Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Barilaro appointment outcome imminent
New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet says he is expecting an independent review into the appointment of former deputy premier John Barilaro to a lucrative trade role in New York “very shortly”.
Mr Perrottet initiated the review in late June and it has been conducted alongside one by the parliament.
The Premier has cited the review — which could be delivered as early as this week — was a key reason why he was not commenting about details from a series of papers that have raised more questions about the recruitment process, including what involvement was had by the Trade Minister, Stuart Ayres.
Another candidate was recommended ahead of Mr Barilaro before he was later ranked higher, documents released yesterday revealed.
While Mr Perrottet’s stance created “politically challenging circumstances” for his cabinet colleagues, he said the review would be comprehensive.
New regulator can fine casinos
A new regulator will have the power to fine casino operators up to $100 million and hold individual board members and executives liable for serious wrongdoing.
Under legislation set to be introduced to Parliament next week, the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) will be given tough controls to target money laundering and other criminal activity.
Minister for Hospitality and Racing, Kevin Anderson, said the reforms will deliver on all 19 recommendations from the Bergin Inquiry into Sydney’s Crown Casino.
“The NICC will have scope to deal appropriately with serious misconduct of the type uncovered by various recent inquiries,” he said.
Mr Anderson said the regulator would continue assessing Crown Sydney’s suitability to hold a casino license.
Additional measures to strengthen casinos’ compliance requirements, including the phase out of cash transactions over $1000, will also be introduced.
Pork barreling could be ‘corrupt’ behavior
The state’s corruption watchdog has found politicians who engage in pork barreling could be found to be corrupt, under existing NSW laws.
A report by the Independent Commission Against Corruption founds politicians who pressure public servants or use grant programs for personal or political gain would be engaging in serious misconduct.
The report found politicians and their advisers “do not have an unfettered discretion to distribute public funds” and that the use of ministerial discretion is subject to the rule of law.
The ‘Report on Investigation into Pork Barrelling in NSW’ found politicians who allocate public funds for personal or political gain would be in breach of the ministerial standards or even in breach of the criminal offense of misconduct in public office.
The report follows an investigation into the NSW Government’s $250 million Stronger Communities Fund, in which 96 per cent of grants went to projects in Coalition-held seats.
Varroa mite spreads
The destructive varroa mite has been found in a further three beehive sites north of Newcastle.
NSW Department of Primary Industries says the new detections were in the Port Stephens area, at Butterwick and Salt Ash.
They fall within the existing eradication zone but the boundary will be pushed slightly west due to the detection at Butterwick.
There have now been 59 detections of the mite since it was first identified at the Port of Newcastle in late June.
The mite weakens and kills European honey bee colonies, which are vital to Australia’s honey and farming industries.
Well-known Indigenous organization to close
An Indigenous non-for-profit in Redfern is set to close after the two parties involved its transition process failed to reach agreement on the organisation’s future.
The National Center of Indigenous Excellence could close its doors by next Monday after the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation failed to find a suitable arrangement with new owners, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
It follows a two-year due diligence process in which the Land and Sea Corporation divested the site to the land council.
The center provides programs and services to the local Indigenous community to improve wellbeing.
Up to 50 staff are expected to lose their jobs.
Police officer assaulted
Three boys have been arrested after allegedly assaulting an off-duty police officer with a bike seat pole in Sydney’s west yesterday.
The boys were allegedly behaving in an offensive manner at Rooty Hill Railway Station around 4:25am and abusing passengers and railway staff.
A chief inspector attached to a command within the North West Region placed one of the boys under arrest, however, it is alleged the boy resisted before verbally abusing and assaulting the officer.
It’s alleged the officer was struck multiple times to the head with a bike seat pole.
Further police from Mt Druitt police area command attended and arrested the boys.
NSW Ambulance paramedics treated the officer at the scene before he was taken to Blacktown Hospital with head injuries. He was treated and later released.
The boys — aged 14, 13 and 12 — were refused bail and will appear at the Children’s court today.