this week.
However, MPs may still be able to attend party fundraisers and sporting matches on the public purse.
The government is finally moving to implement the recommendations of a major review of MPs entitlements - ordered in the wake of the Bronwyn Bishop "choppergate" scandal - more than a year after it delivered its report. Read more.
►Union-dominated super funds would lose their special status under a draft Productivity Commission recommendation that would delink superannuation from awards and allocate new workers to default funds only once.
Two-thirds of Australian workers stick with the default fund chosen by their employer or industrial agreement, and many end up with multiple accounts after being put into new default funds each time they change jobs.
The commission believes that 40 per cent of workers have more than one account, meaning that many have multiple life insurance policies and multiple sets of administrative costs. Read more.
National weather radar
►LONDON: The wife of Khalid Masood says she is "saddened and shocked" by his attack on Westminster and "totally" condemns his actions.
In a statement released via the Press Association, Rohey Hydara expressed her condolences for Masood's four victims and the 50 more people who were injured last Wednesday during his attack. Masood used a rented vehicle to mow down pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer outside the Houses of Parliament, where he was himself shot dead. Read more.
► BANGKOK: An 18-year-old woman whose case focussed attention on the poor state of medical care in Cambodia has died after contracting necrosis, a rare form of cell degeneration.
Soth Rey was working in a massage parlour to support her three younger siblings and parents in the north-west Cambodian town of Siem Reap when she fell ill with a sinus infection in December. Read more.
►CHINA: Chinese authorities have revealed how police in Guangdong uncovered a drug ring operating between China and Australia in a five-month long investigation that led to the seizure of a $100 million ice haul.
As the Turnbull government argues that the failure to ratify a controversial extradition treaty with China may jeopardise future cooperation on drug smuggling, Chinese media reported the extent of the Chinese investigations that led to the three arrests in Australia announced on Monday. Read more.
►BEIJING: Professor Feng Chongyi, the Sydney academic stuck in China, is fighting back against security authorities, demanding to know why he has been banned from returning to Australia.
Dr Feng's legal team said it was lodging an application with the security bureau, which placed him on the no-fly list on the weekend, seeking answers under Chinese laws that stipulate government transparency.
"We plan to post it to Tianjin National Security Bureau this afternoon. This is the first action we can take for disclosure of government information," said lawyer Chen Jinxue, who is in contact with Dr Feng. Read more.
On this day
1999 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at 10006.78 - above the 10,000 mark for the first time ever.
1974 - Chinese farmers discover the Terracotta Army near Xi'an, 8,000 clay warrior statues buried to guard tomb of China's 1st emperor Qin Shi Huang
1961 – After a 4½ year trial Nelson Mandela is acquitted of treason in Pretoria
1912 – Capt Robert Scott, storm-bound in a tent near South Pole, makes last entry in his diary "the end cannot be far"
1901 – Edmund Barton is elected Prime Minister in Australia's first parliamentary election
1795 – Ludwig van Beethoven (24) has his debut performance as pianist in Vienna
1549 – The city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, is founded.
Faces of Australia
Karen Jackson –
Lyndoch's Karen Jackson received a rude shock on the weekend, after a freak ‘drop bear’ attack while driving under one of Tanunda’s famed archway entrances.
Ms Jackson was driving out of town, towards Rowland Flat, when suddenly a koala fell from the top of the arch.
”I was coming down the road with the trailer, with my brother, and I just missed it – it landed probably a metre in from the wall,” she said. Read more.