Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Hawkesbury restaurant fire
A high-end restaurant on the Hawkesbury River in Sydney’s north-west has been wiped out by fire overnight.
Fire crews were called to Peats Bite Restaurant at Berowra Waters just after 7:30pm yesterday.
The Rural Fire Service says the fire spread into nearby bushland but firefighters were able to contain it and protect residential parts of the building.
All occupants have been accounted for.
The restaurant can only be accessed by boat or seaplane and was opened in 1982.
Mayor voted out in ‘backroom deal’
The ousted Inner West mayor, Darcy Byrne, has vented publicly after being voted out of his role, labelling the move a “bizarre, backroom deal”.
Cr Byrne has been replaced by Green’s councillor Rochelle Porteous, who last night became the council’s first female mayor.
Cr Porteous will serve in the role for the next three months until the local government elections are held in December, after they were delayed twice due to the pandemic.
Cr Byrne says he will stand again as mayor in December, if re-elected to represent his Balmain ward.
Cr Porteous said her election as mayor was merely democracy in action and that she wanted to use her brief term to provide leadership and change the culture of the council.
“I don’t think the culture has been particularly helpful. I want to change that.”
Calls for curfews to end in Western Sydney
A peak business body in Western Sydney is calling for the end of curfews across COVID-19 hotspot areas, arguing “they don’t work”.
David Borger from Business Western Sydney said the 12 local government areas of concern were being unfairly targeted and punished and it was taking a toll.
His comments come despite new modelling provided to the government from the Burnet Institute, showing that, without the harsh lockdowns and vaccine rollout across the hotspot areas, there could have been 500,000 COVID cases and nearly 6,000 deaths.
However, Mr Borger said it was time for the 9:00pm to 5:00am curfew to be lifted.
“There’s no evidence to show that the curfews do anything other than victimise a population,” he said.
“Most of the transmission seems to be occurring in workplaces and perhaps in families, and we think it’s time to end the silly rule.”
Boarders returning to NSW must quarantine after holidays
The Queensland government says boarding school students will have to undergo 14 days of quarantine if they return home to New South Wales for the school holidays.
All of New South Wales is currently listed as a COVID-19 hotspot under the Queensland definition, which prevents almost anyone from crossing the border.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young, has issued an exemption, allowing boarding school students to re-enter Queensland if they travel home to New South Wales for the spring holidays.
Unlike last year, however, they must quarantine for 14 days upon their return, which can be done at their boarding school or at another private residence.
It is not known if Queensland’s restrictions would change if parts of regional New South Wales came out of lockdown.
Court to hear sentencing submissions
A Sydney court will today hear sentencing submissions for former NSW Labor ministers Eddie Obeid, Ian Macdonald and Eddie’s son, Moses, after they were found guilty of a mine licence conspiracy.
After a judge-alone trial in July, the trio was found guilty of conspiring over a coal licence for the Obeid family’s farm, Cherrydale Park.
The men will face the Supreme Court via video link.