Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Mobile phone school ban policy
The New South Wales Opposition has unveiled a policy to restrict the use of mobile phones in public high school classrooms.
It said other states already restrict the use of phones, smart watches, tablets and headphones, unless students are under the instruction of a staff member.
There are concerns that phones are responsible for declining academic standards.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns said the policy was similar to initiatives in other states.
“I don’t want to see New South Wales students left behind,” he said.
“We are in a global competition. A competition between states, a competition amongst other countries. We need to make sure we’re at the cutting edge of the latest educational advancements.”
Students from kindergarten to Year 6 are already banned from having a mobile phone in their possession during the school day.
The Opposition will also conduct a review into the impact of technology on children and young people.
Casino regulatory body starts work
The New South Wales Independent Casino Commission begins its operations from today.
That body was created in response to the Bergin Inquiry into Crown Resorts.
It will have powers to fine operators up to $100 million and hold individual board members and executives liable for serious wrongdoing.
Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said its most-pressing task would be to “consider the findings of Adam Bell SC’s Star review” and continue “the supervision and ongoing suitability assessment of Crown Sydney”.
Philip Crawford, the current chair of the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority, has been selected as the new body’s Chief Commissioner.
“Under his leadership, New South Wales casinos will be monitored in line with the new laws and face strong disciplinary action for compliance failures, past and present,” Mr Anderson said.
Lynette’s family focused on finding her body
Lynette Dawson’s family say they endured 40 years of trauma before her ex-husband was convicted of her murder.
Chris Dawson — Lynette’s former husband — was last week found guilty of her murder after a marathon, five-hour hearing in Sydney.
Her family members have told the ABC the most important thing now is to find her body, so she can be laid to rest.
Police say efforts to find her remains are ongoing, and they are urging anyone with information to come forward.
The mother-of-two vanished from Sydney’s Northern Beaches in 1982.
Mr Dawson, now 74, maintains his innocence. He is yet to be sentenced and has indicated he will appeal.
Warning iconic Sydney oval could be lost to NRL
Wests Tigers great Robbie Farah says it would be a shame if the NRL lost Sydney’s iconic Leichhardt Oval due to a lack of funds needed to upgrade facilities.
Yesterday, “Fair funding now” banners were displayed on stands at the ground in a day of protest organised by Inner West Council to coincide with the Tigers’ last home game of the season.
They are calling on the state government to hand over the $50 million that, they say, was promised to make the “much-loved community institution decent and safe” after a railing collapsed just a few weeks ago.
Farah, who played his first and final NRL game at the ground, said it would be concerning if matches were no longer able to be played there.
“It’s been here a while and there hasn’t been much money spent on improving the facilities,” he said.
“We’re hoping that we can get that and make sure that we’re still playing here for a long time to come … This is my favourite place in the world.”
Mayor Darcy Byrne is angry that funds were “snatched back” by the state government and “funnelled” to build a new stadium at Penrith.
“With a small portion of the $300 million given to Penrith, we can provide decent seating, toilets, catering facilities and upgraded, female-friendly changing rooms for all of the teams who use the ground and the fans who support them,” he said.
Retrials for ex-minister and ex-union boss
A judge-alone retrial is expected to start today for former New South Wales mining minister Ian Macdonald, and ex-union boss John Maitland, over a mine licence.
Mr Macdonald and Mr Maitland served part of their original jail sentences before being released in 2019.
They were acquitted on appeal of misconduct in public office and being an accessory to the misconduct over the Doyles Creek Mine licence near Singleton in the Hunter Valley.
It was directly allocated in 2008 to a company Mr Maitland chaired while Mr Macdonald had the mining portfolio.
Justice Hament Dhanji will preside over their retrial without a jury.
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