Friday, September 14, 2018

No retrial for Bowraville murders

A New South Wales court has dismissed an application to reopen a trial into the murder of three Aboriginal children in the 1990s. Ruling on Thursday, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal found insufficient “fresh and compelling” evidence to order the retrial of an unnamed man who was previously acquitted for two of the deaths. Over a period of five months in 1990 and 1991, Evelyn Greenup, Clinton Speedy-Duroux and Colleen Walker disappeared in the rural NSW town of Bowraville. The bodies of Greenup and Speedy-Duroux were later found in bushland, and while Walker’s was never recovered, a coroner ruled in 2004 that she was the victim of homicide. Then-NSW Police commissioner Andrew Scipione apologised to the children’s families in 2016, two years after a state parliamentary inquiry found the initial “critically flawed” investigation “let down the families of the three victims”. Speaking to BuzzFeed Australia, Greenup’s aunt Michelle Jarrett said “28 years and our kids mean nothing to that end, [to] nobody in Australia … Nobody is still listening to us."

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop has indicated she may vote to refer home affairs minister Peter Dutton to the High Court over questions of his constitutional eligibility to sit in parliament. Speaking on Thursday, Bishop said she would “make up my mind at that time” if a vote referring Dutton made it to the floor of the House of Representatives, and that “we all have personal responsibility to ensure we are eligible to sit in the parliament”. Bishop also supported the party’s decision to internally investigate allegations of bullying and intimidation during August’s leadership spill, saying “it’s a very difficult situation where you are accusing others of behaviour that could in some instances be illegal”.

Australia’s former ambassador to Israel, Devanand Sharma, has been selected as the Liberal Party candidate for the Wentworth byelection, going against the wishes of prime minister Scott Morrison. Morrison had insisted the party back a female candidate to combat perceptions of gendered bias against female political figures in Liberal circles. Former Liberal prime ministers John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull urged Sharma to stay in the race, despite Morrison’s directive.

And billionaire Westfield founder Frank Lowy has argued for “an ambitious migration program”, hitting out at “the negative tone of the debate over immigration”. Giving a rare public address at the Lowy Institute on Thursday, Lowy recounted his childhood as a refugee in war-torn Europe to counter the “rising crescendo of opinion from columnists and politicians” arguing for a lower immigration intake. “Let us learn from our history. Immigration has been great for Australia in the past,” Lowy said. “I believe it will be great for Australia in the future.”



“While the radio psychiatrist’s future remains unwritten, the pioneering series serves as a testament to creative excellence and intelligent comedy. On the 25th anniversary of the show’s premiere in September 1993, it’s time to look back behind the scenes of one of television’s best series ever. We’re listening.”


“Tolstoy fashioned an entire coherent way of living centered around his unique understanding of Christianity. Its adherents came to be known as Tolstoyans, much to his annoyance. At one time, there were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of practicing Tolstoyans around the world, from India to Canada. They renounced cities, comforts, laws, pleasure, modernity. Now they’re all gone. Almost all.”


“Charles Brandt has been meditating and praying on the east coast of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island since 1965. Over that time, he has come to some elegant conclusions about our place in the natural world. He gathered them slowly, through solitude, study, and quiet contemplation. He has acted upon them.”


“A 9-year-old Australian girl who refused to stand during the country’s national anthem out of respect for the nation’s Indigenous population has been attacked by prominent politicians, who called for her to be kicked out of school.”


“The ABC has refused to clarify for three days whether its top political editor posed as a bullying MP in a staged re-enactment of the treatment of female Liberal MPs during the leadership turmoil in Canberra. Mystery surrounds the identity of the person – possibly the ABC political editor Andrew Probyn – who appears in the scene with his face obscured by ­objects, including an office pot plant.”


“The essay described a range of possible motives for murdering a husband, ranging from avoiding the financial hit of a divorce to infidelity by a ‘lying, cheating bastard’, and even the possibility that the wife is a professional contract killer.”


Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.