Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Premier avoids COVID fine
Premier Dominic Perrottet has avoided a fine from NSW Police after he was spotted breaching the public health orders at a media press conference yesterday.
Mr Perrottet was seen drinking a beer while standing up at Watson’s Pub in Moore Park right before speaking to the cameras, but NSW Police have confirmed they have applied “discretion”.
“Compliance with COVID-19 restrictions within a venue are the responsibility of the business owner/manager,” a NSW Police spokesperson said.
“In this instance, which was an organised media event before the venue opened to patrons, police have applied discretion.”
NSW Police spoke to the owner but decided against issuing an infringement notice for the breach.
Officers from Surry Hills Police Area Command said they have since spoken with the licensee and reminded him of his obligations under the Public Health Act.
Mr Perrottet is the second state leader found to breach COVID rules this week after Victorian Premier Dan Andrews was issued a $400 fine for not wearing a mask.
State Parliament returns after COVID break
State Parliament will resume today after an extended three-month break triggered by the Delta outbreak.
Macquarie Street has not held a sitting since June, shortly after the unveiling of the NSW Budget where several ministers and staff were exposed to COVID-19.
Mr Perrottet will face his first sitting week as the new Premier after Gladys Berejiklian’s shock resignation almost a fortnight ago after becoming the subject of a corruption inquiry.
One of the key bills to be introduced this week will be on voluntary assisted dying (VAD) and Mr Perrottet said he would allow MPs a conscience vote.
Stock guarantees for small businesses
Mr Perrottet and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean have unveiled the first key part of their economic recovery package.
Ahead of parliament resuming today, the government said it was focused on supporting businesses as they reopen after more than 100 days of lockdown.
The support will include a stock guarantee for perishable items for small and businesses impacted by future lockdowns and an increase in the rebate for costs incurred by small businesses
“We want businesses to have the confidence to get out and spend and invest in their business ahead of the busy Christmas trading period,” Mr Kean said.
AMA says it’s too early to lift hotspot status
The Australian Medical Association has called on the Commonwealth government to reinstate the hotspot status for communities in NSW.
AMA chair of council Michael Bonning said being designated a hotspot meant patients and doctors had access to Medicare rebates for longer telehealth consultations.
“The hotspot status gives medical professionals a few more tools in the toolbox to deal with the pandemic and it’s premature to cut that short,” Dr Bonning said.
All of Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour areas were declared hotspots in late June but the declaration expired yesterday.
Confusion over vaccination certificates
The nation’s peak retail body says there were “teething problems” with vaccine certificates yesterday when retail shops reopened for business.
“There was just a bit of confusion with some of the elderly customers but the frontline teams were very patient explaining it to them,” Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra said.
“Overall it’s been a surprisingly smooth operation.”
Retail sales figures for yesterday will not be known for another six weeks but Mr Zahra said “the basket size was bigger than normal” with shoppers keen to splash out after weeks of lockdown.
Identity confirmed after river search
Police say human remains located in the Moree area in NSW last week, have been confirmed as that of missing man Gordon Copeland.
The remains of the 22-year-old Indigenous man were found last Thursday in the Gwydir River.
He was last seen running from officers into the river just north of Moree on July 10.
The latest search was the third for the missing man, which came after lobbying from his family and at the request of the NSW Coroner.
Push for ICAC funding
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party says it will again push to overhaul funding for the corruption watchdog as parliament resumes today.
The Shooters will re-introduce a bill calling for the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and several other agencies to be funded through a bipartisan committee.
Shooters MLC, Robert Borsack says the party attempted to make the change last year, but the previous premier Gladys Berejiklian voted the bill down in the Lower House.
“[This is] the test for Dominic Perrottet is to show the people of NSW that he has impeccable credentials when it comes to properly funding ICAC in its ability to investigate corruption,” he said.
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