Sydney news: Zetland apartment block evacuated with defects, 'facial recognition' for Opal card
Updated July 10, 2019 08:06:02
Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Another apartment block evacuated
It has been revealed that another apartment tower in Sydney had to be evacuated due to building defects and has now been empty for eight months.
Sydney City Council said it became aware earlier this year that a building in Zetland in the inner east was evacuated by its owners in late 2018, due to extensive water damage and subsequent faults with the fire alarm system.
The NSW Opposition said the revelation showed there was a systemic problem with the building system.
In December last year the Opal Tower in Sydney’s west cracked and had to be evacuated, and Mascot Towers in the inner south remains empty after its evacuation in June also due to cracking.
Opal card ‘facial recognition’
Transport Minister Andrew Constance has predicted Sydney commuters could soon walk straight through ticket barriers without scanning their Opal cards, with future plans for a facial recognition tool.
Mr Constance made the comments during a speech at the Sydney Institute last night.
A spokeswoman for Mr Constance said there was no time frame on introducing the technology and it would be opt-in only, with commuters needing to ask for it.
Alleged online child exploitation
Parents have been urged to monitor their children’s online activity after four men were charged in the past three weeks for allegedly inciting children for sex.
Police conducted a covert operation in which they spoke with men online and pretended to either be children or their parents.
Four men, aged between 32 and 61, allegedly engaged in conversations about sexually explicit acts they wished to perform on a child, and two allegedly made arrangements to meet for sex.
“With children currently on school holidays, it’s a timely reminder to keep an eye on how much time your child is spending on the internet, what websites they are visiting, and who they may be speaking with,” said Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Commander Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec.
NSW Health has issued its second measles alert in a number of days following the infection of a young Sydney man who recently returned from travel to South East Asia.
The man spent time in Hornsby, Lane Cove, Lindfield, Sydney CBD, Newtown and Erskineville, and also travelled on public transport between June 30 and July 8.
“Symptoms to watch out for include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body,” NSW Health director of communicable diseases Vicky Sheppeard said.
None of the locations visited by the man posed an ongoing risk, she said.
On Saturday, NSW Health issued a measles warning after a man aged in his 40s was diagnosed with the infection after a four-day trip to Sydney.
Help for Sydney’s homeless
More than 450 so-called rough sleepers across Sydney have been found housing in the past two years, according to new figures provided by the State Government.
Around 92 per cent of those people have managed to sustain their tenancies after being provided with appropriate support services.
The Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward, said there was a long way to go in reaching the Government’s targets in tackling homelessness.
“If you’re homeless it’s hard to get Centrelink or a Medicare card because you don’t have a mailing or postal address. It’s very hard to get a drivers licence, which makes it hard to get work because you don’t have the money to sit the tests or get the support to learn the ropes. People who confront homelessness confront a variety of issues.”
Juggling work and family survey
Working parents and carers are being asked to contribute to a survey about how workplaces could provide more help to balance work and caring for family.
The National Working Families Survey is a collaboration between corporate Australia and parenting education providers Parents At Work and Karitane.
“The struggle of the juggle is very real. Parenting can be stressful and with the added pressures of working it can have a profound impact on the individual as a parent and also as an employee,” Karitane CEO Grainne O’Loughlin said.
Researchers from two Australian universities have also helped design the survey to cover issues like parental leave support, flexible work needs and child care.
First posted July 10, 2019 06:30:52