Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Premier returns to work, with flood relief
Premier Dominic Perrottet will return from paternity leave today and is headed to the flood-devastated city of Lismore.
Mr Perrottet has been on leave since the birth of his seventh child two-and-a-half weeks ago.
During his visit, his third trip to the region since the first flood event at the end of February, Mr Perrottet is set to announce grants of $20,000 for each flood-affected household in eight local government areas.
Families in the Hawkesbury, Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed LGAs will benefit from the money, to help clean up and repair their homes.
The funds will only be available to owners or renters who aren’t insured, or those who haven’t claimed the Disaster Relief Grant.
While Mr Perrottet was on leave, the local Labor MP in Lismore, Janelle Saffin, claimed some of the government’s recovery efforts have been appalling.
She also said there was no clear chain of command on the ground to oversee them.
‘Impacts of climate change are evident’
The damage to beaches in Sydney’s eastern suburbs caused by the weekend’s big swell could take weeks to clear up, the mayor of Waverley Council says.
Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama were among those impacted by the strong winds, high tides and up to 10-metre waves that pounded the NSW coastline.
Parts of North Bondi remain closed today after water reached the promenade and the fence above the Wally Weekes pool.
Mayor Paula Masselos said council staff had been assessing the situation.
“Our staff are securing the areas to make them safe for the community, but it is likely to be many weeks before we can fully restore the damaged areas,” she said.
“The impacts of climate change are evident as these events become more frequent.”
Also damaged were the garden beds and bin corrals at Tamarama, and the brick fencing at Bronte Beach.
Ms Masselos said some of the reconstruction work needed included concrete repairs, netting, and grooming and grading beaches.
Health workers to strike on Thursday
The Health Services Union (HSU) will strike this week, putting the state government under further pressure over its public sector wage cap.
Thousands of paramedics, ambulance workers, hospital administration and cleaners, as well as allied health staff, will hold a stop-work meeting on Thursday, April 7.
The HSU said its members will discuss future strike action over resourcing issues and the 2.5 per cent wage cap that’s been in place since 2011.
It said workers’ concerns weren’t being addressed by the Perrottet government, less than a year out from an election.
“The dynamics of politics in New South Wales has changed and we are going to exploit that,” HSU General Secretary Gerard Hayes said.
Ambulances will still respond to serious and life threatening emergencies during the stop-work meeting.
In the past few months, the government has faced ongoing industrial action from a number of public sector unions.
A spokesperson for NSW Health said the government was committed to resolving the workforce issues and would maintain ongoing dialogue with the union.
They also said to expect some disruption to services due to 4,669 health care workers in COVID isolation as at Friday, April 1.
Free transport to Anzac Day events
There is no excuse for families not to attend Anzac Day commemorations, the state government says, as COVID-19 restrictions affecting previous events are banished.
NSW Veterans Minister David Elliott said veterans and their families would be given free transport to this month’s events over Easter and Anzac Day.
“There’s no reason for families not to come in and congratulate and applaud the service of their loved ones over the course of weekend,” Mr Elliott said.
“It’s a special time for vets, a day of mateship.”
And traditional gambling game two-up will be legal to play for three days this year rather than one day.
RSL NSW President Ray James said he hoped “thousands” of vets would attend, in particular the younger generation.
Mr Elliott said he wanted younger vets to be supported and for recruits to know they would be looked after following discharge.
“We’re appealing for younger veterans to engage. Only a veteran knows what a veteran went through,” he said.
“That’s the only way well pick up any problems they’ve got post military service.”
Display of Nazi symbols to be banned
A bill is being drafted to ban the public display of Nazi symbols such as the swastika, New South Wales Attorney General Mark Speakman says.
It comes after a parliamentary inquiry last year unanimously recommended the symbols be outlawed.
France, Germany and Austria already have laws in place, with Victoria also looking to move in the same direction.
Mr Speakman said there was a need for change with the recent rise in far-right groups.
“Nazi symbols cause enormous distress to holocaust survivors, to the Jewish community generally, to ex-servicemen,” he said.
“There’s no reason why we should allow the public display of these hate symbols unless there is a genuine religious reason or it’s in a museum, or for educational purpose, or there’s some other reasonable excuse.”
Under the proposed legislation offending individuals would be fined $5,500 or jailed for six months, or both.
The bill is expected by the end of June.