Sydney News: Police investigate shooting in city’s southwest

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Trade union movement in public transport

Commuters could face delays due to industrial action on the network.(Facebook: Sydney Trains)

Transport minister meets with train shop stewards as protected strike slows network.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union employees will not work overtime or work with contractors until February 21.

Transport for NSW said the protected industrial action would result in longer delays for commuters.

Transport Minister David Elliot is meeting with union representatives this morning in the hope that negotiations will progress.

“I want to make sure they know they’re having a healthy dialogue with me,” he said.

“They certainly have my ear, and I will address any concerns they have.”

Fewer rail services are already operating as the network operates on weekend schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Booster advertising blitz

a woman holding a dog standing on a beach showing off her arm with a bandage
The government’s Let’s Do This advertising campaign is launched today.(Provided: NSW Government)

From today, the NSW Government’s new campaign to increase the rate of COVID-19 recalls will be broadcast on TV, radio, newspapers and social media.

Let’s Do This ads have been translated into 19 different languages ​​with a specific campaign for Indigenous communities.

With 43.5% of people aged 16 and over already covered by a third dose, Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet hopes the campaign will reinforce their importance.

“We know that vaccinations and boosters put downward pressure on hospitalizations and intensive care presentations,” he said.

He also said it had never been easier to get vaccinated and urged those whose second dose was three months ago not to wait.

People who have already been infected with COVID were especially encouraged to receive a booster four to six weeks after recovery.

Police investigate house shooting

Two people taking pictures
Police were called to a house in Karuah Street, Greenacre this morning.(ABC News)

An investigation is underway following a public shooting in south-west Sydney overnight, when a house was pelted with bullets.

Police said three adults were inside the house in Karuah Street, Greenacre, when shots were fired into the property at 1.10am.

No one was hurt.

Several bullet holes were found in front of the house.

A crime scene has been established.

Elective surgery resumes today

The suspension of elective night surgeries ends today with a phased reintroduction of elective procedures in NSW hospitals.

Only private hospitals and public hospitals based in regional and rural areas of NSW will be included in the first stage of the roll-out.

The phased return will see them take on up to 75% of their pre-pandemic workload.

But patients wanting elective overnight surgeries at a metropolitan hospital will have to keep waiting.

The New South Wales government said it was because the hospital network was still under pressure from COVID-19.

He said requests to public hospitals are being closely monitored and the situation is under constant review.

Elective night surgeries were halted on January 10.

Thank you vouchers to parents

A woman holding a child's hand
The Good Parents NSW program goes live from today.(PA: Paul Miller)

Parents with school children can now apply for $250 vouchers in what the New South Wales premier has said will be a big win for household budgets.

The five $50 vouchers can be used for lodging and tourism and are part of the state’s $2.8 billion COVID-19 economic stimulus package.

The Prime Minister said the vouchers, which can be accessed through the Service NSW app from today, were meant to “thank parents”.

“It is a testament and a tribute to all the parents who have made an incredible effort over the past two years, especially under the circumstances of home schooling,” he said.

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said around 85 per cent of the state’s population had received their Dine and Discover vouchers so far, and he hoped the Parents NSW scheme would be as popular.

Beginning February 21, those 18 and older will also receive a $50 accommodation voucher.

Fires at the hospital, industrial site

A fire truck
Fire and Rescue at the scene of a small fire at Northern Beaches Hospital in northern Sydney.(ABC News)

The emergency department of Sydney’s Northern Beaches Hospital was evacuated overnight after an electrical fire at the facility.

Several fire engines were called to the Frenchs Forest facility.

In Sydney’s western suburbs, around 70 firefighters were called to a blaze at an industrial complex in Glendenning.

Crews arrived around 12:45 a.m. and found several drums of chemicals on fire in the courtyard of the complex.

Aerosol cans and gas cylinders exploded during the fire.

Ben Roberts-Smith trial continues

a man wearing a mask walks through doors with a camera pointed at his face
Ben Roberts-Smith’s libel trial resumes today in Federal Court.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

An elite soldier will be cross-examined in Ben Roberts-Smith’s libel trial today over allegations he saw the Victoria Cross recipient order an execution abroad.

Known as Person 14, the SAS operator alleged in court that he saw Mr Roberts-Smith give the order, through an interpreter, for an Afghan to be executed while on a mission in 2012.

He told the court it left him “perplexed”, but Mr Roberts-Smith denied that account.

Mr. Roberts-Smith’s attorney began cross-examining the witness on Friday.

He suggested that Person 14 had been disciplined in his military background for mishandling top secret information.

Ben Roberts-Smith is suing three newspapers and journalists over 2018 stories that published allegations of unlawful killings, domestic violence and intimidation, which he denied.

Timber survey heads to regional NSW

trees in a forest
A survey focuses on the long-term sustainability and future of the wood and forest products industry.(Facebook: Forestry Australia)

A parliamentary inquiry into the timber industry visits the New South Wales region for the first time.

The NSW Upper House Committee is looking at the long-term sustainability of the timber and forest products industry.

Members will tour the red gum forests of the Koondrook-Perricoota River in South Riverina today, meeting with the local timber industry, land care and Indigenous representatives.

Tomorrow, the committee will travel to the snowy valleys where 40% of local softwood plantations were damaged in the 2020 bushfires.

Local councils, landowners and a forestry contractor who lost work to the fires will testify at a public hearing.

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