Breaking News from Perth Australia
Breaking news from Perth and Western Australia, plus a local perspective on national, world, business and sport news.
McGowan urges West Australians to avoid unnecessary travel, buy a mask - WAtoday
West Australians have been asked by the premier not to leave the state unless it is 'absolutely necessary'.
"That would be a measure that if the health advice said we needed to do it, we'd do it. "We're not out of the woods yet, you never know when we need to close down a state border and then you have to come home and quarantine. "Also, if you go to other states you never know if you're going to contract the virus." The Premier said it would not be necessary for anyone who recently had contact with someone from Queensland in WA to self-quarantine unless they developed COVID-19 symptoms. Don't forget to buy a mask As Australia sweats over the potential spread of the UK strain of COVID-19, which is more infectious than other versions, the Premier called on West Australians to get themselves a mask. "My advice to every family and every household and every person in WA is make sure you have a reusable mask," Mr McGowan said. "The government has millions on hand should we need it. "I just urge everyone in the community please go and buy a reusable mask just in case." Western Australia Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch explains new COVID-19 safety rules in WA.Credit:Peter de Kruijff Australia's national cabinet decided on Friday that anyone entering an airport in the country needed to wear a mask. WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said health advice was still being sought if taxi and ride-share drivers also needed to wear a mask if picking up someone from the airport. "At this stage that is not the advice I have received, certainly bus drivers and those that are taking people to a ... quarantine hotel will be wearing those things," Mr Blanch said. "As far as general passengers going into self-isolation, that is something that I'll need to get advice from the Chief Health Officer." Vaccine rollout in WA will not be mandatory except for select professions A COVID-19 vaccine will start becoming available in Australia from February but Mr McGowan said it would not be mandatory that everyone in WA gets a jab. "It may well be that at some point in the future that if you want to work in an aged care facility or you want to work in a quarantine facility or a hospital, you are required to be vaccinated," he said. "Those are the rules we will work out in the coming months. "There will be uniform rules around the vaccine." Mr McGowan asked West Australians keep doing the right thing and following health advice regarding the virus. "The West Australian community has been COVID-free for 272 days now; nearly nine months," he said. "I think we all thought the worst of COVID was behind us, but 2021 now looks a lot like 2020 right now. "What we know now compared to this time last year is that the best approach is to eliminate the virus from our community."
Second international traveller charged in less than a week for attempting to 'walk out' of Perth hotel quarantine - Sydney Morning Herald
Dyllan Jake Shipp, 25, landed at Perth Airport from Dubai on Boxing Day after receiving an exemption to return home to Australia after working overseas.
Shipp, who usually lives in South Australia, was charged with failing to comply with a direction under the Emergency Management Act and taken to the Perth watchhouse. The 25-year-old appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on Friday and was released on bail. He has since been transferred to a high-security quarantine facility, where he will remain until his next court appearance on January 11. The news of the man's breach comes after a woman walked out of the Pan Pacific Hotel and roamed Perth for 12 hours last weekend, sparking an extensive police search. Jenny D'Ubios, 49, spent a day travelling around Perth, boarding a bus to Fremantle and heading to Warnbro before taking a taxi to Rockingham Hospital, where she was arrested by police. Ms DUbios, who arrived in Perth from Spain, had previously posted on social media before leaving the hotel warning she would walk out, and calling on someone to come and help her. The breach raised questions about security in WA's hotels and led to a review of the Emergency Management Act, which was amended on Tuesday to give greater powers to security guards to enforce mandatory quarantine. The police officers who intercepted Shipp had been deployed to enforce the new security measures at the hotel until additional security guards were employed. Breaching directions made under the Emergency Management Acts can result in on-the-spot $1000 fines for individuals while serious breaches carry fines of up to $50,000 or 12 months' jail.
'You will likely die in prison': Claremont killer Bradley Edwards to spend minimum 40 years behind bars - WAtoday
The court erupted in applause after it was clear Claremont killer Bradley Edwards would likely never walk out of jail alive.
