news

The mum of two toddlers killed in a hot car in Queensland has been charged with murder, & more in News in 5.

With AAP.

1. The mum of two toddlers killed in a hot car in Queensland has been charged with murder.

The 27-year-old mother of two toddlers who died after being left inside a hot car south of Brisbane will front court on Monday. The woman, Kerri-Ann Conley, is charged with two counts of murder.

The two little girls, Darcey-Helen, 2, and Chloe-Ann, 1, showed signs of exposure to extreme heat when they were declared dead at the scene on Saturday, Queensland police say.

Paramedics were called to a home at Waterford West in Logan at 1.35pm on Saturday after the sisters were found unresponsive in the car.

Neighbours and community members came and went throughout the day on Sunday, leaving soft teddies and flowers at the front gate, metres from where the black station wagon was parked across the yard.

The father of Darcey-Helen told The Courier Mail, “Darcey and Chloe were loved by anyone and everyone who met them, I absolutely adored them both”.


Police said the investigation is in its early stages and are trying to piece together how long the girls were in the car and how they came to be there.

“As a normal course we are speaking with the parents,” Detective Inspector White said.

“We’ll be speaking to quite a number of people. Because the purpose of this is to find out what has taken place.”

Police said they were offering support to officers who attended the scene.

“It is tragic,” Detective Inspector White said of the crime scene.

“We are putting a lot of emphasis on supporting our people. It is very very tragic and can be quite a distressing scene to be confronted by.”

“One of our priorities in addition to conducting the investigation is the well-being of our staff and our other emergency service colleagues.”

2. Claremont serial killings trial is due to begin.

Almost three years after Bradley Robert Edwards was charged with the Claremont serial killings that have haunted Perth for more than two decades, his lengthy trial is due to begin.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former Telstra technician and confessed rapist is accused of murdering secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, child care worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and lawyer Ciara Glennon, 27, who were all last seen in the entertainment strip of the affluent suburb in 1996 and 1997.

During the final pre-trial hearing last month, the 50-year-old pleaded guilty to five other charges, including aggravated burglary and two counts of deprivation of liberty.

These offences stemmed from an attack on an 18-year-old woman in her bed as her parents slept in a nearby room in Huntingdale in 1988, and the abduction and double rape of a 17-year-old girl at Karrakatta cemetery in 1995.

His confession means the trial will only need to cover the triple homicides, reducing the nine-month trial to about six months or less.

Shocking details have already emerged during pre-trial hearings, including Edwards’ previous conviction for attacking a social worker from behind at Hollywood Hospital where he was working for Telstra in 1990.

Edwards covered her mouth and tried to drag her into nearby toilets but she broke free.

Cable ties were later found in his pocket and he was sentenced to two years probation for common assault.

Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo has argued Edwards was obsessed with women’s undergarments and his crimes escalated over time.

She said the murders correlated with significant moments during the breakdown of his first marriage, but stopped after he met his second wife.

It included his wife’s refusal to watch Australia Day fireworks with him hours before Ms Spiers vanished, her revelation she was having a baby with another man shortly before Ms Rimmer was murdered, and the sale of the matrimonial home days before Ms Glennon was killed.

A breakthrough in the case involved the retesting of DNA on a silk kimono that was left behind after the Huntingdale attack, which allegedly matched Edwards.

Ms Barbagallo said Edwards’ DNA was also found on the cemetery victim and under Ms Glennon’s fingernails.

It is further alleged fibres from Telstra work trousers were found on Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, and on clothes from the Karrakatta victim.

Fibres from the same make and model as Edwards’ work car were also allegedly found on Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.

The remains of Ms Glennon and Ms Rimmer were discovered in bushland weeks after their murders, but Ms Spiers has never been found.

Justice Stephen Hall is presiding over the trial without a jury.

He previously ruled Edwards’ collection of thousands of BDSM images, violent sexual stories describing the abduction of women, and a film called Forced Entry depicting the rape and torture of women were irrelevant.

The Supreme Court trial, to hear from hundreds of witnesses including overseas experts, is scheduled to begin on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

3. Anthony Albanese has called for a national disaster COAG meeting.

Anthony Albanese has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging for a special meeting of federal, state and territories to deal with the ongoing need for a national disaster strategy.

The Labor leader said through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) it can ensure the best coordination is in place, that there is support for rural fire services and volunteers and appropriate firefighting equipment, including aerial services available at all times.

“It is very clear that whilst you can’t say that any individual event is just because of climate change, we know that the scientists told us that the bushfire seasons would be longer and more intense, just like with other natural disasters,” Mr Albanese told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.

“Very clearly, this season means that it’s a huge wake-up call for us to ensure that our preparedness is the best possible. And what that needs is coordination across the different levels of government.”

He said the prime minister should convene a COAG meeting before the end of the year, rather than continue to provide assistance – albeit welcome – in an ad hoc way.

4. Victoria’s Liberal party plan to turn rubbish into power.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rubbish could be turned into power in a bid to help solve Victoria’s waste crisis, under a major policy proposal from the opposition.

The energy-from-waste proposed scheme announced on Sunday aims to end household waste from being sent to landfill by 2035 over a staged reduction plan.

“By investing in energy-from-waste facilities and upgrading recycling technology throughout Victoria, the Liberal Nationals will eliminate household waste going to landfill by 2035,” opposition leader Michael O’Brien said.

“By delivering energy-from-waste facilities in Victoria, we can reduce what we send to landfill and turn it into reliable, low emission energy.”

Interim targets have been set at a 33 per cent reduction in household waste sent to landfill by 2025, a 66 per cent reduction by 2030 and a 100 per cent reduction by 2035.

It would be bolstered with a $120 million pledge over four years from the states’ Sustainability Fund to create a Zero to Landfill Fund.

The policy comes off the back of Victoria’s recycling system being thrown into disarray after the state’s environmental watchdog ordered SKM to stop accepting waste due to safety concerns about stockpiles and fire risk.

SKM’s recent collapse has plunged Australia’s recycling industry into a worsening waste crisis, with tonnes of recycling being sent straight to landfill.

Cleanaway in October reached a deal for the stricken SKM group’s properties, plant, equipment and other assets, after the company went into administration.

5. Hikers in Victoria’s Mount Bogong High Plains have been advised to leave immediately due to an uncontrolled bushfire.

Hikers in Victoria’s Mount Bogong High Plains have been advised to leave immediately, following the closure of a number of walking tracks in the area.

An uncontrolled bushfire in the state’s alpine region is travelling uphill towards the peak of Mt Bogong.

The mountain walking tracks have been closed to ensure the safety of people in the area.

The fires continue to burn after being ignited by lightning on Thursday, Forest Fire Management Victoria reported on Sunday.

The fires have grown in size since then, the largest being an estimated 300 hectares.

“The remote locations of these fires are proving to be challenging for our crews and we fully expect them to burn for a number of weeks as firefighters work hard to contain them,” Forest Fire Management Victoria Hume Deputy Chief Fire Officer Aaron Kennedy said.

“While no communities are currently under threat, we need residents to remain informed if conditions change.”

A Watch and Act alert has also been issued for a bushfire burning in the Gippsland region and a Total Fire Ban has been announced for Monday for the Northern Country and Mallee.

00:00 / ???