Sydney news: NSW police renew appeal for information in Canterbury Alsehli sister deaths

Sydney news: NSW police renew appeal for information in Canterbury Alsehli sister deaths

Here’s what you need to know today.

Police probe Alsehli sister’s deaths

Police are renewing their appeal for information after the bodies of two women were found inside a unit in Sydney’s south-west last month.

The women have been identified as Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23.

The sisters, believed to be foreign nationals, were found dead in separate bedrooms inside their Canterbury home during a welfare check, on June 7.

At the time, police said there was no sign of a break-in at the property nor injuries to the women’s bodies.

Police will be speaking with media at 10:30 am today on the investigation.

Ben Roberts-Smith trial set to close

Ben Roberts-Smith is a decorated veteran of the Special Air Services Regiment.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

After more than 12 months, a court hearing dubbed the “trial of the century” could finally be about to end.

War veteran Ben Roberts-Smith is suing newspapers now owned by Nine Entertainment, and several journalists, over stories published in 2018 alleging he committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

The reports also alleged the ex-Special Air Services Regiment soldier bullied colleagues and assaulted a woman with whom he was having an affair.

Mr Roberts-Smith denies the allegations, while Nine is running a truth defence.

The trial, before Justice Anthony Besanko, began in June 2021 at Sydney’s Federal Court, and was expected to last 10 weeks.

Instead, largely due to delays caused by Sydney’s lengthy COVID-19 lockdown, it has stretched over 13 months.

Closing submissions are expected to end today, and Justice Besanko will withdraw to consider his judgement.

Farmers urged to act on disease

Beef cattle line up under a blue sky.
The government has told farmers to have biosecurity measures in place. (abcnews)

New South Wales farmers are being urged to review their biosecurity measures in light of growing fears foot and mouth disease could spread to Australia.

Travelers arriving from Indonesia by plane are required to disinfect their shoes at the airport, as the government works to keep the infection out of the country.

But NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders said it’s also up to individual farms to put measures in place.

“Each and every farmer can actually do their own little bit towards their own biosecurity, first of all by displaying signs and then having an active biosecurity plan in place for your particular farm,” Mr Saunders said.

Trains to stop again in industrial dispute

Alex standing inside.
NSW secretary of the Rail Tram and Bus Union Alex Claassens.(ABC News: Jamie Toomey)

Sydney’s train network will come to a halt from midnight tonight until 4am tomorrow as the state’s rail union takes more industrial action.

Rail Bus and Tram Union Secretary Alex Claassens claimed the action was sparked by the NSW government’s failure to commit to fixing the new inner-city fleet, purchased overseas.

Mr Claassens said the latest action would have minimal disruption for commuters.

He said the government was attempting to tie the union’s concern about safety issues on the fleet to negotiations over the new enterprise agreement at the center of an ongoing dispute.

“The NSW government is clearly attempting to compound two separate issues — the safety of the new intercity fleet and rail workers’ wages and conditions — in an attempt to win some sort of political game,” Mr Claassens said.

NSW Minister for Employee Relations Damien Tudehope said the union’s leadership were doing their members “a disservice”.

“We want to put pay increases into the hands of union membership,” Mr Tudehope said.

“What’s standing in the way of that is an intransigent union leadership, who would rather a headline, than in fact, putting money into the pockets of their members.”

Possible lawsuit over aged care deaths

new march house
Nineteen people died from COVID-19 at the Anglicare Newmarch House last year.(AAP Image: Dean Lewins)

Shine Lawyers is investigating a potential class action lawsuit against Sydney aged care center Newmarch House, which is at the center of a coronial inquest this week.

Between April and June 2020, 19 residents died at the center in the city’s west after an outbreak of COVID-19.

The inquest has heard some residents were left without food and oxygen as staff struggled to keep up with the escalating outbreak.

Family members also reported a lack of communication about the wellbeing of loved ones, and said staff refused requests to allow non-infected residents to leave.

Shine Lawyers associate Emily Clarke said on Tuesday that families had trusted Newmarch House but it was “not equipped to handle the pandemic.”

“It’s clear from the evidence today, that there was a lack of communication to the family members as to the status of their loved ones once they were diagnosed as COVID-positive and that caused real distress,” she said.

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