Edwards, 52, was convicted as their killer in September following a 95-day trial, however he was found not guilty of the murder of Sarah Spiers, his alleged first victim, whose body has never been found. During sentencing, Justice Hall labelled the former Telstra technician a dangerous predator who attacked vulnerable women with pitiless determination while appearing to outwardly lead an ordinary family life. "Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon no longer have a voice but the impact on them is obvious: they were both young women with family and friends who loved them, he said. "By your actions, you not only robbed them of their lives, but their hopes, their dreams and the dreams of others for them." Edwards was also sentenced for two earlier crimes, a 1995 abduction and rape of a 17-year-old girl from Claremont, and a 1988 Huntingdale sex attack. The two surviving victims took the stand to tell the packed courtroom some who lined up since 4.30am for a seat of the heavy toll Edwards crimes had taken on their lives. "You don't ever recover from sexual assault, it is a lifelong sentence; mine has just been more widely discussed and publicised than most," said the victim of abduction and rape at Karrakatta Cemetery, now in her 40s. "We used to refer to [Edwards] as the monster, however since his capture, I have realised he is not a monster at all, rather the definition of a coward. He preyed on weak, young vulnerable women who didnt stand a chance. How pathetic. There was no an evil genius at work here, he slipped through the cracks because he was so unremarkable. As Edwards avoided eye contact with the woman, who now has children of her own, she told him she would never forgive him. "I will leave this courtroom and finally go and live my life without you in it. I will live joyously, respectfully and gratefully for myself, my family and for the lives that were lost," she said. "I will find joy knowing you are locked behind bars without freedom, without choice, suffering for the rest of your life inside your own crippled mind. "I will live and you won't. As one of the victims of your crimes, I hope you are treated as well in prison as you have treated us." In a second showing of strength, Edwards Huntingdale victim also told the court she was a survivor of Edwards, and not a victim. "The trial has exposed one of the worst moments of my life to the whole world, she said. "At times, it has made me feel guilty for being alive and guilty for not helping police stop Edwards." Edwards declined to provide any insight into his offending and refused to meet with a court-ordered psychiatrist prior to his sentencing. He continues to deny his involvement in the murders and has never shown any remorse. Edwards was arrested in December 2016, nearly four years ago to the day of his sentencing, after police investigating the Claremont serial killings made a forensic breakthrough, linking him to the murders through his DNA. Justice Hall remarked he knew little about Edwards' personality, but had made conclusions based on his police interview tape and demeanour during his 95-day trial. "My impression is that you are a stoic and controlled person, you maintained a calm and unemotional demeanour throughout the trial," Justice Hall said. "During the interview, you were polite and co-operative and came across as an intelligent man. "This ability to dissimulate may go some way to explaining how you were able to lead such an overtly ordinary life whilst committing the offences." He said Edwards' late admissions to the Huntingdale sex attack and Karrakatta rape which came on the eve of his murder trial amid overwhelming DNA evidence were likely "a strategic decision to frame your defence on the basis you were a rapist and not a murderer". Edwards will be eligible for parole when he is 88 years old. A breakdown of the sentences (to be served concurrently): Count 1: Four years (Huntingdale related offence - deprivation of liberty) Count 2: Two years (Huntingdale related offence - break and enter dwelling with intent) Count 3: Three years (Karrakatta related offence - deprivation of liberty) Count 4: 12 years (Karrakatta related offence - aggravated sexual penetration without consent) Count 5: 12 years (Karrakatta related offence - aggravated sexual penetration without consent) Count 7: Life to serve a non-parole period of 40 years (Jane Rimmer murder) Count 8: Life to serve a non-parole period of 40 years (Ciara Glennon murder)
Claremont killer sentencing LIVE: Judge to decide if Bradley Edwards will spend rest of life behind bars - WAtoday
The sentencing is likely to include the reading of victim impact statements, a summary of Bradley Edwards' life circumstances and - if he has agreed to take part in a psychiatric report ordered by the judge - an explanation for some of his offending.
