Sydney news: Top scientists petition for Kathleen Folbigg’s release on grounds of new scientific evidence

Kathleen Folbigg

Almost 100 of Australia’s top scientists have signed a petition for convicted child murderer Kathleen Folbigg’s immediate pardon and release from jail.

The scientists say Folbigg, who was convicted in 2003 for murdering three of her children and the manslaughter of a fourth, has been denied justice as it is likely her children all died of natural causes.

They say fresh scientific evidence on a gene mutation two of the Folbigg children had casts significant doubt on the mother’s guilt and they deny there was ever evidence to suggest she smothered them.

“The key factor is that the science has shifted in this case, through new knowledge, to the point where this long list of incredibly learned and eminent Australians is demanding justice be served,” notes Ian Connellan, editor-in-chief of the Royal Institution of Australia (publisher of leading science magazine COSMOS).

Leading medical professionals including Nobel laureate Peter Doherty, Fiona Stanley and Ian Frazer are among the 90 scientists who have signed the petition.

Mayors call out federal government on climate action

A burnt roadside speed sign surrounded by burnt trees.

Fifteen mayors and councillors from NSW are pleading with the federal government to take action against climate change as they are “exhausted and worried” about what’s to come.

The mayors of Byron, Dungog, Parkes, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong, Bellingen, Shellharbour, Tweed Heads and Kiama signed a joint statement declaring it cannot be up to local governments to wear the cost of climate impacts.

“We are exhausted by the immediate costs and challenges and we are worried about what’s to come. Extreme weather disasters used to occur every few years. Now, we are facing them every few months,” the letter reads.

“We need more support from the federal government to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in clean industries that create regional jobs, unlock business investment and spur technological innovation.”

Berejiklian should have sacked Sidoti

The state opposition has accused Premier Gladys Berejiklian of being “weak” for failing to sack John Sidoti from the Liberal Party after it was revealed the former minister will be the subject of a public inquiry by the corruption watchdog.

Mr Sidoti is accused of improperly using his influence in relation to the rezoning of land at Five Dock in Sydney’s inner west.

He was sidelined from the frontbench 18 months ago when the claims were first raised and yesterday the Premier demanded his resignation from Cabinet.

He later issued a statement saying he was also voluntarily moving to the crossbench and would not sit in the Liberal party room during the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation.

Opposition Deputy Leader Yasmin Catley said that directive should have come from the Premier.

“Don’t forget John Sidoti has been in the sin bin longer than he was ever a minister. The Premier did not act. She failed to act and she did not sack him. It demonstrates that she is weak.”

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