Live: NSW Now: Nationals stand by John Barilaro as leader, 60pc spike in domestic violence near Newcastle

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Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Nationals stand by Barilaro

The NSW National Party is rallying behind leader John Barilaro despite his threat to tear the Coalition apart over koala policy last week.

Senior NSW Liberal MPs have called for Mr Barilaro to reconsider his future, with Police Minister David Elliott calling him “weak”.

But Nationals colleague and Minister for Mental Health Bronwyn Taylor said the party wholeheartedly backed Mr Barilaro.

“We have strong strong unity on this … there are no moves to get rid of John Barilaro. He is very strong and he is our leader,” she said.

Huge rise in DV

A Hunter Valley town is grappling with an almost 60 per cent spike in domestic violence offences at a time when family support services are swamped during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has revealed domestic assaults in Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle, are up 59.6 per cent to June this year, compared with the same time last year.

Raymond Terrace has a domestic violence rate of 1,092 assaults per 100,000 people, nearly three times the state average.

GPs have been urged to look closely for signs of domestic violence during the pandemic after Google reported a 75 per cent increase in internet searches relating to getting support.

Double fatal crash

Two men have died after crashing into a tree off the Hume Highway last night.

Around 11:00pm the Volkswagen Golf collided with a tree near the highway in Lansdowne, in southwest Sydney.

The driver and passenger died at the scene and are yet to be formally identified.

Henry Lawson Drive between the Hume Highway and Milperra Road remain closed.

Traditional owners refuse dam wall consent

After a scathing Federal Government review was leaked to the ABC, traditional owners from Western Sydney have reiterated they do not give consent for the proposed Warragamba Dam wall raising.

The NSW Government wants to raise the dam wall by up to 17 metres to mitigate flooding in highly flood-prone areas of Western Sydney.

A review of the proposal by the Federal Government noted numerous traditional owners oppose the project.

Traditional Gundungurra owner Kazan Brown has now written to the federal and state Governments on behalf of more than 30 Indigenous people to confirm “free, prior and informed consent” has not been given.

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