"You don't ever recover from sexual assault, it is a life long sentence, mine has just been more widely discussed than most," she said. "Should I start with the nights of sleeplessness ... the fear of the dark ... or jumping when the phone rings wondering if they've found him? "I will never be able to truly convey the impact of being captured and deprived of my liberty. "By the time I was in his vehicle I was picturing my own grave site." The woman, now aged in her 40s, is recalling the difficulty of listening to lawyers during the trial "cooly discussing" whether Edwards meant to kill her that night. "My youth was taken from me for no reason," she said. "I also felt what was taken from me was my home ... Claremont was just simply my world, it had been where I grew up, went to school, where I socialised, it was my complete childhood and it was where I felt safe." She said she is determined the attack will not let her define her and labelled Edwards a coward for denying his crime for decades. She said she constantly had to fight to leave a normal life after the attack. "You need to constantly pull yourself together every time you were triggered for 25 years," she said. "It is exhausting and that has impact." She said her family and friends over the years felt guilty for not getting her home safely that night, but added that was no one's fault but Edwards'. "It affects anyone who knows you and cares about you," she said. "While all of this has happened to me I have never let it rule me," she said, adding she made a choice not to be a victim anymore. "There is power in realising the truth and you don't have to prove it to anyone to find peace ... and that's the path I chose, but only with a lot of love and support," she said. She recalled how her family used to refer to Edwards as 'the monster' before his arrest. "He is not a monster at all, rather the definition of a coward, he preyed on young and vulnerable women who didn't stand a chance, how pathetic. "He slipped through the cracks because he was so unremarakble." She said she would never forgive Edwards, speaking to him directly. "I will find joy knowing you are locked behind bars without joy, without choice," she said. "They say you always remember your first, well in my case I consider my first victory is you, you have made me strong. "I will live and you won't and as one of the victims of your crimes I hope you are treated as well in prison as you have treated us." She said she hoped to move on now from this ordeal and live for herself and for the victims who are no longer here.
Another virus scare in NSW jeopardises WA border decision as state's tracing app fails - WAtoday
But WA Premier Mark McGowan gave cautious hope WA would open to quarantine-free travel from Victoria and New South Wales on Tuesday as extensive testing in NSW could not produce any evidence of community spread of the coronavirus.
It's the second coronavirus scare in less than a week, after a Sydney hotel quarantine worker tested positive for the disease on Thursday, likely contracted from an overseas source. Testing of the womans close contacts has so far failed to uncover any other positive cases. Premier Mark McGowan on Sunday said while the news of the two travellers' quarantine breach at Sydney airport was "concerning", he would remain firm on making a decision on the state of the WA border on Monday after reviewing all testing results from New South Wales. "It is certainly not the gold standard," he said. "This is obviously concerning. But fortunately both of them were not positive [for COVID-19], both of them have been tested, but it obviously shows that COVID is a risk and that's why we continue to have a controlled border in place to ensure we can protect people to go into the future. He said it was positive news that there was no community transmission of the virus despite the recent scares. "The latest advice is that yesterday there were no new cases picked up in the community in New South Wales, they did 12,000 or so tests, but we will see what other testing is done today before we make a final decision tomorrow," Mr McGowan said. "I suppose, along the pathway of the last 10 months, 11 months, along the COVID pathway, there has been lots and lots and lots off issues and mistakes made. "The good thing is, we have always taken a very precautionary and very cautious approach. But New South Wales currently has no community spread of the virus, but because we have the controlled border in place, if we need to, we can put the hard border back in place in a heartbeat." As West Australians eagerly await a decision on quarantine-free travel, the SafeWA app, helping the state with mandatory contract tracing which came into effect yesterday, failed for 15 minutes on Saturday night. Mr McGowan said with close to 630,000 downloads of the app so far it was "a small glitch in the system". On Sunday there were two new cases of coronavirus recorded in WA, both are returned travellers, taking the state's total to 830, with 13 active cases.
Shark attack kills swimmer at Broome's Cable Beach - WAtoday
Police said the person had been swimming north of the Cable Beach rocks about 8.50am on Sunday when the fatal attack happened.
A man has died after being seriously attacked by a shark at Broome's most iconic beach on Sunday morning, according to authorities. Police said they responded to reports of a serious shark attack at Cable Beach about 8.45am. A police spokesman said the man was recovered from the water and was treated by local officers before St John Ambulance arrived. "Police can confirm that tragically the man has died as a result of his injuries," he said.
'I found my breast cancer getting a fake tan': A young Scarborough woman's story of survival - WAtoday
Cancer was not among Rhianne Miller's birthday wishes, but barely a week after turning 32 the sales rep's life was flipped upside down by a small lump on the side of her breast.
