Sydney News: Industrial action hits urban and regional rail causing network-wide delays

This is what you need to know this morning.

Delays on the rail network

There are delays to most of Sydney’s rail network, along with some regional areas due to ongoing industrial action.

The Union of Railways, Trams and Buses said train crews are not operating trains that do not meet minimum maintenance standards.

A train strike is expected in parts of the state tomorrow.

Jamie Wallace from the Center for Transportation Management said there are big delays this morning.

“There are delays on the T1 north and west coast lines, as well as the T2 inland west line and Leppington. T3 Bankstown, T8 Airport and the south line,” he said.

“There are no trains running on the T7 Olympic Park line, [and] We also have a couple of service cancellations on the Blue Mountains line.”

Union calls for Joyce’s resignation

a man with glasses looking and talking
The union wants the Qantas boss to resign after Joyce apologized to customers.(AAP: Mick Tsikas)

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is calling for the resignation of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce following an apology sent to customers.

Mr. Joyce sent a video message to all frequent flyers to apologize for the recent delays and travel chaos.

“In the past few months, many of you have had delayed flights, canceled flights and lost bags,” he said.

Frequent flyers are also offered a $50 coupon for some return flights, as well as other incentives.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the apology was a gimmick that would not solve the underlying problems.

“This is Alan Joyce at his worst, saying $50 will fix this crisis,” Kaine said.

“No, what is needed is for Alan Joyce to resign and for the federal government to establish a safe skies commission and an independent body that can make aviation decisions in the public interest.”

Business confidence falls to lockdown levels

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Companies can’t get staff to optimize revenue, a recent survey shows.(ABC News: Lexy Hamilton-Smith)

A new survey shows business confidence in NSW has fallen to levels last seen during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Business NSW said its latest quarterly survey of business conditions shows businesses have been hit hard by rising costs, skills shortages and supply chain issues.

The survey was conducted last month during the height of the latest wave of COVID.

Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter said access to staff was the number one issue.

“[It’s] a very, very tight labor market and [there’s] a skills shortage, so people can’t get staff and can’t optimize their income,” he said.

Hunter said it had also been a quiet winter with people staying home.

More than 1,100 businesses participated in the survey statewide.

Ministers under scrutiny on budget estimates

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The Treasurer will be asked about the appointment of John Barilaro to the US trading position.(Facebook: Matt Kean MP)

State government will come under increased scrutiny as committee hearings on budget estimates begin today.

Over the next two and a half weeks, ministers and senior civil servants will be questioned under oath on a wide range of topics, including spending and performance.

Treasurer Matt Kean will appear first and is expected to be questioned about what he knew about John Barilaro’s appointment to a lucrative New York business job.

Attorney General Mark Speakman will also lead today’s hearings and is expected to be questioned about the delay in the government’s response to the ice investigation.

Accused probation police officer

A police officer employed in South West Sydney has been charged following an investigation into alleged domestic violence offences.

The 34-year-old parolee was arrested last Wednesday and charged with stalking and intimidation with intent to cause fear of physical or mental harm.

The officer was placed on conditional bail at Hornsby Local Court on September 6 and has been suspended with pay.

His arrest comes after an extensive investigation by officers from the North West Sydney Metropolitan Region.

Experts focus on biosecurity

a man in protective clothing holding a hive of bees
Millions of bees have died in an attempt to contain the spread of the varroa mite.(Facebook: AgriFutures Australia)

Experts from the livestock sector meet to discuss how New South Wales can combat the growing number of threats to the industry.

Biosecurity measures have been increased to prevent foot-and-mouth disease and contagious nodular skin from entering the country.

Millions of bees have been culled as the government tries to contain the current outbreak of varroa mites.

The convention in Dubbo is expected to lead to the implementation of better biosecurity measures to protect the agricultural industry.

Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said the conference was timely.

“Previously, Australia depended on its island status and the fact that we were so far away from anywhere,” he said.

“But now we are a global country and there are things coming in and going out, including tourism, but also meat products and other products that put our way of life at risk.”

Increase in injuries from working from home

a man sitting behind a computer at a dining table at home
One survey found that 33 percent of respondents had been working from the dining room table.(ABC News)

New research has found that many Australians have yet to adopt established safe work-from-home habits since the pandemic began.

A survey by the Australian Chiropractic Association (ACA) found that 33% of 1,003 respondents had been working from the dining room table, 16% from bed and 15% from the sofa.

ACA President Dr. David Cahill said these habits can cause spinal problems.

“Eighty-six percent [of ACA chiropractors] reported that many more of their patients are coming in with significant spinal issues … and we’ve identified that this has something to do with their workspace,” he said.

“If that goes on for a long period of time, the stress on the spine at the discs, particularly the lower back, can lead to more serious problems.”

While offices are reopening, many people are still choosing to work remotely.

Sydney chiropractor Dr. Kim Lie Jom said there are steps to take to avoid injury while working from home.

“The main thing is to have a very good ergonomic chair with a supportive back, one that is adjustable,” he said.

“You should also have your knees slightly lower than your hips when you sit in the chair.”

It’s also important to keep laptops at eye level and move every 30 to 40 minutes.

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