Sydney's flooding and Queensland's burning, and the two things are linked
Sydney - M. E. Times Int'l: Despite the extreme differences between the 100mm of rain last Wednesday morning in Sydney and surrounds and the large bushfires threatening people and property in central Queensland today, there is a link according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
Sarah Fitton, of the Bureau of Meteorology's extreme weather desk, explained that despite their contrasting outcomes the two are being driven by connected systems.
"The trough that's moving through Queensland in recent days and producing quite testing fire conditions is extending down into that low-pressure system that is through New South Wales, so there is a link between the systems," she said.
Up north there is dry air, so the winds are fanning the flames, but down south there is moisture around and it is wet.
Labor to introduce religious discrimination bill
Canberra: Labor is set to introduce a bill that will ban religious schools discriminating against students on the basis of their sexuality, however will allow provisions that enables schools to discriminate against LGBTI teachers. The Opposition Party has criticised the government's proposed legislation to prevent discrimination against LGBTI students, saying the bill will have unintended consequences. Senator Penny Wong will move to have the legislation passed by the Senate next week.
Ruddock review release very soon: Attorney
Canberra: Attorney-General Christian Porter says the federal government is in the final stages of responding to a review into religious freedoms and will release the document "very soon".
Mr Porter said the review, led by former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock, contained complicated issues such as protecting gay teachers at religious schools.
He told ABC radio on Tuesday the government was aiming to balance non-discrimination of LGBTI students and staff against the need for religious schools to organise themselves in accordance with the doctrines of their faith.
Budget to get back into surplus by next financial year, Deloitte Access Economics forecasts
Sydney: That could mean both political parties spend more money to woo voters ahead of next year's federal election.
In its latest Budget Monitor, Deloitte forecasts an underlying cash deficit of $4.9 billion in 2018-19 — the smallest since the global financial crisis — followed by a small surplus of $4.2 billion in 2019-20.
"After a decade of deficits, we're finally back within a whisker of a surplus," director Chris Richardson said.
However, the shift back into the black remains elusive, he said.
"It has taken the current virtuous cycle of surging revenues and some modest spending restraint to get us this close," Mr Richardson said.
"But we really are close."
Financial literacy education in RBA's and ASIC's sights
Sydney: There are certain things in life we tend to procrastinate about more than others, like drawing up a yearly household budget or filling out our tax returns.
The corporate watchdog, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), believes that is because they are too daunting for many.
ASIC is sounding the alarm about the number of Australians who find dealing with money overwhelming.
The Financial Capability website, which is managed by the ASIC, shows too many Australians feel out of their depth when faced with basic financial concepts and decisions.
Its Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker survey has found 41 per cent of women find "dealing with money stressful and overwhelming".
"That's not good enough," Laura Higgins from ASIC's Financial Capability team said.
"When you feel overwhelmed, and it feels like too much, you aren't going to necessarily end up with the best products and services for your family."
Keating, Turnbull review Sydney CBD plan
Sydney: Former prime minister Paul Keating and Lucy Turnbull will head a review into the development of one of the Sydney CBD's most historic areas.
The NSW government has asked Mr Keating and the former Sydney Lord Mayor to create a "long-term vision" for Macquarie Street's east precinct - including Hyde Park Barracks, the State Library, Sydney Hospital and NSW Parliament.
"Our aim is to make this area, with its historic buildings and beautiful gardens, an even more vibrant place for locals and tourists to enjoy," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement on Monday.
An initial report is due by mid-2019.
NSW Libs facing tough few months: premier
Sydney: Premier Gladys Berejiklian won't be drawn on what the Liberals' loss in Victoria could mean for NSW but says the months leading up to the state election will be "incredibly tough".
The Liberal Party was trounced in Victoria on Saturday in a vote that saw the Labor Party returned to government with a majority of 16 in the 88-seat parliament.
When Ms Berejiklian held a press conference on Sunday to announce extra police officers targeting drugs and gun crime, she faced a string of questions about what the result meant for the March vote in NSW.
She said she couldn't comment on the "various factors" leading to the result and she didn't know enough about Victoria's internal politics to be able to say how much the ousting of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull contributed.
But the premier said people didn't like to see instability or politicians focused on themselves, "and that's why in NSW we have a strong and stable government focused on delivering".