She still jokes about getting PTSD every time she sees a tan bottle and a mitten. "It changed my world in an instant," Ms Miller, now 34, said. "Everything that was a bother, everything that I thought was a worry in my life at that point just completely stopped." Breast cancer wasn't even on Ms Miller's radar. The Cancer Council recommends women aged between 50 and 74 have screening mammograms every two years. Women aged 40 with a family history of cancer can also sign up to get screened. At 32, Ms Miller fell into neither of those categories. "For me breast cancer was: 'You can start having a mammogram at 40 so I'll start worrying about it at 40.' It's one of those things that you put in the I'll-think-about-you-later basket," she said. After two years of treatment, Ms Miller was finally declared cancer-free in February. But the same treatment that saved her life also irreversibly damaged her body and hijacked her plans for motherhood. Her current medication, an anti-recurrence drug named tamoxifen she will need to take for five years, has sent Ms Miller into chemically-induced menopause. Ms Miller shaved her head alongside her three closest friends in January 2019. Among its side effects which include mental fog, heat flushes, and fatigue is also the risk of severe malformations in children, which puts Ms Miller's dreams of falling pregnant on hold. By the time the effects of the medication wear off, Ms Miller will be able to try for a baby at age 40 but her ovaries, prematurely aged due to chemotherapy, will be akin to those of a 46-year-old. "I've basically lost 10 years of my life in a way of making plans or doing things," she said. Far from being out of the woods yet, she is also faced with the tough choice of having her second breast removed, which would give her a higher chance of remaining cancer-free. But the young Gage Roads Brewing beer rep doesn't sweat the small stuff anymore. "I just choose to be happy every single day because it's the only way to really be. It's the only way to be vibrant, it's the only way to get nothing really bother you," she said. "While it was hard, it shows you that your body can get you through anything, but mindset is 90 per cent of the battle. Strip it back to basics. Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't worry about things. Be calm and be happy and you'll just glow in a different way. You just really do. Ms Miller hopes to encourage more young women to be breast cancer aware. "If anything, cancer has given me an appreciation for life that I would never have gotten if I didn't go through it. It was a big learning curve for me but I feel very happy with where I'm at with my life." According to the Cancer Council, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia, and the second-most common cancer to cause death in women. Modelling from the Australian government predicts 19,807 women will be diagnosed with the disease this year and about 2997 will die. Breast Cancer Awareness Month runs from October 1-31 every year and encourages women to check their breasts for symptoms and share useful information with family and friends. For more information check the government's Cancer Australia website. Marta is an award-winning photographer and journalist with a focus on social justice issues and local government.
What is MIS-A? Doctors discuss COVID-19 linked syndrome in adults - TODAY
MIS-A: multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults. What doctors want people to know about the illness, related to MIS-C.
It was a rash that tipped Dr. Alisa Femia off. Femia, director of inpatient dermatology at NYU Langone Health in New York City, was looking at a patient's chart, which included several photos of the 45-year-old man who had, in recent weeks, cared for his wife while she was sick with COVID-19. The man had dusky-red circular patches on the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet. His eyes were pink, and his lips were extremely chapped. His body was erupting with the kind of extreme inflammation noted almost exclusively in children at the time. "Before I even saw the patient," Femia recalled, "I said: 'This hasn't been reported yet. This must be MIS-A.'" MIS-A stands for "multi-system inflammatory syndrome in adults." When the condition was identified in children this spring, it was named MIS-C, with the C standing for "children." Kids were developing dangerous inflammation around the heart and other organs, often weeks after their initial infections with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted physicians to MIS-C in May. As of Oct. 1, the CDC had reported 1,027 confirmed cases of MIS-C, with more cases under investigation. Twenty children have died. In some cases, the children developed rashes like the one Femia noted in her adult patient. Femia and colleagues published details of the case in The Lancet in July to alert other physicians to be on the lookout for similar patients. "The skin's right there in front of your eyes," Femia said. "You can't not see it." But many doctors may not, in fact, be recognizing the condition in adults. Just a few dozen cases of MIS-A have been reported. And not all patients have obvious rashes. Dr. Sapna Bamrah Morris, clinical lead for the Health Care Systems and Worker Safety Task Force, part of the CDC's COVID-19 response, detailed 27 cases in a report the agency published last week. MIS-A's "true prevalence is unknown," Morris said. "We have to get physicians realizing that. It may be rare, but we don't know. It might be more common than we think." Negative tests Part of the problem is that the virus has been circulating among humans for less than a year. Doctors worldwide are still learning about how SARS-CoV-2 acts in patients. Typically, severely ill COVID-19 patients tend to arrive at the hospital because they're having trouble breathing. That hasn't been the case with MIS-A. Many MIS-A patients report fevers, chest pain or other heart problems, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues but not shortness of