Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Organized crime gang members arrested in raids
Police in Sydney’s south-west say fifteen people have been charged with a “who’s who of the crime” after a week-long crackdown on organized crime.
This happened after police conducted 52 raids on people subject to firearms prohibition orders, which allow police to raid their homes and cars without a warrant.
The gang’s crime squad, Strike Force Hawk, seized $150,000 in cash, 150 grams of methylamphetamine, 1.5 kilograms of cannabis, weapons and vehicles.
Seven people were also arrested after a secret drug lab was discovered.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said they were disrupting the operations business of organized crime gangs.
“Last week, we targeted people with criminality in the south-west of Sydney: Rebels, Finks and Lone Wolves OMCG – you would be hard pressed to find someone in that world who didn’t find a home,” said Assistant Commissioner Smith he said.
“This is the first time the organization has sought to use general duty officers and criminal investigator staff in this manner outside of specialist units.”
Police say more charges are expected as the investigation continues.
Unions vote for continued industrial action
Unions in New South Wales voted unanimously yesterday in favor of continued industrial action if there is no wage increase.
Currently, the public sector wage limit is 2.5 per cent, but the annual inflation rate in Australia has risen to 5.1 per cent.
Unions have called for an end to wage caps and raising workers’ wages in line with inflation to help address living pressures and staff shortages in many industries.
“Our pandemic heroes can’t pay their bills, plus they can’t afford to live where they work,” said Unions NSW secretary Mark More.
“What worries me is how we get skilled teachers, nurses, scavengers, jail officials, bus drivers to do their jobs.”
More than 30,000 members of the civil service union, including child protection and court staff, plan to quit their jobs for 24 hours on Wednesday.
Pay the quarantine bill, the treasurer urges
Treasurer Matt Keane says people living in COVID-19 quarantine facilities in New South Wales need to be paid.
$58.6 million is $32.1 million in bills owed to local residents and $26.5 million is yet to be paid from interstate and overseas.
Mr Keane said: “New South Wales did the right thing for Australians to return to the country and we now call on those Australians to do the right thing by the people of New South Wales.”
“We expect other states and territories to pay their bills when New South Wales steps in to do their job.”
A spokesman for Revenue NSW said that while some were on the payment plan, about $52 million was being recovered through thousands of debt recovery orders.
Mr Keane said the government would continue to pursue overdue payments.
Cabinet to Consider Crown Casino License
The New South Wales cabinet is due to decide at its regular meeting today whether to ratify Crown Resorts’ plans to grant a conditional gaming license to Barangaroo in Sydney.
The license will be for a certain period in which it is likely to become fully credentialed.
It’s been a year since Crown was deemed ineligible to hold a license by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.
One investigation heard allegations of money laundering and links to the International Crime Syndicate.
While the decision meant that the casino component of Crown’s $2.2 billion skyscraper on Sydney Harbor was barred from opening, hotels and restaurants within the building were free to operate.
The cabinet will discuss plans for a conditional license before the Crown is fully credentialed.
Driver injured after hitting a tree
A driver was injured after colliding with a fallen tree in Cranbrook.
Emergency services responded after 5 a.m. following reports of a large tree falling on Northern Road due to strong winds.
A spokesman said a female driver survived with injuries.
The tree also downed several power lines and completely blocked the road in both directions.
Traffic is being diverted around the incident.