Good morning and welcome to the Morning Buzz for Tuesday, June 20. There’s a chance of a clearing shower today, with expected highs of about 20 degrees. Enjoy your day!
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Here’s what’s making news this morning:
Major privatisations deliver $4.5 billion NSW budget surplus
Privatisations have supercharged NSW finances, with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet set to announce an expected surplus of $4.5 billion for 2016-17 when he delivers his first budget on Tuesday.
The surplus is $500 million higher than forecast in the December half yearly review, which predicted a 2016-17 surplus of $4 billion, thanks to $488.9 million in stamp duty from the partial privatisation of electricity "poles and wires" company Ausgrid.
Since then the 99-year lease of 50.4 per cent of electricity distributor Endeavour Energy and to a lesser extent the 35-year lease of the Land and Property Information service have delivered stamp duty receipts worth more than $700 million. Read more.
London attack: Van swerves into worshippers leaving mosque
Several people have been injured in north London after a van rammed into worshippers leaving a mosque, in what British police described as a "major incident".
The Muslim Council of Britain said the vehicle hit people outside Finsbury Park Tube station as they were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque, one of Britain's largest.
The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when people attend prayers at night.
Two worshippers are feared killed, according to the Sun newspaper, but there was no immediate confirmation of this. Read more.
'Remarkable' high pressure shielding much of Australia from winter's wrath
Farmers and ski resort operators are watching synoptic charts with growing anxiety as some of the highest pressure readings in a decade reveal an autumn that is refusing to let go.
Dominant high-pressure systems have lately been the norm. Parts of Australia recorded readings of 1039 hectopascals at the start of the month, compared with typical pressure levels of about 1013 hPa. Read more.
Polaris recalls 13,000 youth quad bikes containing asbestos-laden parts
A nationwide recall of 13,000 off-road vehicles is to be launched by car manufacturer Polaris Industries, after an investigation revealed asbestos-laden parts in at least 12 models.
The recall of certain Polaris youth quad bikes, sold in Australia and New Zealand, was prompted by recent testing in the US, which identified asbestos in brake pads, brake shows, gaskets and washers in some models. Read more.
Liberal senator threatens to torpedo Gonski 2.0 schools funding package
A retiring Liberal senator is threatening to cross the floor over the Turnbull government's "Gonski 2.0" school funding model, saying the deal would dud Catholic schools.
Chris Back, a West Australian Liberal senator and nine-year veteran of that state's Catholic Education Commission, said he could not support the government's package in its current form, and threatened to cross the floor as his final parliamentary act. Read more.
Call for water-ski race speeds to be capped after 'tragic death' of champion Ian Baker
Water-ski racing authorities should consider capping speeds after the "tragic death" of a champion observer on NSW's Hawkesbury River, a coroner says.
Victorian father-of-four Ian Baker died after his superclass boat The Ringmaster flipped while travelling at 187 km/h during a qualification event, the day before the 2014 Bridge to Bridge Ski Race. Read more.
Man's shoulder dislocated in Sydney 'road rage attack'
A driver was injured in an alleged road rage attack at a busy intersection in Sydney's north-west on Sunday night.
NSW Police alleged a man behind the wheel of a BMW became involved in a confrontation with another man driving a Holden Barina at the intersection of Caroline Chisholm Drive and Hilary Street in Winston Hills.
Officers were told the Barina driver, aged in his 40s, allegedly got out of his car and assaulted the BMW driver, aged in his 20s.
The injured man suffered a dislocated shoulder and cut to his face. Read more.
Boyd Cordner warns of the dangers of targeting Andrew Fifita
NSW captain Boyd Cordner has warned Queensland that any attempt to target Andrew Fifita is fraught with danger.
The Maroons have made no secret of their desire to shut down game-one menace Fifita in Wednesday's State of Origin clash at ANZ Stadium.
Queensland players have been spotted piling four men into players representing the Cronulla prop at their training in the past week, regularly shouting his name in defence. Read more.
NSW to target Billy Slater's suspect shoulder
Billy Slater's suspect shoulder is set to be given its sternest test since his return to the NRL with NSW intent on harassing Queensland's No.1 at every opportunity in his State of Origin return.
Left out of the Maroons' Origin I caning – due in part to concerns over his perceived hesitancy in defence after almost two years out of the game – Slater is bracing for a torrid reception from the Blues, who have identified his injury as a focal point on Wednesday night. Read more.
Bill Pulver says he will resign at Tuesday's emergency meeting if necessary
Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver says he will resign immediately from his position at Tuesday's emergency general meeting if everyone in the room agrees he is no longer the right man for the job.
But Pulver has questioned whether an EGM is really necessary, labelling one of the resolutions put forward as "nonsense" and adding that if people wanted him gone, there were other ways to go about it. Read more.