breath. And diagnostic tests for COVID-19 tend to be negative. Instead, patients will test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, meaning they were infected two to six weeks previously, even if they never had symptoms. "Just because someone doesn't present with respiratory symptoms as their primary manifestation does not mean that what they're experiencing isn't as a result of COVID-19," Morris said. The illness can be life-threatening. Patients usually have some kind of severe dysfunction of at least one organ, such as the heart or the liver. Ten patients in the CDC report needed to be hospitalized in intensive care units. Some needed to be put on ventilators. Two have died. What's more, the CDC report showed that members of racial and ethnic minority groups appear to be disproportionately affected. Nearly all patients with MIS-A were African American or Hispanic. But far too few cases have been reported to fully understand the underlying mechanisms at play. While some kind of genetic link may be possible, COVID-19 has been shown to "disproportionately affect underrepresented minorities, probably due to socioeconomic factors," Femia said. Underlying health conditions that raise the risk for COVID-19 complications, such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes, also tend to be more prevalent among members of racial and ethnic minority groups. Over the summer, doctors in Florida started seeing surges in COVID-19 cases. Dr. Lilian Abbo, chief of infection prevention for Jackson Health System in Miami, recalls a "very high volume of people coming through our emergency departments or hospitals getting very sick." The most sensitive and reliable test for COVID-19, called a PCR test, wasn't always available, and it could take several days to return results. Abbo turned to antibody testing to get the influx of patients triaged to a COVID-19 unit or elsewhere in the health system. People generally develop antibodies to an infection within about a week or so. At least it would give Abbo and her colleagues an indication that COVID-19 was involved somehow in their patients' symptoms, she reasoned. It was then that Abbo discovered a subset of patients who were critically ill after having had COVID-19, but without the telltale pulmonary issues of an acute infection. "We were a little disconcerted," Abbo said. "We would do the molecular PCR tests, and they would be negative. Then the antibody tests were positive." Further blood tests revealed extremely high levels of inflammation in the body. What's more, while most severely ill COVID-19 patients tend to be over age 65 or to have multiple underlying health problems, these patients "were younger people that you would expect to not get sick," Abbo said. "That's what caught our attention." MIS-A treatment There's no proven treatment for MIS-A. "We need to recognize this syndrome and develop data" to figure out which therapies may be most effective," Abbo said. "We are all just shooting blind." Dr. Jill Weatherhead, an assistant professor of infectious diseases and tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, points out that the CDC case reports show that doctors have tried a variety of medications for MIS-A patients, including steroids and drugs that might affect the immune system, called interleukin-6 inhibitors. "The problem with these diseases is that we don't know the mechanisms that are causing MIS-A and MIS-C," Weatherhead said. "It's difficult to know what the standard treatment should be until we have more information." In children, MIS-C is generally treated with intravenous immunoglobulin, a blood product containing a variety of antibodies. That can be used for adults, too, but the effects are largely unproven. Intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG, is different from another blood-derived antibody treatment, convalescent plasma. The latter is taken from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies specifically targeted to the virus in their blood. IVIG, on the other hand, is more of a hodgepodge of antibodies that aren't specific to the coronavirus. The thinking is that MIS-A patients already have COVID-19 antibodies, so adding more with convalescent plasma is unlikely to help. The current theory for MIS-A patients is that "the infection, as far as we know, is gone," said Dr. Hugh Cassiere, director of critical care services for Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital, part of Northwell Health, on Long Island, New York. "It's the antibodies that have been produced that seem to be causing a problem," he said. Cassiere was part of a large team of physicians who treated the surge of COVID-19 patients in New York this spring. Even though MIS-A hadn't been identified at the time, Cassiere is convinced that such patients existed all along. "We were seeing patients who admitted to the ICU with organ failure," Cassiere said. They would test negative for COVID-19, he said, but test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, suggesting they'd been infected previously. "You look back, and they probably had this multi-system inflammatory syndrome," Cassiere said. "We didn't have all the pieces to put together." Months later, the puzzle is beginning to reveal itself. But it will take an all-hands-on-deck approach to identify patients with MIS-A. "This needs to be in the forefront of every intensive care unit physician's mind who's seeing patients, especially when they have COVID-19 antibodies," Cassiere said. Given Femia's experience, that includes those who specialize in dermatology. "This is really the beauty of medicine, where, for this syndrome, many different specialists need to come together to help make the diagnosis," Femia said. Physicians worry that many MIS-A patients will go undetected and perhaps untreated. "There's not enough data for me to tell you what the long-term effects of this could be," Cassiere said. "This may be the tip of the iceberg. That's what I'm worried about." This story was originally published on NBC News.
