Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Review of pork barrel launched
A review of the way taxpayer-funded grants are assessed and awarded has been announced by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.
It will be monitored jointly by the Ministry of Prime Minister and the Cabinet and the Productivity Commissioner, who will make recommendations in April.
Former Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian on Monday concluded a two-day hearing by the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) on the manner in which grant money was allocated.
Although funding went to “low-priority” projects in her then-secret girlfriend’s constituency, Ms Berejiklian told the survey that all governments deal with pig barrels “from time to time”.
But her successor made it clear he did not agree with the practice, saying he expected the distribution of public funds to be “fair”.
The announcement came as NSW opposition leader Chris Minns criticized the government for what he called evidence of pork barrel “to a dizzying extent”.
Budget estimates documents have revealed that 92 per cent of the schools awarded grants as part of a renewable energy pilot program were in coalition seats.
“It’s a sign of a government putting their own needs ahead of the people of NSW,” Minns said.
Changing the schedule can lead to more vaccinations
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says the NSW government’s decision to postpone freedom for unvaccinated residents could be the push some people need to get their first jab.
The Prime Minister yesterday brought some freedoms over fully vaccinated people, but anyone who is still not vaccinated will have to wait until the state has hit 95 percent vaccination or on December 15, whichever occurs first, to leave orders for stays at home.
Unvaccinated people had previously been promised that they would be under the same restrictions as the rest of the population from the beginning of December.
AMA NSW President Danielle McMullen said that is the right move.
“[It] hopefully sending a signal to those who have not yet been vaccinated that now is the time to take a vaccine, “she said.
“Do your part to keep yourself and your loved ones protected and be able to return to some normal life.”
School students to get more freedoms
More restrictions will ease into NSW public schools from November 8 to allow students to return to activities such as music and dance.
Fully vaccinated providers of extra-curricular will be allowed on school websites, as well as some music classes, band rehearsals, dancing, excursions and gatherings.
The activities must maintain cohorts and be carried out in accordance with all COVID-safe frameworks in the schools.
Community use of school facilities will also be able to continue, but only outside school hours.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the changes allowed students more reading and leisure opportunities after a tough year.
“The students have experienced an incredibly disrupted school year; in line with the relaxation of the local community, we are adapting some school activities to give them as much normality as possible, ”Mitchell said.
Investigation of suspicious death
NSW police have released CCTV footage as part of an investigation into a man’s suspicious death in southern Sydney last month.
Emergency services were called to an apartment block in Rosebery on Oct. 8 after the body of a 33-year-old man was found in a fire exit.
Police have released footage of a man they believe may help with their investigation.
He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 170 cm to 180 cm tall and of large build.
He was seen wearing a black cap, black and white jacket, black training pants and white runners.
Police urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.
Career Assistance Service Launched
A new free service is launched today in NSW that offers career counseling to those who have just started in the job market or who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
The Prime Minister of Skills and Higher Education, Geoff Lee, says the largely online service will help people put together a resume, but will also offer one-on-one help from professional career counselors.
He says it is aimed at school students leaving school, but also at adults at any point in their lives.
“What we have seen under COVID-19 is that many industries have been decimated,” he said.
“People have really valuable skills, and what we can do is find new jobs and new roles where they can use those skills and find new careers.”
Charges of domestic violence
A man will appear in court today for attempted murder after yesterday’s police action in the northwestern part of Sydney.
Police were called to a Gladesville unit yesterday after reports of an incident of domestic violence.
When officers arrived, a 38-year-old man – armed with two knives – allegedly attacked a 26-year-old male police officer.
The injured officer received tears in the back of his head and a dislocated shoulder.
Police dealers were called and the man was later arrested and charged with various offenses, including intent to murder and causing grievous bodily harm.
He has been kept behind bars overnight and is due in court this morning.