Morning Buzz: Scorching spring has truly sprung in Sydney

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Buzz for Friday, September 22. It’ll be mostly sunny today with highs of 28 degrees expected in the city and up to 32 in the west. Enjoy your day!

'Exceptional heat' forecast as rainfall records under threat

Leah Khamis and Harper Ford explore the Western Australia paper daisies in full bloom at the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan. Photo: Cole Bennetts

Leah Khamis and Harper Ford explore the Western Australia paper daisies in full bloom at the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan. Photo: Cole Bennetts

Sydney could record its driest September in more than 130 years, as temperatures climb into the 30s over the weekend.

A maximum temperature of 33 degrees is forecast for Saturday and 31 degrees on Sunday, following Friday's maximum of 28 degrees - well above the average maximum temperature for September of 20 degrees. Read more.

Sign of the times to come, at least for this weekend, as temperatures climb again. Photo: Michele Mossop

Sign of the times to come, at least for this weekend, as temperatures climb again. Photo: Michele Mossop

Australian wage growth only enough for a coffee a year

Australian weekly household incomes have grown by less than the price of a coffee a year since 2008 and the Reserve Bank has warned workers to expect stubbornly low wage growth "for some time" yet.

The paltry $3 per year bump in real terms has frustrated consumers, with any minuscule gains likely to be wiped out by surging power prices in the next 12 months as retailers book in increases of up to $300 in NSW and Victoria. Read more.

'Yes' vote could 'prevent 3000 teen suicide attempts' a year

Draped in the rainbow flag and enjoying the atmosphere at the Mardi Gras fair day on February 22 in Sydney. Photo by James Alcock/Fairfax Media

Draped in the rainbow flag and enjoying the atmosphere at the Mardi Gras fair day on February 22 in Sydney. Photo by James Alcock/Fairfax Media

Five of Australia's most respected mental health groups have joined forces to wage an unprecedented public campaign in favour of same-sex marriage, claiming the reform could prevent up to 3000 high school suicide attempts every year.

The groups - ReachOut, Headspace, Orygen, the Black Dog Institute and Sydney University's Brain and Mind Centre - will launch their #mindthefacts information campaign on Thursday in a bid to cut through the noise and emotion of the divisive postal survey debate with tangible research about the human toll of LGBTIQ discrimination. Read more

Atinae Afamiliona jailed for six years for machete attack on wife

Tiperia Afamiliona suffered severe injures when her husband Atinae Afamiliona attacked her with a machete. Photo: Supplied

Tiperia Afamiliona suffered severe injures when her husband Atinae Afamiliona attacked her with a machete. Photo: Supplied

A man who attacked his wife with a machete at Raby, severing several of her fingers and "de-gloving" her hand, has been jailed for at least six years.

Atinae Afamiliona, 50, was driving along Raby Road at Raby with his wife Tiperia Afamiliona last year when they got into an argument. Read more

'He asked us to help kill him, but we refused': Nationals MP

A state MP has delivered a passionate plea for introduction of voluntary assisted dying laws in NSW, declaring that terminally ill people dying violent deaths at their own hands is "an appalling situation".

In an emotional speech in the NSW Legislative Council on Thursday morning, Nationals MP Trevor Khan touched on his father's "ignoble and undignified" death after he was incapacitated by a stroke. Read more.

Police investigate Tony Abbott's report of 'headbutt assault by same-sex marriage campaigner’

Tony Abbott meeting with 'no' campaigners in Hobart earlier on Thursday. Photo: Facebook/Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott meeting with 'no' campaigners in Hobart earlier on Thursday. Photo: Facebook/Tony Abbott

Tasmanian police will investigate Tony Abbott's claim that he was headbutted by a same-sex marriage supporter in Hobart on Thursday after the former prime minister lodged a formal complaint. 

But Mr Abbott only made his complaint to police when they phoned him after learning of the incident via media interviews. Read more.

Cultural icons caught in dramatic rebranding exercise by NSW government

"Ensure consistency": Some of NSW's most famous institutions have been ordered to drop their own branding in favour of the Waratah.

"Ensure consistency": Some of NSW's most famous institutions have been ordered to drop their own branding in favour of the Waratah.

