Two volunteer firefighters have died fighting an emergency level blaze in south west Sydney, & more in News in 5.

— With AAP.

1. Two volunteer firefighters have died fighting an emergency level blaze in south west Sydney.

The Rural Fire Service has confirmed two volunteer firefighters have died fighting an emergency level blaze in Buxton in south west Sydney.

They died last night when a vehicle rolled over while they were fighting the fire. It’s believed the vehicle, while travelling in a convoy, hit a tree before rolling off the road. The driver and front passenger were killed.

Three other firefighters received injuries as a result of the accident.

“This is an absolutely devastating event in what has already been an incredibly difficult day and fire season,” the RFS said in a statement.


The fatal accident happened at the end of an exhausting day for firefighters, in which they lost some 40 homes to the erratic Green Wattle Creek blaze.

Earlier in the day, three other firefighters suffered burns when their truck was enveloped by the bushfire. Fire and Rescue NSW duty commander Inspector Kernin Lambert described the conditions as deadly.

“Around the Balmoral village we had two fire fronts come together and they merged. We were experiencing firestorm-type conditions,” he told ABC TV.

Crews were facing 100km/h and 60-metre-high flame fronts.

A state of emergency has been declared for the next seven days in New South Wales amid soaring temperatures and increased fire threat.

2. 10 climate protesters have been arrested outside the Prime Minister’s Sydney residence.

Ten people including a NSW Greens MP have been arrested as climate protesters launched a “camp-out” at Scott Morrison’s Sydney prime ministerial residence.

Greens MP David Shoebridge was among activists outside Kirribilli House on Thursday, demanding urgent action amid unprecedented bushfires.

NSW Police said nine adults and a child had been arrested for disobeying a police direction to move on.

Protesters, including students representing the School Strike 4 Climate movement, set up tents on the road outside Mr Morrison’s official residence on Thursday morning, calling it the “Kirribilli camp-out”.


They are calling on the federal government to take immediate action on climate change and urged no new coal and gas projects, a transition to 100 per cent renewables and funding for affected fossil fuel workers.

Mr Shoebridge said it had been a “pretty good reason to get arrested”.

The prime minister is currently on a family break and will return to work on Monday.

The protesters pledged to stay in place until he returns.


Acting prime minister Michael McCormack suggested demonstrators were wasting their time.

“Go and do something productive. Go donate your time to Meals on Wheels or something like that,” he told reporters at the Rural Fire Service headquarters in Sydney.

“The fact is, the PM is not there. He’s having a well-deserved holiday.”

Mr Morrison will work through Christmas and the new year, and travel to India and Japan in January for talks on security and trade.

Student Ambrose Hayes, one of the protest organisers, encouraged people to bring tents, snacks, dust masks and board games to the camp-out.

The 14-year-old Sydneysider believed Mr Morrison’s holiday was badly timed.

“Our direct message to Scott Morrison is for him to come home. Even though he’s entitled to a holiday, it shouldn’t be at a time where Australia is in crisis,” Ambrose told the hundreds who had gathered in Kirribilli.

Sydney doctor Kim Loo said there was no framework in place to deal with the effects of climate change on health.

“It is negligent not to do anything about mitigation or adaptation. It is criminal to continue mining, burning, exporting oil, coal and gas because it’s fuelling the crisis,” Dr Loo told the crowd.

“And this is the greatest crisis to our health in the 21st century.”

3. A NT court has refused an application to move the murder case against Constable Zachary Rolfe from Alice Springs to Darwin.

A Northern Territory court has refused an application to move the murder case against Constable Zachary Rolfe from Alice Springs to Darwin.


Const Rolfe is charged with the murder of 19-year-old indigenous man Kumanjayi Walker, who was shot at his home in Yuendumu, 300 kilometres from Alice Springs, on November 9.

Defence counsel David Edwardson QC had asked for the case to be moved to Darwin to ensure a fair trial but the Alice Spring Local Court rejected his application on Thursday.

It found Const Rolfe could be assured fair proceedings until committal, when his lawyers could make another application to move the trial.


The shift has been opposed by the dead man’s community, who say it would exclude them from the proceedings.

The court heard last week Mr Walker “resorted to violent and potentially lethal force” against Const Rolfe and his partner, who had been trying to arrest him.

“Before any shots were fired, Mr Walker, spontaneously and without warning, stabbed Const Rolfe and then turned his attention towards Const Rolfe’s partner,” Mr Edwardson told the court.

“We submit … that Const Rolfe was acting in good faith when he discharged his firearm in response to the continued attempts by Mr Walker to deploy his weapon against Const Rolfe’s partner.”

He said the incident was captured on bodycam footage from both officers, and that an earlier attempt to arrest Mr Walker failed after he threatened police with an axe.

Mr Edwardson said the “premature” decision to lay charges generated unprecedented publicity and misinformation, which has led to division within the Alice Springs community.

He added that attendances by the Territory’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Ken Fleming at public events connected to the incident had only further inflamed tensions.

4. Sydney man refused bail for double murder.

A man accused of the stabbing murders of two people in western Sydney has been refused bail after his case was heard in court for the first time .

Eric George Delaney, who has yet to enter a plea, was formally refused bail by magistrate Holly Kemp at Liverpool Local Court on Thursday.


Delaney did not appear in court and his Legal Aid lawyer did not apply for bail.

The 34-year-old was arrested about 4.15pm on Tuesday, less than 30 minutes after he allegedly murdered Damien Roach and Leah Mumbulla at a unit on Huntley Place in Cartwright.

Mr Roach, 40, was treated by paramedics at the scene but died, while Ms Mumbulla, 34, died at Liverpool Hospital.


Police have said it’s believed the couple visited the unit to settle an ongoing dispute.

Delaney is scheduled to next appear at Liverpool Local Court via audio-visual link on February 24.

5. Nullarbor, in South Australia’s west, reached 49.9C on Thursday.

A town in South Australia’s west has recorded the state’s hottest-ever December day, as the state swelters through a four-day heatwave.

Nullarbor broke the record when it hit 49.9C Thursday afternoon, while Ceduna, on the Eyre Peninsula, recorded its hottest day in more than 80 years at 48.8C.

Adelaide soared to 45.38C – its hottest December day since records began in 1997 – but that record could fall as soon as Friday, when the temperature is expected to reach 46C.

Other locations where December records were broken included Port Augusta on 48.5C, Wudinna on 48.4C, Roxby Downs on 47.3C and Minnipa on 47.2C.

Chrissy Stott, who volunteers at Flair on Eyre market store in Ceduna and lives about three kilometres from the town, said the shop closed earlier in the day because of the extreme conditions.

“No-one wants to be out in this weather,” she said.

“The shops were quite busy early, everyone goes out in the morning but it’s too hot later on.”


Ms Stott said her main concern was the electricity connection in the town, and said she had made preparations in case power was cut for an extended period.

“A lot of people have bought generators just in case,” she said.

“It’s been out for a couple of days before, so you have to be ready for it.”

The heat has forced the cancellation of events across the state, including Friday’s Twilight Race at Morphettville and the Renmark Christmas Pageant.

Adelaide Metro was also forced to cancel afternoon tram services because of the conditions on Thursday.

“We recommend seeking alternative transport, including bus services,” it said on Twitter.