Sydney News: NSW Treasurer Matt Kean withdraws from stamp duty inspection

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Treasurer less engaged in stamp duty inspection

Matt Kean
The NSW opposition said Treasurer Matt Kean backed up from the state government’s plan was worrying.

The new treasurer Matt Kean has withdrawn from the government’s plan to replace stamp duty with land tax.

Dominic Perrottet pushed for reform when he was treasurer, and since becoming prime minister he had indicated that he remained committed to the proposal.

But when asked in the budget estimates yesterday whether the government “would continue” with the plan, Mr Kean said “there are other ways to improve housing affordability”.

“It was Premier Perrotte’s preferred method,” he said.

“But of course I need to come across the options that are available.”

The Prime Minister is to hold a budget estimate hearing today.

Query to explore Sydney’s dark chapter

The NSW Government will establish an inquiry into gay and transgender hate crimes believed to be responsible for dozens of unsolved deaths and disappearances in Sydney.

In May, the Standing Committee on Social Affairs presented a report recommending that the government conduct an inquiry into crimes committed against LGBTQI people between 1970 and 2010.

Committee Chairman Shayne Mallard said it was a tribute to people like Kay Warren, whose gay 25-year-old son Ross disappeared from a Bondi headland in July 1989 and whose case was closed by police just three weeks later.

Mallard says many of the perpetrators have never been punished. The study will also examine the role of the so-called “gay panic defense” in preventing victims from accessing the courts.

COVID concerns cause a drop in jail rates

A new report shows that the number of adults in prisons across NSW has fallen by almost 10 per cent in the last two years, which is a low of five years for the state.

Data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) found that the total number of adult prisoners fell by 9.4 percent.

“The suspension of judicial operations and concern for the welfare of prisoners in relation to COVID-19 means that fewer people have been imprisoned,” said Jackie Fitzgerald, BOCSAR’s CEO.

“This change has meant that the number of prisons is now lower than it has been since 2015.”

Ms Fitzgerald expects the adult prison population to return to pre-COVID-19 levels over the next 12 months.

Hazardous combustion in southwestern Sydney

A warning has been issued ahead of a risk reduction incineration that will take place in the Georges River National Park in Padstow today.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) says they are using appropriate weather to carry out the 34-acre incineration next to Henry Lawson Drive and Alfords Point Road.

The burning should begin at approx. 10.00, and smoke may be visible in local communities depending on the wind direction.

People with asthma or other respiratory problems are advised to stay away from the area or stay indoors.

Council to distribute free period products

Packs with pillows on shelves.
Period poverty causes physical, mental and emotional challenges.(Reuters: Russell Cheyne)

The Inner West Council is investigating ways to supply free menstrual products to its constituents in an effort to end poverty during the period.

Council members have voted to consult with local organizations and health services on the best way to make menstrual products available to those who cannot afford them.

The plan is to place them in municipally run libraries, pools, town halls, changing rooms for sports fields and highly utilized public toilets.

The mayor of the Inner West, Rochelle Porteous, said a survey conducted earlier this year showed that close to half of 125,000 respondents said they had missed at least one day of school because of their period.

“People who experience menstrual poverty cannot afford the menstrual products they need, and in many cases, that means they cannot go to school or work or otherwise participate in daily life,” she said.

“And more than one in five said they use toilet paper, socks or other unsuitable alternatives to manage their period because they can’t afford bandages or tampons.”

The NSW Department of Education is testing a school program in 2021, and Melbourne City Council decided in April 2021 to fund a year-long pilot program to make menstrual products available in public locker rooms, recreation centers, swimming pools, community centers and libraries.

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