Good morning and welcome to the Morning Buzz for Wednesday, July 5. It’s set to be mostly sunny today, with expected highs of about 19 degrees. Enjoy your day!
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'Bed block' leaves ambulances stranded at Sydney hospitals as triple-0 calls back up
Only seven ambulances were free to respond to emergencies across the whole of Sydney for more than an hour on Tuesday afternoon, after paramedics were left stranded at hospitals that were too full to admit their patients.
NSW Ambulance senior managers had to leave their desk jobs and step in as paramedics from about 2.30pm to cope with demand after an increased number of triple-0 calls and long waiting times at emergency departments. Read more.
More than Westconnex: F6 Extension to cost $18 billion
The planned toll road linking Sydney and Wollongong has been costed at an extraordinary $18 billion – almost $12 billion more than the rail alternative that would cut the journey to about one hour.
The cost of the F6 Extension, which is also greater than the $16.8 billion estimate for WestConnex, is revealed in government documents seen by Fairfax Media and the ABC that raise doubts about the government's ability to build both projects at the same time. Read more.
Medicare details of every Australian currently up for sale
A confronting report shows that a vendor on the dark web can pull up the full Medicare card details of any Australian on request — and is selling them for around $30 each — indicating a security hole somewhere in the health system.
An investigation from the Guardian Australia details the sales listing on an undisclosed dark web marketplace, in which the vendor claims to be "exploiting a vulnerability" in order to run software that pulls the data. The vendor calls it "the Medicare Machine". Read more.
Bid for paid domestic violence leave rejected - again
A union bid for 10 days of paid domestic violence leave for all employees has been rejected for a second time by the industrial umpire.
A full bench of the Fair Work Commission said it has taken the "preliminary view" that while it is necessary to make provisions for family and domestic violence leave, it had rejected an application for 10 days of leave to be covered under all modern awards for all employees. Read more.
Public service says it's not corrupt
The Australian Public Service has given itself a clean bill of health and says it does not want or need a new federal corruption-busting commission.
Most public service misconduct was "of the less serious kind", Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd has argued, and most perpetrators already get caught with departments and agencies doing a good job in preventing or detecting corruption. Read more.
Anglers to benefit from largest off-shore artificial reef just south of Port Hacking
The largest off-shore artificial reef in NSW will be installed near Port Hacking, providing anglers with a better chance to hook the big one.
Construction is well advanced on the modules, each of which weighs 25 tonnes and is five metres high by four metres wide.
Thirty six modules will be towed to the installation site just south of Port Hacking. Read more.
Calls for Mountains residents to de-sex their pet now
A drop in Mid to Lower Blue Mountains residents taking up a subsidised desexing program for cats and dogs has prompted calls for residents to utilise the program as the number of unwanted kittens rises.
Katoomba’s RSPCA shelter is full of unwanted kittens and dogs. Read more.
Vegie robot from University of Sydney hits the field to help small farmers
Almost 100 growers and industry representatives from across Sydney turned out to get a glimpse of a newly developed 'vegie robot' at the Greater Sydney Local Land Services Demonstration Farm in Richmond at the end of June.
The robot, near the end of its prototype phase, was put through its paces at the University of Western Sydney’s demonstration crop area on Southee Road in Richmond.
It was developed by the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR). Read more.
Blacktown medical student hacks the work-life balance
Some spare time and a spur-of-the-moment decision have just landed Alice Leung a ticket to Finland.
The James Ruse Agricultural High School alumni was one of two Australians chosen from 2000 applicants to attend Elsevier Hacks 2017.
She and 15 other students from around the world will work with small teams of developers and programmers to come up with an innovative prototype within one week. Read more.
Fairfield mayor denies taking the cash
Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone has hit back at media reports claiming he “took the cash” to an entitled Local Government Remuneration Tribunal pay rise.
Fairfield was one of six Sydney councils reclassified into the large metropolitan category, meaning mayors were afforded a pay rise from 15 to 32 per cent.
The maximum wage for the mayor rose to $113,280. Read more.
Councils unite to fight Menangle development
Camden Council has decided to stand beside Campbelltown and Wollondilly Council’s to oppose a plan to build more than 5000 houses in Menangle.
Councillor Cindy Cagney asked for a report into the development because she was concerned about the loss of agricultural land. She said she was pleased council was supporting its neighbouring councils to object to the development. Read more.
Former Eels boss Scott Seward a 'shell of his former self', court hears
Former Parramatta Eels boss Scott Seward's role in the salary cap scandal goes against "every fibre of his moral code", as the son of a policeman with a keen sense of honesty and justice, a court has heard.
Seward has pleaded guilty to a charge of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage of $221,106 from the Parramatta leagues club by arranging "off the books" payments to keep top players. Read more.
Hawkesbury boxers head to National Novice Titles
Seven boxers from two different Hawkesbury gyms will head to Woy Woy this weekend for the Australian National Boxing League National Novice Titles.
Fighters from Warriors Gym in Londonderry and No Limits Gym in Richmond will compete over Friday and Saturday to vie for the title of Australian Novice Champion. Read more.
Super League player faces eight-week ban
English Super League player Jamie Acton faces a ban of at least eight matches after lifting former NRL star Greg Bird as he lay hurt following an on-field collision.
Leigh forward Acton has been charged with 'other contrary behaviour' by the Rugby Football League in an incident rated grade F - the highest of severity. Read more.
I could have played five-eighth for Maroons: Daly Cherry-Evans
Daly Cherry-Evans has claimed he would have had no problem wearing the No.6 jersey for Queensland after being controversially overlooked for the State of Origin decider.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters has drafted in Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt and Melbourne utility Cameron Munster ahead of Cherry-Evans despite the Manly captain discovering some of the best form of his career in 2017. Read more.
Wimbledon 2017: Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis out, Arina Rodionova
Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis have joined the Australian exodus from the Wimbledon singles draws, as Arina Rodionova became the first to advance to the second round.
Tomic hurt his back midway through the opening set and was clearly hindered in the 6-4 6-3 6-4 first-round defeat to Germany's 27th seed Mischa Zverev. Read more.