Sydney news: Penny Sharpe’s first day as Labor leader, hidden camera in Bondi bathroom

Updated March 26, 2019 09:08:42

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

NSW Labor’s Penny Sharpe says it will be “steady as she goes” and she will spend her first day as interim leader hitting the phones and trying to re-group after the bruising weekend election loss.

With Michael Daley stepping aside as leader to benefit the party at a federal level, Ms Sharpe has stepped in to the fill the void.

Yesterday the party announced it would hold a leadership ballot after May’s federal election so people can concentrate on that campaign.

This comes as more vote counting shows East Hills has been retained by the Liberals, and Dubbo has been retained by the Nationals, delivering the Bereijklian Government a majority in the Lower House.

So when the NSW Parliament resumes in mid-May, Labor will be without a leader in the Lower House, with Ms Sharpe in the Upper House.

State political reporter Sarah Gerathy said in the wake of Labor’s election loss, this solution has bought them some time.

ANALYSIS:

Michael Daley’s decision to step aside is the best of a bunch of bad options facing the NSW Labor Party if it wants to minimise the chances of bruising the federal campaign.

The only thing that would have been less messy is if he had been convinced to walk away from the leadership altogether.

But the only way for Labor to avoid a drawn-out rank-and-file ballot to replace him would be if there was just one contender and no challenger — and the party is too shell-shocked from its election defeat right now to be uniting behind a single candidate.

The solution they’ve come up with buys them some time and breathing space while the Caucus recovers and regroups.

State political reporter Sarah Gerathy

Back to the backbench

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies last night announced she does not want to be considered for the frontbench due to family reasons.

Her decision comes after Niall Blair’s announcement he will quit Cabinet and eventually politics.

“I came to the role with my newborn son, Harry, and my nine-year-old daughter, Laura. At this time in my life I have decided I need to spend more time with my family and more time closer to home in my electorate representing the people of my community,” she said in a statement.

Voters in the electorate of Mulgoa returned Ms Davies to power on a margin of 2.7 per cent on Saturday.

Hidden camera in Bondi toilet

A man has been charged after police received a report about a camera hidden in a deodorant stick in a Bondi hostel bathroom.

A 27-year-old woman holidaying from France was allocated a room with an ensuite in the Lamrock Avenue hostel, sharing with a man unknown to her.

Yesterday evening she finished showering and noticed a toiletry bag on the sink with a small camera hidden within a deodorant stick.

A 36-year-old man holidaying from Hong Kong has been charged and was refused bail to appear in Waverley Local Court today.

Top Greek Orthodox cleric dies

Australia’s most senior Greek Orthodox leader, Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakis, has died in Sydney after a long battle with cancer. He was aged 83.

He led half a million Greek Orthodox Australian worshippers, many who migrated to Australia in the post-war era.

Tributes have been pouring in, including from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Mr Morrison tweeted: “His distinguished service and leadership to the Greek Australian community will be greatly missed.”

Chairperson of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia Mary Patetsos said the Greek and broader Australian community is sad today.

“He offered [Greek migrants] a place they could call home as well as identifying the role faith could play in binding all Australians together, in a belief that we should have a peaceful nation, that looked after all its citizens.”

‘I’m coming for their jobs!’

One of the mistakes that brought Mr Daley undone on Saturday were his comments that young people were leaving Sydney because “Asians with PhDs” were taking their jobs.

Yesterday on ABC Sydney’s Drive program, Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi quipped that he could easily have been talking about her.

“I’m an “Asian with a Phd!” she said, adding: “You know what? I’m coming for their jobs!”

Ms Faruqi’s PhD, by the way, is in environmental engineering.

Tuesday’s weather

Sunny. Winds southwesterly 20 to 30 kmh turning southeasterly in the late afternoon.

Min. Max.
CBD 17 25
Parramatta 15 25

Topics: government-and-politics, state-elections, political-parties, weather, sydney-2000

First posted March 26, 2019 06:51:15

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