NSW Now: Howard stars in NSW election ad, Daley pledges ‘blood’ pact on gun control

Updated March 18, 2019 10:12:40

This briefing is compiled by the ABC’s digital journalists in Sydney. Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Gun control in election spotlight

Former prime minister John Howard has starred in a NSW election advertisement for the Liberal Party, claiming Australia’s firearms safeguards could be watered down if Labor wins this Saturday.

He accused Labor of doing a preference deal with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFF) and said that could lead to “enormous pressure” to water down the 1996 national gun control agreement.

Yesterday, Mr Daley declared he would resign from Parliament if the state’s gun control laws were weakened.

This morning, he told ABC Radio Sydney he rejected any suggestion the integrity of gun laws was under threat and noted the preference deal with the Shooters was for only two of 93 seats.

“If I am the Premier … absolutely no watering down of NSW gun laws, I give you signed pledge in blood on that one,” he said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Labor leader Michael Daley ceased campaigning on Saturday, out of respect to victims of the Christchurch shooting.

Exactly what impact that hiatus will have on the pre-election momentum remains to be seen.


Michael Daley appeared to have the campaign momentum in the past fortnight after he picked a fight with Alan Jones over the future of the Sydney Football Stadium.

This week, the Government is already ramping up its attacks on Mr Daley’s preference deals with the SFF in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Saturday’s political truce didn’t last long and any missteps from either side in the final week of campaigning could determine the result of this election.

— State political reporter Sarah Gerathy

Key seats to be close

Staying on the NSW election, and a YouGov Galaxy poll published in Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper today claims support for the Coalition has slumped in the key seats of Goulburn and Penrith on a two-party preferred basis.

Liberal Labor
Goulburn 51 per cent 49 per cent
Penrith 50 per cent 50 per cent

About 500 people in each seat were surveyed this month for the poll — currently, both are held by the Liberals.

If you’re keen to receive the latest NSW election headlines on Facebook messenger, sign up for state political reporter Nour Haydar’s alerts here.

You can also keep an eye on who is pledging what with our promise tracker.

Crane fire closes M2 Motorway

All eastbound lanes of the M2 are closed at North Rocks after a crane fire near Barclay Road.

The Transport Management Centre advised drivers to avoid the area, warning there was already a 7 kilometre queue of traffic by 7am.

Eastbound traffic is being diverted off the motorway to Windsor Road as emergency services attend.

Westbound lanes on New South Head Road had reopened after a car struck a pedestrian near Double Bay.

Large crowd at Muslim vigil

More than 1,000 people gathered outside the New Zealand Consulate-General on Bond Street yesterday afternoon in a demonstration against islamophobia.

The death toll from last week’s attack rose to 50 at the weekend, when a victim who had not previously been accounted for was identified by police.

At St Mary’s Cathedral, an interfaith service was held to pray for the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks.

Kingswood balcony fall

A man has been seriously injured after falling from a balcony in western Sydney overnight.

Emergency services were called to a unit on Park Avenue in Kingswood just before 8pm, following reports a man had sustained critical injuries.

The 35-year-old was treated at the scene then taken to Nepean Hospital.

Sydney University research

A new report has found broadening land tax in NSW could strengthen the state’s finances as the property market continues to fall.

The report, by the Policy Lab at the University of Sydney, reveals NSW’s incoming government will likely face a difficult fiscal situation as declining property prices mean less stamp duty revenue.

Report co-author, Dr Gareth Bryant, said land tax on owner-occupied land offered a much more stable source of revenue to fund “schools, hospitals teachers and nurses and so on”.

Kidman explains ‘Dirty Harry’ role

Nicole Kidman spoke with Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck on ABC Radio Sydney this morning about her latest movie “Destroyer”, directed by Karyn Kusama.

The Australian actress portrays a battle-scarred LAPD detective Erin Bel, described as a female “Dirty Harry”.

She was also asked what her young daughters Sunday and Faith thought of her films and her upcoming role alongside Meryl Streep in “Big Little Lies”.

Wet and wild weather

If you thought it was a wet weekend, you were right — some parts of Sydney received almost a month’s rain in 24 hours.

Little Bay and Rose Bay in the east were among the worst affected areas, receiving 105mm and 89mm respectively since Sunday morning.

Over three days to Sunday morning, Pennant Hills received nearly 200mm.

There is more of the same on the way this week.

Monday’s forecast

Cloudy. High chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.

Min. Max.
CBD 18 24
Parramatta 16 23

Topics: government-and-politics, political-parties, alp, liberals, sydney-2000, bondi-2026, goulburn-2580, penrith-2750, the-university-of-sydney-2006, kingswood-2747

First posted March 18, 2019 06:21:25

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