Brekky Wrap: NSW Bushfires Burning, Lombok Quakes And Turnbull's Power Panic
All the news you need to know this Monday morning.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced changes to his signature energy plan, as speculation mounts over a possible leadership challenge.
Turnbull on Sunday promised to use a “big stick” against power companies that fail to deliver cheaper prices, and to make it easier for consumers to know when they’re paying too much. He has promised to impose a “price expectation” on energy retailers to reduce bills.
The prime minister is believed to have briefed his high-ranking colleagues over dinner at the cabinet room in Parliament House on Sunday, after some heard of the latest adjustments through his Facebook page. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton reportedly did not attend.
It comes as the latest Fairfax / Ipsos poll showed the coalition’s primary vote has dropped from 39 to 33, with Labor leading the coalition 55 percent to 45 percent on a two-party preferred basis.
Meanwhile, firefighters in New South Wales have spent the night containing blazes in smouldering bushland, ahead of more strong winds. Crews worked to contain major fires near Lennox Head and Salt Ash, north of Newcastle after both broke containment lines but were brought under control on Sunday night.
About 78 blazes are still burning across the state, with 31 still to be contained, including one in the vicinity of Old Glen Innes Road, southwest of Grafton, that is threatening a small number of isolated properties.
Meanwhile, a fire is burning on open grazing land in Glen Esk, 64km northwest of Ipswich, with Queensland Fire Service warning residents to check for regular updates.
A 10-year-old Melbourne boy is fighting for life after being hit by a van in the city’s east on Saturday. The young boy, from Croydon, was struck while he used a pedestrian crossing at Blackburn with his sister, 6, and a friend, 10. He was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a critical condition where he remains.
The driver of the van stopped at the scene and was arrested before being released, with police to interview the children and another witness before determining whether he’ll face charges.
Overseas, a series of earthquakes including a magnitude 6.9-tremor have struck the Indonesian holiday island of Lombok, the US Geological Survey says, killing one person and causing others to rush out of buildings.
The quakes on Sunday could be felt on the neighbouring island of Bali, and came two weeks after another 6.9 earthquake killed 460 people on Lombok.
One person died in the 6.3 magnitude quake on Sunday morning, with almost 100 houses near the epicentre also severely damaged, the disaster agency said.
In Italy, the search operation for those missing after a motorway bridge collapsed in the port city of Genoa has ended.
Rescue workers found the bodies of three members of a family in the wreckage on Sunday, bringing the official death toll to 43. Nine people are still in hospital, with four in a critical condition.
More than 350 people have died and about 800,000 people displaced as the worst flooding in a century grips southern India’s kerala state, officials have said. The downpours that started on August 8 have triggered floods and landslides, causing homes and bridges to collapse across the state. Thousands of rescuers have worked to reach stranded people and deliver relief supplies to isolated areas.
A British woman has been saved after spending 10 hours at sea after falling overboard from a cruise ship in Croatia.
The 46-year-old fell from the Norwegian Star cruise ship shortly before midnight on Saturday before a rescue ship found her swimming nearby about 9.30am the next morning. She is said to be exhausted but in a stable condition.
In AFL news, the Demons have reached the finals for the first time in 12 years, beating the Eagles 108 to 91 and securing a position in the top eight. Melbourne will now go head to head with the Greater Western Sydney Giants on Sunday.
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