Sydney news: Consent laws passed in NSW Parliament a ‘game changer’, proponents say

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

The Consent Act is a “game changer”

A woman looks at her phone messages while a man stands behind her with clenched fist.
The government said the new laws would ensure more effective prosecutions for sexual assault.(ABC News: Eric Havnen)

An advocacy group for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence has described new consent laws passed by the NSW Parliament as a “big” step forward.

According to the reforms, consent must be communicated verbally or physically before sex.

The government said the change would simplify the laws on sexual consent and ensure more effective prosecution of sexual assaults.

Full Stop Australia CEO Hayley Foster said it was a game changer.

“This is huge, you can not exaggerate this,” said Mrs Foster.

“We finally have a legal framework in New South Wales that actually recognizes that one cannot assume consent.

“You will have to, if you want to engage in a sexual activity with someone, you have to have an indication from them that they actually want to engage in a sexual activity.”

Younger doctors are suing for theft

A doctor wearing gloves prepares a saline drip.
Younger doctors say they need a safer workplace for themselves and patients.(ABC )

More than 100 junior doctors are suing the NSW government for wage theft, claiming they have been robbed of millions of dollars in overtime and meal allowances.

Doctors are suing the New South Wales Supreme Court for wage theft and breach of their employment price.

Their union, the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation (ASMOF), said the aim of the action was not only to ensure that doctors were paid fairly, but also to change the price to create a safer workplace.

“There is nothing else we can do … so we got to the point of saying that enough is enough, the time has come, we need to change this system in NSW,” said ASMOF President Tony Sara.

“[The employment award] is not suitable for the purpose. We need to make it safe for young doctors and make it safe for patient care. “

This is the second case brought against NSW Health for underpayment of junior doctors. A class action lawsuit by Maurice Blackburn and Hayden Stephens & Associates was filed last year.

Police investigating Williams’ disappearance seize items

two men walking in the dense bush, one with a yellow bag
The search for the remains of William Tyrrell has begun on its 10th day.(ABC News)

NSW police have seized several items as part of the renewed search for the missing young child William Tyrrell on the NSW Mid-North Coast.

Detectives and dozens of riot police return to Kendall later this morning on day 10 of their operation.

Grave archaeologist Tony Lowe and another officer excavated a large piece of black fabric from bushland across the road from an area where red threads and blue cloth were found a few days ago.

It may take weeks before the results of forensic examinations are known.

So far, there have been no signs of the three-year-old’s remains since he disappeared without a trace from his foster grandmother’s home in Kendall in 2014.

Shorter weather forecast for La Niña for NSW

a man jogging in the rain through the city
Above average precipitation in NSW is expected over the next three to four months.(ABC News: Harriet Tatham)

The weather bureau says that while La Niña has arrived in Australia, the rest of the spring and summer will not necessarily be a complete washout.

Yesterday, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) announced that a La Niña event was officially underway in the Pacific for the second year in a row.

Hugh McDowell, senior forecaster at NSW BOM, said the state would get above average rainfall over the next three to four months, but beach days were still on the cards.

“This La Niña event seems to last until around February or March, so it’s generally shorter than last year,” McDowell said.

“That does not mean that there will be continuous, constant rain all the way to the end of spring and summer.

“That means more precipitation is more likely. But that doesn’t rule out days or even hot and sunny weeks.”

Kidnap footage released

Men stand next to a white van
Police described the attack in daylight as “shameful” and targeted.(Delivered by: NSW Police)

Police have released CCTV and mobile phone footage in the hope that it will help their investigation of a man who was kidnapped and stabbed in a “rude and violent” attack in western Sydney in September.

A 24-year-old man was walking in Merrylands before being assaulted by five men and forced into the back of a car.

The man was allegedly detained on a vacant unit for several hours before being found stabbed in the shoulder by a member of the public on Wellington Road, Birrong.

He was taken to Liverpool Hospital for treatment.

Detective Andrew Koutsoufis said police were looking for information on two vehicles pictured in the footage, a white Toyota Hiace with registration number BK59LG and a black Toyota Hilux with registration number AMEBLD.

“This is an extremely violent and rude attack that took place on a suburban street in Sydney on Saturday afternoon,” he said.

‘We’re all just a little tired of it’ ‘

a flooded road
Forbes and Cowra in NSW’s Central West are expected to receive up to 20 millimeters of rain today.(Provided by: Facebook Forbes Shire Council)

Heavy rain is ready to move back into the central west of the state, and will flood already flood-hit communities.

The BOM predicts up to 20 millimeters at Forbes and Cowra today, and residents of Bedgerabong are being warned that they could be cut off until Christmas.

Local farmer Jimmy Griffiths said residents had been warned they might be cut off from nearby Forbes for several weeks.

“We’re worried, but given this year, everything that’s been thrown at us, we’re all just a little tired of it,” Mr Griffiths said.

“We may have to miss Christmas this year because we all want to still be in the Lachlan River lockdown.”

Local elementary school principal Paul Faulkner said staff were flown in by helicopter every day to ensure students did not have to go back to homeschooling.

“The [students] want to be here and the word from the parents is that they should be here, “Mr Faulkner said.

“This is the safest, best place for them. They are happy to be here, they love their friends.”

Three teenagers charged with alleged armed robbery

Three teenagers will appear in court today after an alleged armed robbery in western Sydney.

NSW police said a 64-year-old man was left in a serious condition after his wallet, keys and car were allegedly stolen in Blacktown just after noon.

Police said the man was driving with a young woman who had asked for a lift home from an authorized area when she asked him to stop.

As they got out of the car, they were approached by a group of men carrying bats and metal rods.

The men and woman allegedly assaulted the elderly man before fleeing in his Range Rover. He was taken to Westmead Hospital on suspicion of multiple injuries.

Just after 4am yesterday, police said they stopped a car in Toongabbie and arrested two 18-year-old men and a 17-year-old girl.

The three were charged and denied bail.

The girl is due to appear in a children’s court today and the two men are due to appear in Blacktown Local Court.

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