1. Mother arrested for murder of children in Cairns.
Police have confirmed this morning that a 37-year-old mother has been arrested for the murder of eight children near Cairns yesterday. She has not yet been formally charged.
The woman is the mother of seven of the deceased children and aunt to the eighth who was visiting the home. She remains in hospital in a stable condition with stab wounds to her chest.
The bodies of the children have been removed from the home and police and detectives are now working together to determine a timeline for their deaths. The mother, who is now lucid, is assisting with this investigation.
For more details read this post here: UPDATE: Mother arrested for murder of 8 children in Cairns.
2. Koori elders hold traditional healing ceremony for Sydney.
A group of Koori elders held a traditional smoking ceremony in Sydney’s Martin Place yesterday. The square in the middle of Sydney’s CBD, which was the scene of a horrific siege on Monday, is also in the heart of Gadigal land.
The group of elders took to the square to show respect and mourning for the victims of the siege and the families who have been impacted. Yuen Elder Max Harrison told NITV that the ceremony, which ended out the front of the Lindt cafe, was about healing and promoting unity.
“It’s about healing those people that went down in that siege,” he said.
You can read more about the victims of the siege here: These are the brave hostages of the Sydney siege.
3. Julia Gillard cleared by Royal Commission into Trade Unions – and seeks an apology.
The Royal Trade Commission has found that Julia Gillard did not commit a crime and was not aware of any criminality committed by union officials during her time as a lawyer for the Australian Workers Union.
However Commissioner Dyson Heydon has stated that it was difficult to judge the credibility of the former PM as a witness given her “intense degree of preparation, her familiarity with the materials.”
In a statement, Ms Gillard said she welcomed Commissioner Heydon’s finding she did not committ a crime. “Decency would require those who falsely accused me to apologise,” Ms Gillard said.
The Commissioner reflected that Ms Gillard’s demanour during her time giving evidence was a “very good witness”, but that she demonstrated “occasional evasiveness, or non-responsiveness, or irritability”.
In her statement, the former PM said the Commissioner had “made some comments about the evidence before him with which I [Ms Gillard] do not agree.
“Australians may well ask themselves whether the millions of dollars the Abbott government has spent on a 20-year-old matter that was already in the hands of the police would have been better allocated to health, education or law enforcement.”