Morning Buzz: New year, new laws – what comes into effect today?

Good morning and welcome to your morning wrap of news, sport, and weather around Sydney for Monday, January 1. It’ll be partly cloudy today with the chance of a thunderstorm in the west this afternoon. Temperatures are expected to hit 28 in the city and 35 in the west. Enjoy your day!

The new laws that will come into effect from January 1

Housing investors will no longer be able to claim a tax refund on some of the costs of maintaining rental properties, and some students will find it easier to qualify for income benefits from New Year's Day when a swag of new laws come into force.

But the biggest change to the country is likely to come in the form of school funding when the Turnbull government's Education Amendment rolls into action.

The "Gonski 2.0" legislation is likely to kick off a new sector-by-sector debate over school resourcing that will be overseen by the new National School Resourcing Board. Read more

Fireworks display goes awry after barge catches fire off Terrigal Beach

Crowds have been evacuated from Terrigal Beach, after a barge carrying fireworks caught alight during their 9pm show. Photo: Pip Cleaves/Twitter

Crowds have been evacuated from Terrigal Beach, after a barge carrying fireworks caught alight during their 9pm show. Photo: Pip Cleaves/Twitter

A New Year's Eve fireworks display ended with fears for the safety of thousands watching on the beach after a huge explosion caused a flaming inferno on the display barge about 150 metres from shore.

Crowds eager to watch the 9pm fireworks display on Terrigal Beach were evacuated after the barge caught alight, forcing the two technicians on board to dive into the water to escape. Read more

Fisherman in a critical condition after being swept off rocks at Sydney beach

A fisherman is in a critical condition after being swept off rocks at Little Bay. Photo: SEVEN NEWS

A fisherman is in a critical condition after being swept off rocks at Little Bay. Photo: SEVEN NEWS

A fisherman is in a critical condition after being swept off rocks at Little Bay in Sydney's east.

The 49-year-old man was fishing at Buchan Point when he was swept off the rocks before midday on Sunday. Read more via SMH

Six people dead after Sydney Seaplane crashes into Hawkesbury River

Police have recovered six bodies from a sea plane crash.  Photo: Jessica Hromas

Police have recovered six bodies from a sea plane crash. Photo: Jessica Hromas

All six people on board a single-engine sea plane that crashed into Cowan Creek at Jerusalem Bay in Sydney's north on Sunday afternoon have died, police have confirmed.

The Sydney Seaplanes aircraft, carrying a pilot and five passengers, crashed about 3.15pm and a search-and-rescue operation later located the submerged aircraft.

New literacy teachers recruited as NSW government axes Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery is being phased out in NSW after a report found it failed to produce long-term benefits. Photo: Lee Besford

Reading Recovery is being phased out in NSW after a report found it failed to produce long-term benefits. Photo: Lee Besford

A team of 50 literacy and numeracy experts will be recruited to support NSW teachers as the government axes the controversial $50 million Reading Recovery program, which is used in more than 900 schools but was found to be ineffective.

Principals were told in November that the NSW Department of Education would no longer be supporting Reading Recovery, which targets year 1 students who are struggling with literacy. Students undergo a one-on-one intensive program for up to 20 weeks. Read more

Sydney's rail station upgrade program passes halfway mark

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Member for Oatley Mark Coure with Ivy and Margaret Sutton and their adopted children Robert and Rachel. Photo: Louise Kennerley

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Member for Oatley Mark Coure with Ivy and Margaret Sutton and their adopted children Robert and Rachel. Photo: Louise Kennerley

When will all Sydney rail stations be accessible by wheelchair, Gladys Berejiklian was asked on Thursday. Decades?

"No, not that long," the Premier replied. "But it will take us years. There's no doubt about that." Read more

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