Some of the state's best-loved destinations, including the Sydney Opera House and Taronga Zoo, have been blindsided by an order to dump their distinctive branding and adopt the NSW government Waratah as their logo.

A directive issued by Premier Gladys Berejiklian last month informed the state's most famous cultural institutions the Waratah was to be "the only brand identity" used on all communications including advertising and signage. That would involve ditching the distinctive logos used by government agencies, such as the Opera House, Taronga Zoo, Sydney Olympic Park, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian Museum and Barangaroo. Read more.

Cricket: India crush Australia to lead ODI series 2-0

India's Ajinka Rahane takes a catch to dismiss David Warner. Photo: AP

India's Ajinka Rahane takes a catch to dismiss David Warner. Photo: AP

Australia have gone 2-0 down in their one-day international series against India after collapsing in Kolkata.

Set 253 for victory, the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 117 runs with a hat-trick to left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav sealing Thursday's match at Eden Gardens.

After falling 50 runs short in the second of five ODIs, Australia now need to win Sunday's match in Indore to keep the series alive. Read more.

Another round as master coaches Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy fight for grand final spot

Odd couple: Craig Bellamy loves a cold beer and is famously animated in the coaching box, while Wayne Bennett doesn't drink and rarely lets his emotions run wild.  Photo: Craig Golding

Odd couple: Craig Bellamy loves a cold beer and is famously animated in the coaching box, while Wayne Bennett doesn't drink and rarely lets his emotions run wild. Photo: Craig Golding

It was a simple enough question. Does Wayne Bennett's former Padawan Craig Bellamy now have the wood on his old Master?

"Probably has," Bennett said as Brisbane completed their preliminary finals preparations on Thursday.

It might matter on Friday night, should the Storm continue their historical dominance against the Broncos. Melbourne, now a rugby league powerhouse under Bellamy's firm hand, are one win away from another grand final, a result that would end Brisbane's 2017 campaign. Read more.

Sharks recruit Josh Dugan has a 'bee in his bonnet' regarding Dragons exit

Trading places: Dragons star Josh Dugan will join Cronulla next season. Picture: John Veage

Trading places: Dragons star Josh Dugan will join Cronulla next season. Picture: John Veage

Paul Gallen believes Josh Dugan has a “bee in his bonnet” regarding his exit from St George Illawarra and will help lead Cronulla towards another premiership charge next season.

Dugan will leave the Dragons for their fierce local rivals after the Sharks announced in May they had signed the 27-year-old on a four-year deal worth a reported $3 million starting in 2018.

The current Australian Test centre and veteran of 12 State of Origin appearances for NSW is likely to slot in at centre for the 2016 premiers to replace Brisbane-bound Jack Bird. Read more.

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More to come from Oriol Riera after FFA Cup performance, Popovic says

Shooting boots: Oriol Riera scored a late equaliser after converting the game's first goal from the spot. Photo: Michele Mossop

Shooting boots: Oriol Riera scored a late equaliser after converting the game's first goal from the spot. Photo: Michele Mossop

Oriol Riera can still become the foreign marksman Western Sydney Wanderers desperately need this A-League season, despite enduring a frustrating night against Blacktown City on Wednesday that left coach Tony Popovic "disappointed".

The marquee striker missed several clear-cut chances during the FFA Cup quarter-final match, which almost resulted in the Wanderers falling victim to one of the shock defeats of the tournament's short history.

They required a penalty shootout to avoid being dumped out by the state league club after settling for a 2-2 draw after extra-time. Riera missed several chances that would have given the Wanderers a comfortable victory. Read more.

Devon Smith misses out as GWS Giants name unchanged team

Emergency only: Devon Smith has missed the cut for the Giants' preliminary final against Richmond. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Emergency only: Devon Smith has missed the cut for the Giants' preliminary final against Richmond. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Inaugural Giant Devon Smith has been left out of Greater Western Sydney's team for the biggest match in the club's history, casting more doubt on the forward's future.

The Giants named an unchanged 22 on Thursday night for the blockbuster preliminary final against Richmond but have left the door ajar for a late change.

As expected, veteran Steve Johnson was named after proving his fitness at training on Wednesday but Smith was unable to tip out Adam Tomlinson or Harry Himmelberg. Read more.

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