Sydney news: Lifeline launches bushfire helpline, first flight to leave Christmas Island for Sydney


February 17, 2020 07:09:06

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Bushfire helpline

Lifeline has launched a dedicated bushfire recovery phoneline to provide support for people affected by fires.

The national service will operate around the clock, seven days a week.

Lifeline chairman John Brogden said calls to the existing helpline had increased by up to 15 per cent since the bushfire crisis began late last year.

“If that’s annualised that means we’re getting about another 100,000 telephone calls which takes us to a million telephone calls a year. It’s very clear to us that those calls are coming from people who are directly and indirectly affected by the bushfire crisis,” he said.

Flights out of Christmas Island

The first flight from Christmas Island to Sydney will leave tonight, bringing home the numerous Australians flown out of China due to the coronavirus emergency.

Almost 280 citizens and permanent residents were flown to the detention centre two weeks ago from Wuhan in China.

They have been held in quarantine since then, but have now been cleared to fly to their home cities around the country today.

Qantas will fly into Sydney at 7:50pm today.

Power returns to many but work continues

Power company Ausgrid says most of its Sydney customers have had power restored after storm damage more than a week ago.

As of 10:00pm yesterday, 700 customers were still without power.

The energy supplier said there was still difficulties in remote locations including Calabash Bay, Milsons Passage and Scotland Island.

Ausgrid said the storm damage was some of the worst the company had ever experienced and more almost 140,000 homes and businesses had since had power restored.

Monday’s weather

Mostly cloudy. Medium (60 per cent) chance of showers. Light winds.

Min. Max.
CBD 20 26
Parramatta 18 26




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