Fires burn at Sydney's doorstep
A series of cold fronts moving across the state have put firefighters west of Sydney on high alert today.
A very high fire danger warning and total fire bans have been put in place from the south coast in Shoalhaven, up through Illawarra and to the Greater Sydney region.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has issued a watch and act alert for a blaze at Ruined Castle, south of Katoomba, and said the flames were expected to reach the outskirts of Katoomba near Cliff Drive today.
The RFS said the bushfire was spreading due to strong westerly winds.
Emergency fire burning on south coast
The RFS has issued an emergency warning this morning for an out-of-control bushfire near Currowan on the state's south coast.
The fire burning north of Batesman Bay is threatening homes and is spreading towards the Princes Highway.
The RFS said residents from Durras to Bawley Point were told to evacuate as firefighters worked to contain the blaze.
But Greg Allen from the RFS said windy conditions could complicate their efforts.
"Although temperatures may not be as high as we've seen over the last few days, the winds will be quite strong for most parts of the state," he said.
Energy union blames jobs cut for blackouts
Almost 2,000 Ausgrid customers still without power after last's week storm outage have been warned it could be another 48 hours before they have electricity again.
Ausgrid said last night it had restored power to 95 per cent of the 50,000 homes and business which went dark after a storm wreaked havoc on the electricity grid last Tuesday.
A worker's union put partial blame for the prolonged outage on the Australian Energy Regulator, which took money out of Ausgrid and forced it to shed 300 job earlier this year.
NSW Government grilled over TAFE consultants
The NSW Government is under pressure to explain why millions of dollars are being spent on consultants for TAFE while jobs in the sector are being cut.
The Berejiklian government is being accused of spending more than $6 million on consultants for TAFE since 2018, despite hundreds of jobs being cut in recent months.
Labor's TAFE spokesman, Jihad Dib, said the spending did not make sense.
"We understand that there is a time and place for consultancies, but certainly some of these consultancy projects are just way over the top and amounts to nothing more than a bit of navel gazing," he said.
Alleged underwear thief in court
A man is facing court today after NSW Police found more than 1,000 pairs of women's underwear, bras and swimwear while searching his property.
Police said they investigated the 37-year-old man after linking him to the theft of a bag of women's underwear from a hotel room in Mascot in October.
After searching his Rosebery home in early November, police charged him with breaking and entering and taking property.
He was granted strict conditional bail and will appear at Downing Centre Local Court.ABC