Sydney news: Upper House inquiry to investigate the recruitment process of John Barilaro's New York role
Here's what you need to know this morning. 
A parliamentary inquiry into the appointment of former New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro as the state's trade commissioner to the US will begin today. 
Mr Barilaro was awarded the plum job with a salary package topping $500,000 earlier this month. 
The upper house inquiry will investigate the appointment and recruitment process. 
"The community places its trust in the public service and its leaders to make integrous recruitment decisions," said committee chair, Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann. 
"It is therefore essential that the NSW government representatives, who appear to be the key decision-makers in this appointment, provide an accurate and fulsome account to the NSW public of how Mr Barilaro was the best candidate for the role."
The only witness to be called today will be Investment NSW chief executive Amy Brown, who was on the interview panel that selected Mr Barilaro, only months after he ceased to be her boss.
A man believed to be behind the murder of underworld figure Mahmoud "Brownie" Ahmad has been arrested.
Ahmad — who had a $1 million bounty on his head — was shot and killed after leaving an associate's home about 9.30pm at Greenacre in April this year.
Police made the arrest of a 49-year-old man in the Western Sydney suburb of Wetherill Park in May this year, allegedly finding him in possession of $22 million worth of street drug methylamphetamine, along with cash and cloned number plates.
Last Friday, that man was also charged with being an accessory before and after the fact of the murder of Ahmad, while in custody.
Ahmad was no stranger to the gangland world, having recently served jail time over the fatal shooting of a man outside a Condell Park smash repair shop in 2016. 
A professional body representing GPs across Australia says the government has not yet acted on 109 recommendations, made more than two years ago, to tackle crystal methamphetamine. 
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) president Karen Price said "enough is enough".
"The report was handed down more than two-and-a-half-years ago and none of the recommendations have been acted on. Disappointingly there was no funding included in the NSW budget handed down just last week. This is a missed opportunity," Ms Price said.
The report contained recommendations on how to tackle alcohol and other drug use in communities across the state more broadly. 
Sydney professor Charlotte Hespe said the report, if acted on, could make positive differences in NSW.
"Several of the recommendations speak specifically to the vital role GPs play in helping people with alcohol and other drug issues. We have the road map in front of us. Now is the time for the NSW government to dust off the report and act because these problems will not go away," Professor Hespe said. 
The rail union is expected to hold a meeting of delegates in Sydney today to discuss the government's latest offer and decide whether to escalate its industrial action.
In a bid to break the deadlock, the government has offered staff an annual payment of $6,000 to operate the new trains.
Unions have described the offer as a bribe, saying the offer does include any changes to make the overseas-built trains safer.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union is demanding modifications to the fleet, which it says are needed to allow its members to operate the trains safely.
Commuters have been warned to expect a week of chaos on the trains, with many services operating at reduced speed or cancelled altogether.
A second biosecurity zone has been set up around Bulahdelah on the NSW Mid North Coast after the discovery of the destructive varroa mite in beehives on a property in the area. 
Hives within 10 kilometres of the town will be destroyed while surveillance will be carried out within a 25km radius.
"This case is directly linked to a previously identified property, which shows the prompt and efficient response by the Department of Primary Industries is working well," said Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders.
The pest has been found on a further two properties, at Newcastle and at Seaham in the Hunter Region.  
A total of seven infested properties have now been found since the mite was first detected at the Port of Newcastle last week.
A total ban on the movement of bees remains in place across the state.
Climate change group Blockade Australia has called off protests planned for today in Sydney, saying activists needed time to rest and regroup.
Twenty-one protesters have been arrested over the past two days, during what was promoted as a week of "mass disruptive action" to raise awareness about climate change.  
The protesters arrested are facing fines of up to $22,000 and up to two years in jail under new anti-protest laws passed by the NSW parliament earlier this year. 
In a message posted on social media, Blockade Australia said: "We have made the call for tomorrow [Wednesday] to be a day off. 
"We want people to have a chance to rest, regroup, and support one another as well as connect with those who share our common purpose of resisting climate destruction."
A message on the group's website appealed for donations to cover the legal costs of protesters.
"The reactionary and repressive response from NSW Police to our Sydney mobilisation means we are now facing a whole new raft of court cases and costs," the post said.
There are fears hundreds of jobs will be lost in Lismore with one of the city's biggest employers proposing to lay off hundreds of staff.
The Norco ice-cream factory, which employs more than 200 people, was badly damaged in the February floods.
Four months on, the company has written to its workers, informing them it may have to lay off casual staff while permanent staff will have to use up their leave entitlements.
So far, the company has received close to $6 million to help cover wages and will today join other large employers in Lismore in issuing a plea for more government help.
Wednesday's weather:
Partly cloudy.
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