Sydney news: State Government gives exemption for 5,000 to attend ANZAC march

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Here’s what you need to know this morning.

ANZAC March exemption

The ANZAC Day march held on April 25 will go ahead with a specially increased limit, the NSW Government has confirmed.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has signed off on the exemption, which will allow up to 5,000 people to attend the Sydney CBD march.

The government had previously approved a limit of 500 people for the 2021 march, and attendees were required to register their interest in attending.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison applauded the move, describing it as a welcome step “so that more people can pay their respects”.

Premier gets the jab

A woman talking
Gladys Berejiklian will get the jab today as the AstraZeneca vaccine begins rolling out.(ABC News: James Carmody)

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine today as the vaccine’s rollout begins in NSW.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard and NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant will also receive the vaccine.

Meanwhile, NSW Health has received a supply of specialised syringes for administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that will minimise waste and allow all doses in a vial to be used.

Currently one out of every six doses in a vial is going to waste as low-dead-space syringes have been in short supply across the world and not available in NSW.

The speciality syringe, which is not commonly used, has less dead space between the plunger and the needle for the vaccine fluid to get trapped.

Dr Chant expressed optimism that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout would bring about a better way of life for Australians.

“We’re not there yet [but] I am optimistic that the end of 2021 will be very different from what we are experiencing today, thanks to vaccination.”

Woman of the Year announced

Dr Kerry Chant provides the daily coronavirus update at a press conference
Dr Chant has been a common fixture on screens during the COVID-19 pandemic.(AAP: Bianca de Marchi)

The state’s Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has been named New South Wales Woman of the Year.

Dr Chant has led the state’s public health response throughout the coronavirus pandemic and has become a familiar face in daily press briefings.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian applauded Dr Chant for having excelled in her career and affected lasting change.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Chant has been a familiar face, offering vital health information for our State in addition to years of service to the health sector,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Shooting victim critical

NSW Police generic
The man was shot outside a home late last night.(Dan Cox)

A man has been shot in the stomach after a fight with three men outside a home at Aberglasslyn in the Hunter region last night.

Emergency services were called to the house on Golden Whistler Avenue at about 10.45pm after reports of a shot being fired.

The man was treated by paramedics and taken to Maitland Hospital before being airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition.

The three men fled in a white Mitsubishi Magna which was later found set on fire in Railway Parade, Telarah.

Police from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District are investigating the shooting.

Two-car crash in Casula

An aerial view of a big traffic jam on a six lane highway in the city.
Traffic on the M5 Motorway is backed up for kilometres following a two-car crash in Sydney’s south-west.(ABC News)

Traffic on the M5 Motorway is backed up for kilometres following a two-car crash in Sydney’s south-west.

New South Wales Ambulance said two people had been injured after one of the cars rolled at Casula.

Two out of four northbound lanes are closed near the Moorebank Avenue off ramp.

Motorists are being told to expect significant delays on the M5 and M7 motorways due to the crash.

Authorities are urging people to use an alternative route and allow for extra travel time.

Murder trial almost derailed

Two sisters of a Sydney murderer nearly caused his trial to collapse because they could not stop giggling as his police interview was played to a court.

Valnten and Valy Botrus were attending the NSW Supreme Court trial of their 20-year-old brother, Fredon, in September last year.

“Please stop laughing, it’s a very bad look,” solicitor Alen Sahinovic texted the pair while the court was still in session.

Botrus was ultimately found guilty of murdering 20-year-old Alfredo Isho as he sat getting a haircut at Bossley Park’s Classico Hair Salon in January, 2019.

Shark-spotting boost

Hammerhead shark spotted by aerial drone off Newcastle's Redhead Beach
Sydney’s eastern suburbs beaches will have more shark safety equipment under the grants program.(Supplied: UAV Hover)

Additional shark safety equipment is being delivered at some of Sydney’s busiest beaches by the NSW government.

An extra five shark-spotting drones, emergency evacuation alarms and lifeguard training and will be rolled out at beaches including Bondi, Bronte and Maroubra.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said Maroubra beach would get four drones and Bondi and Bronte would get a public address system and emergency alarm as part of the shark observation grants program.

He describes drones as “among the most effective detection and surveillance tools” when paired with evacuation systems and lifeguard training.

Jack Mundey funeral

A state memorial will be held today for unionist and environmental activist Jack Mundey after COVID-19 restrictions delayed the service last year.

Mr Mundey was a legendary figure in the trade union movement, best known for spearheading the green bans that helped save historic buildings and working class communities in the Rocks and other areas of Sydney in the 1970s.

He continued to campaign on a range of social justice issues until his death in May last year at the age of 90.

COVID-19 restrictions meant a state memorial couldn’t be held at the time, but today he will be honoured at a ceremony at Sydney Town Hall, which will be led by former NSW premier Bob Carr.

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