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Sydney news: Plan to pay 'outstanding' teachers up to $130,000 in NSW

The NSW government hopes a new pay structure for teachers will retain the best and attract more people to the role. (Shutterstock: IngoSStar)

Here's what you need to know this morning.

Resignation letter to go public

David Chandler was the first building commissioner for NSW. (ABC News)

The NSW government today will release the former state building commissioner's resignation letter after questions were raised about why he left the job.

David Chandler resigned abruptly last month saying it was time for a "reset".

There have been reports he may have resigned due to a breakdown in his working relationship with former cabinet minister Eleni Petinos.

Ms Petinos was sacked from the NSW ministry last month over bullying allegations which she denies.

Yesterday, Labor successfully moved a motion in the upper house to compel the government to produce the letter within 24 hours.

The Premier also revealed the letter had been referred to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) out of an "abundance of caution".

New teacher salary plan revealed

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says good teachers often have to leave the classroom to receive pay. (ABC News: Rani Hayman)

The NSW government is considering a plan to increase wages for high-achieving teachers in a bid to promote excellence in the classroom.

John Hattie, a world-leading expert on education outcomes and student learning, is providing advice to the government as it seeks to reform the sector.

Under the plan, being finalised by the Department of Education, "outstanding" teachers could receive up to $130,000 per year.

Teachers in NSW start out with a salary of $73,737 and can earn just over $117,000 for lead teacher duties.

To earn more, they need to move into management roles.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the reforms were designed to keep "more of our best teachers in the classroom".

"This model is not 'performance pay', this is about expanding the career options for teachers and keeping our best in the classroom," she said.

It is hoped a better system for rewarding and retaining top teachers could also help attract more people to the profession. 

Meeting over rail union dispute

Rail union leaders are due to meet with the state government later today in a bid to resolve a long-running dispute over the safety of new trains.

The dispute centres around the new intercity fleet (NIF), which arrived in Sydney in 2020 but has been sitting in storage since. 

Members of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union have refused to operate the trains, saying guards on them cannot adequately monitor platforms and check that gaps are clear to ensure passengers' safety. 

Earlier this year, the NSW government offered to spend more than $260 million on changes to the new trains.

But the union wants the government to sign an agreement guaranteeing the modifications before negotiations over a new pay deal are completed.

It comes amid a month of industrial action planned by the union, with the first of four planned strikes held yesterday. 

Fire tears through factory

An automatic fire alarm alerted firefighters to the blaze in Moorebank. (Supplied: Fire and Rescue NSW)

A fire that ripped through a Western Sydney factory last night is believed to have started in an oven.

The blaze in Moorebank erupted about 9:45pm and took more than 70 firefighters to bring under control.

Fire and Rescue NSW said 100 workers were evacuated from the site before the flames took hold.

There were no injuries reported.

Authorities were alerted by an automatic smoke alarm, and Superintendent Adam Dewberry said calling triple-0 immediately was crucial to saving lives.

New stadium threat to Penrith showgrounds

The NSW upper house has condemned plans to acquire the Penrith Showgrounds to make room for a new football stadium.

One Nation leader Mark Latham moved a successful motion last night denouncing the possible takeover of the 177-year-old showgrounds as "callous".

He said it would leave many local organisations without a home.

The Penrith showgrounds currently host a harness-racing club, the RSL, the Penrith Agricultural Society and weekly markets.

Last month the showgrounds were served a notice of compulsory acquisition from Infrastructure NSW but the government is adamant no final decisions have been made.

Although other stadium upgrades were recently ditched by the state government, a new stadium to the tune of $300 million is still promised for Penrith.

Man stabbed, car stolen

A man was rushed to hospital after the incident. (ABC News)

NSW police are investigating a stabbing of a man at a sports field car park in Western Sydney last night.

Emergency services were called to The Kingsway at St Marys at about 11pm. 

They found a 32-year-old man with stab wounds to his legs and arm. 

He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to Westmead Hospital in a stable condition. 

Police were investigating the alleged incident as an assault and carjacking, as the victim's car was also stolen. 

Whale tails pop up around harbour

Aunty Joanne Selfe with Uncle Graham Toomey and his artwork Whale Dreaming. (Supplied: Whale Tales)

An exhibition featuring 30 two-metre-high whale tail sculptures around Sydney's western harbour will launch today.

Waterfront Whale Tales, which is expected to attract half a million visitors, is presented as a 6-kilometre harbourside trail with sculptures individually created by a diverse collective of 30 artists, including Archibald prize winner Blak Douglas and street artist Scott Marsh.

All tails have a different story or message, with many focusing on the need for environmental protection and action on climate change.

After the exhibition concludes, all the sculptures will be auctioned in September, with the net proceeds going to The Kids' Cancer Project.

Artist Alex Lehours paints Poseidon, one of the 30 life-size whale tails. (Supplied: Alex Lehours)
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