1. Sydney Mourns
A field of flowers has taken over Martin Place reflecting the grief, anguish and also the unity that the events of Monday night have had on the city of Sydney.
The city – which one man tried to divide and destroy – has come together to mourn.
By 10pm last night a queue of people stood waiting to show their respect.
One of those who lay flowers at the makeshift memorial was the Australian Grant Mufti, Professor Ibrahim Abu Mohammed “Today we are here, all of us, Australians grieving our great loss,” a spokesman for the Mufti, Sheikh Aref Chaker told News Limited.
“We will be standing united and strong with our fellow citizens and we will not allow anyone to rob us of our values of tolerance and peace.
Late yesterday the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife Margie spent their moment in reflection. Not speaking to anyone they laid flowers and moved on.The Prime Minister lays flowers. (Source: Getty Images)
2. Gunman not on watchlist
By political reporter Jane Norman
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has revealed the gunman responsible for the Sydney siege was not on a security watchlist, despite his long criminal history and known “infatuation with extremism”.
Self-styled Iranian cleric Man Haron Monis was killed about 16 hours after taking 17 people hostage at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe on Monday morning.
Two hostages, Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34, and barrister Katrina Dawson, 38, were also killed.
Mr Abbott flew to Sydney on Tuesday afternoon after convening a meeting of the powerful National Security Committee of Cabinet Tuesday morning.
Standing alongside New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin, Mr Abbott described Monis as a “deeply disturbed individual” who was “consistently weird”.
“How can someone who has had such a long and chequered history, not be on the appropriate watchlists?” he said.
“And how can someone like that be entirely at large in the community?
“These are questions that we need to look at carefully and calmly and methodically, to learn the right lessons, and to act upon them.”
Mr Abbott said the man was well known to the NSW Police, the AFP and the domestic spy agency ASIO and said it was reasonable to ask whether the incident could have been prevented.
“Even if this individual, this sick and disturbed individual, had been front and centre on our watchlists, even if this individual had been monitored 24 hours a day, it’s quite likely, certainly possible, that this incident could have taken place, because the level of control that would be necessary to prevent people from going about their daily life, would be very, very high indeed,” he said.