8.30am: That's a wrap for this morning. Remember to check in on your local paper's website for breaking news throughout the day.
8.25am: Motorcycling NSW has abandoned plans for a motorsports complex at Yerriyong after the discovery of rare protected orchids on the site.
A statement issued by general manager David Cooke on Friday said challenges ranging from environmental roadblocks and opposition by locals meant the project was continually stalled. Full story.
8.22am: Illawarra councils have warned ratepayers that they’ll soon be slugged more in their annual rates notices, as the state government changes the way it funds fire and emergency services. Read all about it.
7.56am: Prepare to be amazed.
7.51am: The past week brought some good news when it came to the region’s roads and some not-so-good news.
Well, not-so-good to some people, that is.
The good news was that the government started looking for people to build the Albion Park Rail bypass. Full story.
7.42am: A mobile home towing a car came to grief on the steepest street in Narooma just before 4pm on Thursday afternoon.
A witness said the mobile home attempted to make it’s way up Davison Street when the driver realised it was a hill too steep to climb. The mobile home was towing a car behind it. Full story.
Need a national news snapshot first thing - well, we have you covered.
Good morning here’s your headlines from around regional Australia and beyond. Scroll down and refresh for weather, road reports and more.
7.36am: The Shoalhaven Nowra Relay For Life went ahead despite the rainy weather, hundreds of people hit the pavement to raise vital funds for the Cancer Council’s research, prevention, information and support services. Full story.
For those hitting the road this morning we’ve got a clear run so far. Good news for train commuters, there are no delays on the South Coast line.
WOLLONGONG. A 72-year-old British man jailed for repeatedly raping his young daughter in the 1970s while the family was living in the Illawarra has failed to have his 18-year prison sentence reduced on appeal.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, subjected the woman, now in her 50s, to ongoing sexual abuse from the age of 10, even putting her on the contraceptive pill when she was 13 so she didn't fall pregnant. Read more.
MANDURAH: Students from John Tonkin’s unique surf science program enjoyed a weekend on the water for their annual leadership camps, which give year 9’s the opportunity to train year 7’s, and year 10’s the chance to teach year 8’s.
“The older students run the programs, all the individual students, and the younger ones break up into smaller groups, and go round from station to station,” surf science teacher Geoff Hayes said. Read more.
NEWCASTLE: A Catholic Church plan to build a 14-storey residential and commercial block on the site of the old Empire Hotel has been approved by state planning authorities.
The modern-style concrete-and-glass structure is planned with 128 residential units, comprising 68 two-bedroom units, 33 one-bedroom units, 24 “studio” apartments and three three-bedroom units. It has 136 car-parking spaces on the first and second levels, and 700 square metres of retail and commercial space. Read more.
BALLARAT: A man who fought walls of fire and single-handedly saved a family’s life has been awarded one of the nation’s highest honours – a national bravery award.
Alfredton MICA paramedic and volunteer firefighter Brendan Walker drove towards Scotsburn on December 19 to lend his fellow paramedic mate Bruce Rae a small firefighting tank. Read more.
TAMWORTH: Dozens of Nashos, war widows, family and friends gathered at the Marius Street memorial on Saturday afternoon to mark the 66th anniversary of National Service in Australia.
Among them was Tamworth Nasho Jim Jordan, the president of the Oxley Sub Branch of the National Serviceman’s Association, who was conscripted in the early 1950s as an 18-year-old. Read more.
WAGGA WAGGA: The men who produce some of the nation's most popular satirical news by day have launched their own beer and are selling it in Wagga by night.
The Betoota Advocate - which purports to be 'Australia's oldest newspaper' and published in Betoota, an abandoned town in Queensland - has expanded into the beer market and Wagga’s Sportmen's Club Hotel has jumped on board. Read more.
CANBERRA: Nicole Miller is owed more than $6000 in superannuation from her former employer, PR agency Kreab Gavin Anderson.
Miller worked as an office manager at what was one of Australia's top communications operations until it went into voluntary administration on December 23 and now, like millions of other Australians who get underpaid their superannuation every year, fears she may never get her money. Read more.
NSW: Police are imploring drivers to slow down and drive safely after six people died on NSW roads over the weekend.
Among those killed was a three-year-old girl, who was hit by a truck in South Grafton on Sunday morning, the latest victim in a horror 48 hours across NSW.
In a separate crash in Port Botany in Sydney's east on Saturday night, teen sweethearts Giovanni Santoro, 18, and Tamara Jordanoski, 17, died when their car crashed into a power pole and exploded in flames. Read more.
BELANGLO: At least two adults are recovering in hospital after a barbecue exploded in the NSW southern highlands during a large family picnic.
The family was trying to light the barbecue at a picnic area in the Belanglo State Forest about 12.30pm on Sunday when the explosion occurred, injuring three adults and two children, police said. Read more.
NSW: A court has allowed a four-year-old girl to be adopted by a same-sex couple despite her birth parents' opposition on the basis of their Catholic faith.
The girl was taken from her birth mother at four days old due to the mother's long history of drug use and conviction for the manslaughter of her infant son seven years earlier. Read more.
JORDAN: Barely one year into the Syrian war, Abu Eyad made the hardest decision of his life.
With uncanny foresight of the horrors that were yet to unfold, one afternoon in mid-2012 Abu Eyad left his job with the Syrian Ministry of Water and did not come back. That night, together with his wife and three of their children they packed as much of their belongings as they could into suitcases and left Yarmouk camp, just outside Damascus, heading south towards the Jordanian border. Read more.
HONG KONG. Beijing's preferred candidate, Carrie Lam, was selected by an elite group of voters to become the fourth chief executive of Hong Kong on Sunday.
Only 1194 members of the Election Committee cast ballots, under Hong Kong's Basic Law.
They had a choice of just three candidates: Ms Lam, the former chief secretary of Hong Kong, its former financial secretary John Tsang and retired judge Woo Kowk-hing. All had been pre-vetted by Beijing. Read more.
1966 – Anti Vietnam war demonstrations in US, Europe & Australia
1958 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes Soviet Premier as well as First Secretary of the Communist Party
1914 – First successful blood transfusion (in Brussels)
1625 – Charles I, King Of England, Scotland & Ireland, ascends English throne
Hamish French –
Fossils from ancient Australia, the skull of a woolly mammoth and stunning gemstones from across the world were all in East Devonport at the weekend.
The Devonport Lapidary Club held its annual Gem and Mineral Fair at the East Devonport School gym. Read more.
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