Live: NSW Now: Water restrictions lifted, calls for church carols to be exempt from COVID-19 restrictions


Here’s what you need to know this morning.Water restrictions liftedWater restrictions for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra have been lifted from today as the state recovers from one of the worst droughts on record.People can now use tap water to water lawns and gardens before 10:00am and after 4:00pm if using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, standard watering systems or supervised sprinklers.Pools and spas can also be topped up, vehicles can be washed with a trigger nozzle hose and running through the sprinkler is back on the cards.”We understand there are moments in time where our children deserve that great Australian ritual of running under a sprinkler so we’re saying given the dam levels, that’s ok from today,” Water Minister Melinda Pavey said.The top water-saving suburbs across have Sydney have also been revealed, with Blackheath in top spot, followed by Erskineville, Austral, Gerringong, Berowra Heights and Sutherland.Calls for Christmas church servicesThe NSW Opposition is calling for coronavirus restrictions to be lifted for Christmas church services.Indoor religious services are subject to the one per four square metre rule with a cap of 300 people. Group singing and chanting is considered a high risk activity and attendees are encouraged to wear masks.Labor leader Jodi McKay wants singing allowed and says the two square metre rule should apply to all religious gatherings. “You can go to the Everest, you can go to the football, you can go to the cricket… you can yell and support your team but you cannot sing Christmas carols in church and that doesn’t make sense,” said NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay.Fire weather warningThe Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued a fire weather warning for parts of NSW today.Very hot and windy conditions will develop ahead of a cold front, generating elevated fire dangers across the western slopes and plains, as well as the southern inland today.Yesterday, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said it was concerned about grassland fires west of the ranges.Residents are urged to monitor the situation and have a bushfire survival plan ready.Councils apply for lift on rate caps If IPART approves of the proposal, rates could increase for several councils in February.(AAP: Tracey Nearmy)About 10 Sydney councils have told the independent pricing regulator they want to increase their rates above the rate peg which is normally allowed.The councils are in city and regional areas and will have to apply formally to IPART by February for approval.IPART’s tribunal member Deborah Cope says the councils are currently consulting their own communities about the possible increase.She says the tribunal will decide whether the increase is justified before giving it the go ahead.Massage therapist chargedA 33-year-old massage therapist has been charged over alleged sexual touching during a treatment he gave in Sydney’s north-west on the weekend.On Saturday a woman saw the therapist at a clinic on Kenthurst Road in Dural and was allegedly subject to inappropriate comments and touching.Later that day she attended Castle Hill Police Station to report the incident.The man has since been charged with sexual touching without consent and will appear in Parramatta Local Court on December 16.Tuesday’s weatherHot. Partly cloudy.Min.Max.CBD1929Parramatta1635

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