Why Bradley Edwards was acquitted of Sarah's murder, and how her family may yet find justice - The Age
It's the question the entire state will be asking. How could Justice Stephen Hall convict a confessed rapist of two brutal murders, but not the third?
And ultimately the court agreed. If the inference was reasonably open that someone else had killed Ms Spiers, the judge had to acquit Edwards of her murder. "The evidence of [Edwards'] propensity to kill may make him a likely suspect, or even the probable killer, but it does not exclude the real possibility that some other person killed her," Justice Hall wrote in his judgement. "If an inference consistent with innocence is open then the accused cannot be found guilty." While forensic evidence tied Edwards to the murders of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, the argument the 51-year-old murdered Ms Spiers was circumstantial and relied on Justice Hall finding whoever murdered one, murdered all. Although it was agreed Ms Spiers was dead, her body had not been found. Justice Hall said "she was abducted and killed by some person". "The absence of a body means that the prosecution case is significantly more limited than in the case of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon," he wrote in his judgment. The similarities between the deaths of all women "do not allow a conclusion to be reached beyond reasonable doubt that the person who killed Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon must necessarily be the same person as killed Ms Spiers". Justice Hall found inconsistencies in the evidence relating to screams heard by witnesses that the prosecution said belonged to Ms Spiers. This left just "propensity evidence", which referred to the tendency of Edwards to violently attack and abduct young women from the Claremont area, kill them and dispose of their bodies in semi-rural locations. As the defence argued, without physical evidence linking Edwards to the death of Ms Spiers, there is a reasonable inference someone else could have committed the crime. During the trial, Justice Hall warned propensity evidence alone was not enough for a conviction. Mr Yovich argued the lack of evidence for Ms Spiers' case "justified an acquittal" and described any linking of her murder to Ms Rimmer's and Ms Glennon's as "superficial". "No doubt the community and the families of the victims yearn for closure ... but a conviction or convictions founded on inadequate evidence ... will not constitute proper closure," he said. How can the family of Sarah Spiers now find justice? Ms Spiers' family, along with many West Australians, will be searching for justice after Edwards was acquitted of her murder. There are two ways forward. On the one hand, it is open for the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the acquittal of Edwards. On the other, police could still search for evidence in the hope of a retrial. Don and Carol Spiers leave the District Court in Perth after Bradley Edwards was acquitted of the murder of their daughter Sarah.Credit:Nathan Hondros Even though Justice Hall found he could not convict Edwards on the evidence, he found he was "the probable killer" of Ms Spiers. Physical evidence tying Edwards to her death, along with the circumstantial evidence the prosecution has already led in evidence, might turn the tables. But a new trial with new evidence is not straightforward and not guaranteed. Before 2012, an accused could not be retried after they were acquitted of a crime. But legislation introduced by the Barnett government means prosecutors can apply to the Supreme Court to retry an acquitted person if fresh and compelling evidence has come to light. So are police actively searching for fresh evidence? WA Premier Mark McGowan promised to commit "whatever" resources police require to bring closure to the family of Ms Spiers. He urged Edwards to tell police the location of her body. Police Commissioner Chris Dawson played his cards close to his chest when asked about police plans to further investigate Ms Spiers' death after the verdict was delivered on Thursday. "Bradley Edwards is yet to be sentenced, so its not a proper time for me to be making any comment in regard to that," he said. "We have to allow the justice system to take its course. Post the sentencing of Mr Edwards we may be in a better position to answer that question, but I'll just repeat the investigation into the murder of Sarah Spiers remains open and we will continue to actively investigate it." As heartbreaking it is for her family, the wait for justice might go on for more years yet.
