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Australia Sydney news: Sewage reveals Sydney's at-risk suburbs of coronavirus infections

22:52  27 october  2020
22:52  27 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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a person wearing sunglasses driving a car: Health authorities continue to urge people to get tested. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts) © Provided by ABC News Health authorities continue to urge people to get tested. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Here's what you need to know this morning.

Sewage reveals at-risk suburbs

NSW Health is renewing calls for residents in south-western Sydney to come forward and get tested for coronavirus.

Fragments of the COVID-19 virus have been found during the state's sewage surveillance program.

It could mean there are yet-undetected active cases within communities serviced by the treatment plant, which includes suburbs like Campbelltown, Casula, Ingleburn, Macquarie Fields, Macquarie Links, Menangle Park and Minto.

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NSW confirmed two new local cases on Tuesday linked to the Oran Park cluster.

Schools back after HSC scare

Sydney high schools will resume normal operations today, as detectives investigate the source of threatening emails that forced the evacuation of more than 20 schools yesterday.

Some Year 12 students who were sitting their Higher School Certificate exams were disrupted after being told to evacuate along with other students, teachers and staff

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told the ABC the emails contained bomb threats.

"Obviously that's incredibly distressing for any students who were impacted and they'll be able to apply through [the NSW Education Standards Authority] for misadventure provisions taking into account that there may have been disruptions to their exams," she said.

Scotland extends coronavirus restrictions as nation heads for new tiered system

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Koala habitat stoush

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley says the approval of a rock quarry expansion north of Newcastle is a "good conservation outcome for koalas".

The project at Brandy Hill in Port Stephens would clear 52 hectares of koala habitat, but in granting her final approval yesterday, Ms Ley said another 74 hectares would be re-vegetated as a koala corridor.

The project has faced fierce opposition from local residents and ecologists who said the quarry area contains breeding koalas, but Ms Ley said her expert found no evidence of that.

"If I thought that the actions that were being proposed under this would set back the local koala population then I would not have approved it or I would have found a way [to say] look sorry this is not happening," Ms Ley said.

"But this actually a good conservation outcome for koalas."

One year anniversary of Sydney's mega-blaze

This week marks one year since the Gospers Mountain mega-blaze first started in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.

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The fire began in late October, 2019, and burned for around four months, tearing through more than half a million hectares.

Craig Burley from the Hawkesbury RFS was among the first to be alerted to the blaze and said he expected it would grow to around 100-120,000 hectares

However, he said "no stretch of the imagination" could have led him believe that firefighters were going to battle a 520,000 hectare fire.

Redfern unit raided

NSW Police have raided an apartment in Sydney's inner-west, allegedly seizing a gun, more than $100,000 in cash and drugs.

Officers searched the Redfern address and arrested a 45-year-old man who was hiding in the bathroom.

They allege they found ammunition, a ballistic armoured vest, a prohibited pistol and $50,000 worth of MDMA and cocaine.

The man was charged with nine offences, including knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime, supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and possessing or using a prohibited weapon.

Clashes in Spain over virus restrictions for second night .
 

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