Morning Buzz: Odds favour an end to Sydney's long dry spell

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Buzz for Friday, October 13. There’s a chance of a late shower today, with temperatures around 24 degrees in the city and 28 degrees out west. Enjoy your day!

Odds favour an end to Sydney's long dry spell

Shape of things to come?: A weak shelf cloud forms off Sydney's eastern beaches. Photo: Nick Moir

Shape of things to come?: A weak shelf cloud forms off Sydney's eastern beaches. Photo: Nick Moir

Those hoping for a long hot mostly sunny summer on the beaches and playing fields of Sydney may be in for some disappointment.

The latest outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology for November to January points to the odds beginning to shift to average or wetter than average conditions for most of south-eastern Australia.

Along with the higher chances of rainfall for the region, including for Sydney, the extra cloud cover will probably moderate daytime temperatures while making nights warmer and stickier than usual.

Cooling in the equatorial Pacific is tilting towards a La Nina, the bureau said this week, conditions that typically favour more onshore, moist winds for eastern Australia. Read more.

Two in three Australians think religion does more harm than good

A bigger share of Australians than respondents in most other countries think religion does more harm than good in the world, new polling has revealed.

But we are also more comfortable with religious diversity than the international average.

The survey of more than 17,000 people across 23 countries by polling firm Ipsos found opinion is evenly divided about the influence that religion has in society. Read more.

Path cleared for release of Turnbull's reliable energy package

Mr Frydenberg with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has told Parliament his government would adopt "a practical, common sense approach to energy policy". Photo: Andrew Meares

Mr Frydenberg with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has told Parliament his government would adopt "a practical, common sense approach to energy policy". Photo: Andrew Meares

Malcolm Turnbull's long-awaited energy package will be released as soon as next week after the energy committee of cabinet approved the package on Wednesday, clearing a major hurdle to the policy's release.

The energy package will dump Chief Scientist Alan Finkel's proposal for a clean energy target and, instead, focus on a clutch of measures aimed at fixing reliability issues in the National Electricity Market, and improving electricity affordability.

The full cabinet is now likely to examine the package of measures next Monday ahead of the package being presented to the Coalition party room as early as Tuesday morning. Read more.

ATO defends fraud systems after Cranston scandal

Ali Noroozi, inspector-general of taxation, speaking at the Atax conference held at the Tattersalls Club. Photo by Louise Kennerley

Ali Noroozi, inspector-general of taxation, speaking at the Atax conference held at the Tattersalls Club. Photo by Louise Kennerley

The Australian Taxation Office's systems to detect and prevent fraud are working, says Second Commissioner Andrew Mills, but there's always room for improvement.

The Inspector-General of Taxation Ali Noroozi is conducting a wide-ranging review of the agency following news of former ATO Commissioner Michael Cranston's alleged abuse of his position.

Mr Cranston was forced to resign amid allegations he accessed restricted information on an ATO audit for his son, Adam Cranston, who was a subject of the tax fraud investigation, named Operation Elbrus.

Police do not believe Michael Cranston knew about his son's alleged fraud syndicate. Read more.

Vet students not sheepish in cheeky calendar

Picture: Meredith Schofield

Picture: Meredith Schofield

Camden vet students don’t let anything get in the way of their bonding – even clothes.

The final year class at Sydney University’s veterinary school campus, which stretches over Camden, Cobbitty and Brownlow Hill, got down to their birthday suits this month for their annual fundraising calendar.

Each year the students pose nude with animals to raise money for a worth cause – this year supporting Rural and Remote Mental Health. Read more.

Arncliffe company fined after incorrectly disposing radioactive material

An Arncliffe company has been fined after incorrectly disposing radioactive material.

Global Medical Solutions Australia Pty Ltd, which manufactures and distributes radiopharmaceuticals, was convicted in Sutherland Local Court and fined $6,000 for the illegal disposal of a regulated radioactive substance. Read more.

The vision for Sydney in 20 years

Scene from a virtual reality film on Circular Quay in 2037 as part of the Future Street Project. Photo: Place Design Group

Scene from a virtual reality film on Circular Quay in 2037 as part of the Future Street Project. Photo: Place Design Group

Self-driving cars on roads with solar panels, hologram commercials, drones making deliveries, skyways between buildings, a magnetically-levitating train pulling into Circular Quay and trees. Lots more trees.

It's a view of how Sydney could look in 20 years.

A virtual reality vision of the future city has been launched as part of the four-day International Festival of Landscape Architecture in Sydney. Read more.

Soccer Podcast: Round one A-League wrap and Socceroos survive

That was close: Despite winning, Australia went the hard way against Syria. Is a performance like that going to be enough to get us to a World Cup? We tackle that question an more this week. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

That was close: Despite winning, Australia went the hard way against Syria. Is a performance like that going to be enough to get us to a World Cup? We tackle that question an more this week. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

The Super Subs are back for another round.

The A-League is already in top gear and we cast our eyes over the big stories like – the Wanderers best ever start, the Big Blue’s big blue and the Jets flying start. Click here to listen.

Campbell-Gillard: Bati might 'try to kill me' after Kangaroos call

Late call-up: Reagan Campbell-Gillard can't wait to pull on the green and gold jersey. Photo: AAP

Late call-up: Reagan Campbell-Gillard can't wait to pull on the green and gold jersey. Photo: AAP

Australian debutant Reagan Campbell-Gillard fears Fijian players might "try to kill" him in Saturday's World Cup warm-up match in retaliation for turning his back on the Bati.

Penrith's Campbell-Gillard and the man he replaced in Mal Meninga's squad, Andrew Fifita, have in common the fact they are eligible for the green and gold and a Pacific nation.

But that's where the similarities end. Read more.

Police called to home of Roosters winger Blake Ferguson

"Not at fault": Police and emergency services were called to Blake Ferguson's Marrickville home at 5.15am to check on his two children. Photo: AAP

"Not at fault": Police and emergency services were called to Blake Ferguson's Marrickville home at 5.15am to check on his two children. Photo: AAP

Leading player manager Sam Ayoub has leapt to the defence of his client Blake Ferguson, claiming he is "not at fault" after police rushed to the Roosters winger's home in the early hours on Thursday morning.

As revealed by Fairfax Media, police and emergency services were called to Ferguson's Marrickville home at 5.15am to check on his two children after receiving a bizarre call from Ferguson's former teammate, Paul Carter. Read more.

Diamonds overcome third quarter scare to down Silver Ferns

Caitlin Bassett of Australia and Kelly Jury of New Zealand fight for the ball.

Caitlin Bassett of Australia and Kelly Jury of New Zealand fight for the ball.

Australia have overcome a third-quarter meltdown to clinch the 2017 Constellation Cup with a 55-43 win over New Zealand in Adelaide.

Wednesday night's result meant Australia retain the trophy, which they have won seven times in the eight years it's been contested. Read more.