- with Heather McNeill and Hamish Hastie
Mother of Jimmy O'Reilly airlifted to hospital following serious crash two days after finding her missing son - WAtoday
After finding Jimmy the family spoke of their relief and jubilation but on Monday afternoon Ms Buckley was airlifted by the RAC helicopter to Bunbury hospital after a serious crash.
The mother of the boy who went missing for 12 hours in dense South West bushland on the weekend has suffered another stroke of bad luck after being involved in a car crash requiring her to be airlifted to hospital. WA rallied around Michelle Buckley and Christoper O'Reilly as they were frantically trying to find their three-year-old son Jimmy O'Reilly on Saturday in bushland near their Yallinghup AirBNB accommodation. After finding him 12 hours later 2 kilometres from the home they spoke of their relief and jubilation but on Monday afternoon Ms Buckley was airlifted by the RAC helicopter to Bunbury hospital after a serious crash. She was less than 1 kilometre away from their accommodation when the Holden Commodore she was driving on Injidup Spring Road crashed into a tree.
Newman residents' pollution worries grow as air quality report gathers dust - WAtoday
Residents in a Pilbara town don't know if the dust blanketing their homes could harm them, two years after the government committed to testing the air for harmful particles.
"I always thought pollution was something associated with big industrial cities until a few years ago when I read that Newman was the second-most polluted town in Australia," she said. "I was shocked to learn that dust is pollution." Two years ago, the Shire of East Pilbara announced it had partnered with the state government to monitor the town's dust over a year in a WA-first study. The program was designed to identify what particles were suspended in the town's ambient air and if there was any asbestos or other harmful substances present. Newman is located fewer than 300 kilometres away from Wittenoom, an asbestos mining town degazetted in 2007 over concerns about the link between asbestos and health issues. Hundreds of people who worked in the town have since died from mesothelioma, a lung disease linked to asbestos exposure. Dust monitoring ended in July 2019 and by December that year a report containing the findings was nearly finalised, but two years after the program began the report is yet to be made public. In July, following a request from WAtoday, a spokesman for the Department of Water and Environmental Regulations said it would be published in the coming weeks. Now, the government says the report won't be until later in the year. In the meantime, residents like Ms Wilmot are left to deal with the relentless dust problem without knowing whether it contains particles that might be deadly. WA's Department of Health lists dust as an air pollutant which can increase the risk of heart disease and cause respiratory problems if small particles are inhaled over a long period of time. It can also lead to eye irritation, coughing, sneezing, hay fever, and asthma attacks, although it is not believed to cause asthma to develop in non-asthmatic patients. "I was delighted to learn two years ago that the dust would be monitored and we would get some facts," Ms Wilmot said. "The air quality monitoring done during the eastern state's bushfires was done in real-time and directives of responses were given in real-time. "How is it that Newman takes two years and counting?" Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said he was aware elevated levels of dust had been measured in the mining hub, but was yet to see the results of the campaign. "There are various sources of dust in the region including from mining operations, natural events and local activities that potentially contribute to dust levels in the town," he said. "I am keen to see both the findings from the monitoring campaign and the licence review to ensure industry is doing everything it can to manage dust." Marta is an award-winning photographer and journalist with a focus on social justice issues and local government.
New buyback scheme needed to save WA from blackouts as love for solar burns strong - WAtoday
Energy Minister Bill Johnston said a record low of 1053 megawatts passed through the state’s grid on the weekend.
Western Australias electricity grid recorded the lowest energy use ever on the weekend, beating the previous record by about 70 megawatts and prompting blackout concerns. Speaking to Radio 6PRs Gareth Parker on Monday, Energy Minister Bill Johnston said a record low of 1053 megawatts passed through the states grid on the weekend. According to the Australian Energy Market Operator, summer peak demand hits about 4000 megawatts while average demand hovers around 2000 megawatts. Solar panels are causing volatility in the WA grid.Credit:SMH That low number is being driven by WAs feverish uptake of rooftop solar over the past decade, which has reduced reliance on the states coal and gas-fired power stations. About 29 per cent of WA households had rooftop solar installed and the AEMO expected it to reach 2612 megawatts of installed capacity by 2029-30, making it the single largest electricity generator on the system.