Here’s what you need to know this morning.
More secret files on US trade role to be made public
Secret government documents relating to John Barilaro’s appointment to a lucrative trade role in New York are set to be made public this morning.
Last week, the government agreed to stop the documents being deemed privileged, after the opposition fought to have them released into the public domain.
The documents are set to put the government under further pressure over the controversy that has been escalating for weeks.
The ABC understands there is growing frustration within the government that Premier Dominic Perrottet isn’t taking decisive action, while there are also ongoing questions about Trade Minister Stuart Ayres’ involvement and whether he misled parliament.
Mr Barilaro is no longer taking the job and will front a parliamentary inquiry into his appointment next week on Monday, August 8.
This week, Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown will front the inquiry for the second time.
Mr Ayres has released a statement on his Facebook page overnight, defending his actions in the controversy.
Mr Ayres said he had made decisions placing the interests of the community first.
“While I respected Mr Barilaro in his role as deputy premier, leader of the National Party and his passionate (and at times excessive) advocacy of regional NSW, I don’t think we ever called each other close friends,” he said.
“Every action I have taken has been to remove politics from the recruitment of these roles and put the people of NSW first.”
Sydney Metro faces serious risks, documents show
The Sydney Metro public transport project faces serious risks that have been revealed in a confidential internal document, the NSW opposition has warned.
NSW Shadow Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said the document, prepared by Sydney Metro officials, shows the project’s core strategic objectives are now at risk because of a range of serious issues.
The long list of risks, rated high or very high, includes further cost blowouts, safety and security concerns, inability to attract and retain skilled resources and compromised operations.
“After spending billions of taxpayer dollars, the government’s signature public transport project now faces a series of major risks, including failure to deliver expected long-term benefits as well as more delays,” Ms Haylen said.
“This will increase the total cost of the metro line between Chatswood and Bankstown via the CBD to $18.5 billion, which is far higher than the original budget of $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion.”
In June, state budget papers revealed the price tag for the Sydney Metro City and South West had blown out by about $6 billion, as NSW’s major transport infrastructure projects face significant cost hikes.
Union slams new school trial
The NSW teacher’s union says the state government’s announcement of 200 school support staff is “not even window dressing”.
Yesterday, the NSW government announced a trial of new administration roles in public schools to help teachers with non-teaching tasks such as data entry, paperwork and coordinating excursions.
But the president of the Teachers Federation, Angelo Gavrielatos, said the 200 support staff across the state would have next-to-no impact on teachers.
“This is not even window dressing,” he said.
“We need a fundamental reset to deal with the underlying conditions that have created the teacher shortage, unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries.”
The new roles will be trialled in public schools from term four.
Inquest into man fatally shot by police to begin
An inquest is due to start today into the death of a Sydney man shot by police after a domestic violence incident.
Fifty-three-year-old Jacob Carr died after being shot by police in August 2019.
Officers say they were called after he fought with his mother at his nephew’s engagement party at Ingleside on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
They say after the fight, Carr went into a granny flat attached to the house and refused to come out.
Police say after they entered through an unlocked door, I pointed a gun at them.
He was shot in the leg but died on the way to hospital.
Family and friends say Carr had struggled with chronic pain and depression for years before his death.
DNA collection sites open for families of missing loved ones
Relatives of people who have been missing for a long time are being urged to provide DNA at collection centers across New South Wales from today.
The pop-up sites in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Penrith are part of National Missing Persons Week and will operate until Saturday, August 6.
NSW currently has 751 outstanding cold cases, some dating back to the 1940s. There are also about 330 unidentified bodies.
It’s hoped the familiar samples can help find links between the two.
The manager of the NSW Missing Persons Registry, Glenn Browne, said the initiative, which is now in its second year, had been extremely useful.
“At the moment, we don’t have a direct result where we’ve identified an unidentified body but there have been a couple of cases where… we’ve discovered that we’re actually heading down the wrong path,” he said.
“[It] can rule out lines of inquiry for us just as easily as it can rule in certain lines of inquiry.”
Mr Browne also reassured people that the mouth swabs would only be compared against missing persons databases in Australia.
New Chinese cultural museum for Sydney
The contributions made by the Chinese community nationally and in NSW will be recognized in a new museum in Sydney — the first of its kind in the state.
Under the NSW’s government’s $2.28 million investment, Chinatown’s historic Haymarket Library will be refurbished into the Museum of Chinese in Australia (MOCA).
Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin called it a “wonderful project” that would “fill an important space in the cultural storytelling of this nation.”
Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the museum was also a wonderful example of the community’s multicultural success story.
“I think this will uniquely show how well our multicultural society works — highlighting our historical past and the contributions of the Chinese community,” he said.
“While this museum will be about celebrating their valued contributions, it will help foster greater unity and understanding of those of Chinese heritage and how they have helped make New South Wales the great state it is today.”