Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Interstate aid in bushfire battle
The Rural Fire Service says local firefighters will be given reprieve today as 50 personnel from interstate arrive at firegrounds in northern New South Wales.
Twenty-nine homes have been confirmed destroyed in the fires around Drake, Busbys Flat and Rappville, but the RFS says that number is expected to rise.
The state’s Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says about 300 stock have been killed in the fires with another 200 missing, presumed dead.
RFS spokesman James Morris says the interstate assistance should give local fire fighters some much needed reprieve.
“We’ve got counterparts assisting firefighters from South Australia and from the CFA in Victoria. We’re also seeing some incident management personnel assisting crews from Northern Territory so we are still seeing a number of out of area resources.”
Farmers call on banks for drought aid
The NSW Farmers Association has called on the banks to cut the cost of lending to the farming sector, as the state’s drought worsens.
The association has welcomed the state government’s farm innovation fund and drought assistance funds with interest-free periods and deferred repayments.
However the chairman of the association’s drought task force, Wayne Dunford, says it’s now time that the banks also step up.
“Given the seriousness of this drought and people’s financial situations every little bit’s going to help so I think it would be a pretty good thing if the banks were to pass on full cuts each time they come out because I haven’t heard of any banks that are going broke at the moment, whereas a lot of farmers are heading down that sort of path.”
Bathurst 1000 gets underway
Tens of thousands of people are getting in prime position as race fever takes hold ahead of the Bathurst 1000.
The sound of V8s will be heard across Bathurst this weekend as the city hosts the annual racing festival at Mount Panorama.
Last year’s winner Craig Lowndes will be returning as a co-driver after retiring from full-time racing last year.
Police have said they will be out in force and are warning racegoers to behave.
One man from Queensland has already been asked to leave Mount Panorama after he allegedly did a burnout at a campsite on Monday afternoon.
Racegoers are also being urged to be mindful of water usage, with the city set to go on extreme water restrictions for the first time in its history from Monday.
Second man charged with kangaroo deaths
A 33-year-old man from the NSW south coast has been charged with torturing kangaroos near Eden last month.
He is the second man charged over the deaths, with a 19-year-old male also charged last week.
It is estimated about 20 kangaroos were hit, with 11 killed, between 10:30pm and 11:30pm on September 28 in Tura Beach.
The 33-year-old has been granted conditional bail and will appear before Bega Local court on November 26.
Children banned from quad bike riding
A trauma doctor says he hopes the states will listen when they’re asked to make it illegal for children to ride adult quad bikes.
The Federal Government unveiled a range of new quad bike safety measures yesterday and says it will ask the states to back them up with stronger laws.
It comes after an inquest into the death of a six-year-old girl near Wee Waa in the NSW New England region in 2017 recommended it be illegal for adults to allow children to ride adult-sized quad bikes.
Head of trauma services at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital Doctor Warwick Teague said the risk the bikes pose to children is widely recognised.
“Particularly in the setting of adult-sized quad bikes, we recognise that bikes pose risks to children of all ages irrespective of size,” he said.
Investment in medicinal cannabis
The NSW Government is investing in the medicinal cannabis industry with a $10 million study to be conducted from a top-secret cannabis research facility.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the research would find the ideal conditions for producing high quality, year-round, medicinal cannabis products.
“It will also ensure our researchers have access to essential industry knowledge and insights, giving us the potential to drive this research much further and faster than would have otherwise been possible,” he said.
The NSW Government will contribute more than $3 million to the project, while the Commonwealth Government will invest $3 million and other partners will contribute nearly $4 million.
Cloudy with a high (80 per cent) chance of showers. Light winds becoming south-easterly 15 to 20 kilometres per hour in the early afternoon then becoming light in the evening.