Sydney news: Hail stones lash Penrith in Sydney’s west overnight

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Penrith struck by hail stones

State Emergency Service crews have spent the night mopping up after a severe thunderstorm dumped heavy rain and hail and caused flash flooding across the Penrith region in western Sydney early last night.

Afternoon thunderstorms swept through the metro and some coastal areas, but the city’s west around Penrith was the worst hit.

Jason Simms from the SES says some cars became trapped by floodwaters in the suburb and there were around 100 calls for help, mainly due to roof damage.

“Gutters were getting inundated with the hail, the water couldn’t flow away. So we were seeing a lot of premises getting water ingress into their ceilings.

“We were also seeing some flash flooding. We had one flood rescue where we had six cars at an intersection in the Penrith area.”

Mr Simms said more rain is on the way.

“We are going to see storms continue probably for the next week or so, with an increase potential early next week where we’re seeing the potential for rainfall and storms getting to significant levels.”

fuel excise reduction ends

Nozzles labeled with different types of fuel are seen at a filling station in Sydney.
Some oil stations experienced panic buying yesterday.(AFP: Saeed Khan)

The fuel excise reduction, which was introduced by the Morrison government in March, ended overnight.

Fuel excise is a flat sales tax levied by the federal government on petrol and diesel. The tax was halved to 23 cents for every liter but will now revert to 46 cents per liter.

Australia’s competition watchdog says the organization will call out fuel retailers who inflate petrol prices but ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb says the fuel excise isn’t the only factor that impacts petrol pricing.

“[The excise] is only about 30 percent. Otherwise there is the price of the imported fuel, and those prices are stable or perhaps heading down,” she said.

“So we do not immediately assume that there should be any increase for this amount. Market forces will determine that.”

domestic violence program expanded

Two anonymous police officers stand and lean against a wall.  In front of them leaning against a pole is a teen boy wearing a cap
The domestic violence initiative will be expanded with the help of the police.(Four Corners: Nick Wiggins)

The NSW government says it is expanding the ‘Staying Home Leaving Violence’ program to 14 additional local government areas across the state.

The aim of preventing the victims and their children from becoming homeless or having to move away from their support system, school or work.

It works in cooperation with NSW Police to remove the perpetrator from the family home so that the victim and the children can stay safely where you are.

To date, the program has helped more than 4,500 women and children to stay safe.

The service reaches 70 areas and will now be expanded to

  • mid-coast
  • Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter
  • Armidale, Uralla and Walcha
  • Canterbury and Burwood
  • Georges River
  • Sutherland
  • Wagga Wagga and Junee
  • Parkes, Forbes and Cowra
  • Bathurst and Lithgow
  • mid-western
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • blue mountains
  • Lachlan and Weddin
  • Snowy Monaro Regional Council

Steep rates rise tipped in some council areas

The suburb of Gregory Hills in an aerial shot on a cloudy day
Rates will rise in the Camden Council area by 6.8 percent.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

Home owners are set to be hit with increased rates with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) giving approval for 41 councils to increase their rates above the level of the annual rate peg.

Camden Council in Sydney’s south-west has approval by IPART to hike its rates by up to 6.8 per cent.

IPART Chair Carmel Donnelly said population growth and higher inflation mean that councils are facing increased costs in delivering services to the communities they serve.

But she said it’s up to individual councils to decide their current rate hikes above the base level of 3.7 per cent.

“It’s up to the council now to work through the community how much of this rate peg increase up to the maximum they’re going to flow through to into rates revenue and what the rates will be for residents and business and farming.”

The rate has historically been pegged to 3.7 per cent, with the 6.8 per cent increasing the maximum it can be raised.

Other council areas seeing a rise include Queanbeyan, Port Macquarie-Hastings area, and the Greater Hume and Port Stephens.

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