The Newsroom’s Shelby Ellery recaps this week’s top news stories.
Wild weather set to continue
The wild weather that hit Adelaide on Wednesday, bringing strong winds, flooding and a state-wide blackout, is set to continue this weekend with severe weather warnings in place across parts of South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and NSW. The SES has been swamped by calls for assistance following one of the biggest storms in 50 years which has seen twin tornadoes, burst dams, winds of up to 140km an hour and rainfall in excess of 60 millimetres within 24 hours. The Bureau of Meteorology is warning of the return of gale force winds and more rain in South Australia this afternoon around Eyre Peninsula. Victoria, which has already experienced the strong winds and 50mm of rain, has been issued with six flood warnings across the state with more rain to come. Tasmania is expected to be hit hard today by up to 120mm of rain as a “troublesome low” moves into the state, bringing heavy showers and even snow. In NSW, central areas are being warned to expect up to 100mm of rain, with flood-hit Forbes due to cop a battering.
Cy Walsh not guilty of murder
Cy Walsh, the son of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, has been found not guilty of murdering his father by reason of mental incompetence. Walsh was repeatedly stabbed by son in his Somerton Park home in the early hours of July 3 last year. Cy Walsh pleaded not guilty to murder and Justice Ann Bampton ruled that, while the 27-year-old had killed his father, he was not criminally responsible for the crime because of his mental state. She accepted evidence by forensic psychologists that Cy Walsh suffered from undiagnosed and untreated schizophrenia. He will now be subject to a lifetime psychiatric supervision order under South Australian law and his case will return to court for review in December.
Missing Sydney girl found alive
The Sydney teenager who went missing on Wednesday, sparking an extensive search effort, has been found safe and well. Cassie Olczac, 16, of Sylvania, was spotted by a motorist on the Princes Highway at Waterfall about 9am today. Police, SES, NSW Ambulance and the National Parks and Wildlife Service have spent the past five days searching for Cassie, who was last seen at Waterfall train station on Sunday evening. She went missing after visiting friends following a return trip to visit her father in Abu Dhabi.
Undecided on sharks solution
The Ballina community is divided over how to address the growing number of shark attacks in the area after a 17-year-old surfer was mauled by a 4 metre great white at Lighthouse Beach on Monday. NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair, who attended an emergency meeting of local politicians, lifesavers, police and scientists in Ballina on Thursday, said the community was divided over the issue of shark nets. He instead believed placing non-lethal drumlines along 4km of beach was a good “immediate measure”, along with drones flying at 40km/h on 4km circuits over Ballina beaches during busy periods. The Baird Government is opting for non-harmful measures however the Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said Mr Baird only needed to seek permission if he wanted a shark cull. Cooper Allen was lucky to escape with stitches to his leg after receiving four large gashes. The attack was the fourth serious shark attack along the one–kilometre stretch of beach in less than two years.
Ex-pollie’s warzone trip labelled stupid and selfish
Wyatt Roy has been blasted by fellow parliamentarians for treating Iraq like a “Contiki tour”. The 26-year-old former MP, who was the youngest federal member before losing his seat in Longman, Queensland at the last election, narrowly escaped injury after being caught in crossfire between ISIS and Kurdish fighters. Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said he believed his friend Mr Roy was on a “sabbatical” but he, like other Australians, should follow government travel advice to avoid Iraq. “It is certainly not a tourist destination,” Mr Pyne said. Shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong said, “Warzones are not places for people to act out their boyhood fantasies” and shadow defence minister Richard Marles said Mr Roy should have known better as it was “profoundly stupid, profoundly selfish”. Mr Roy told reporters he had visited the Iraq war zone because he wanted to see the conflict first hand. In an opinion piece for The Australian, he said: “I was there to see a mate, get a feel for the environment and talk to policymakers and industry leaders about their experience.” – Compiled from news sources by Shelby Ellery
Image from Peter Martin’s Twitter