Split in bipartisan support for national security

Nicole Hasham, Mark Kenny 8:37 PM   Cracks have emerged in the normally bipartisan area of national security policy after Bill Shorten warned an inquiry into the Martin Place siege would satisfy public concern only if it is transparent and open about mistakes made.

Sydney siege: The Aftermath

'I love you mum': Dawson's daughter's note 

A letter from Sasha to her mother Katrina Dawson.

Melanie Kembrey 10:17 PM   Among the thousands of public tributes made to the victims of the Sydney siege, there was a very personal one.

Baird tells of deadly siege fears

'My heart sunk to the floor, I was an absolute wreck': NSW Premier Mike Baird upon hearing of the siege deaths.

Nicole Hasham 11:06 PM   Premier Mike Baird feared no one would get out of the Martin Place hostage drama alive, he confided in an emotional TV interview on Thursday night.

Largest ever public outpouring of grief

A rooftop view shows Martin Place heaving with floral tributes.

Daisy Dumas 7:11 PM   Sydney's Martin Place has become home to Australia's largest spontaneous public outpouring of grief.

'Don't bother revoking bail' police told

Man Haron Monis

Paul Bibby 2:42 PM   Prosecutors told police there was little point seeking to have siege gunman Man Monis's bail revoked when he appeared in court on scores of sex offence charges because they would be "met with the same outcome", Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says.

The missing seven minutes

Freed hostages run from the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Martin Place.

Megan Levy 1:18 PM   They're the unaccounted-for minutes of confusion when the Sydney siege escalated from a waiting game to a full-scale tactical assault.

Exclusive

Inside the terrifying siege - a father's story

"No opportunity to look back": Joel Herat.

Deborah Snow   In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis was wide awake and agitated, the father of one hostage says.

'I've never felt so much relief'

Sydney siege survivor John O'Brien paid tribute to the victims outside his home on Wednesday.

Nick Perry   John O'Brien, one of the first hostages to escape, opens up about the stresses of being held captive inside the Lindt cafe.

Latest NSW news

Late new tram will mean big fines

On track: An artist's impression of the proposed light rail system.

Jacob Saulwick 3:32 PM   The private builder of the $2.1 billion light rail line to run from Circular Quay to the eastern suburbs could face penalties if they are unable to construct it according to schedule.

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Auditor-General slams WestConnex

Extra lanes: Artist’s impression, looking towards the south-west, of how the interchange of the M5 East motorway and King Georges Road, Beverly Hills, will be upgraded for the WestConnex project.

Jacob Saulwick 9:56 PM   The only independent review of the WestConnex plan concluded "it was not able to form a view on whether the project is worthwhile".

'No evidence' Eddie Obeid is a flight risk: court

Eddie Obeid at the Downing Centre Local Court where he is facing charges in relation to evidence presented at ICAC today.

Kate McClymont, Michaela Whitbourn 5:04 PM   Corrupt former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid left the court a happy man after a magistrate ruled he did not have to surrender his passport.

Groups condemn vegetation change

Environmental groups have condemned the review of the state's biodiversity legislation for neutering the office of environment.

James Robertson 4:37 PM   Oversight of vegetation clearing would be handed to local bodies composed mostly of farmers in a controversial proposed overhaul of the state’s environment laws.

State government reveals $272m surplus

Andrew Constance

Matt Wade 4:44 PM   Sydney's booming property market has lifted the NSW government's finances into the black.

Pushing ahead with Newcastle rail truncation

Train.

Michelle Harris 11:15 PM   The state government is pushing ahead with the truncation of Newcastle's heavy rail line on Boxing Day, despite the findings of a parliamentary inquiry that the project should not proceed.

Call to freeze taxi fares to curb UberX growth

Consumers have been drawn to UberX because it can be cheaper than a regular taxi trip.

Jacob Saulwick 3:52 PM   About 11 per cent of Sydney residents have used ride-sharing services like UberX in the past six months, the independent regulator says, despite the fact they are illegal.

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Fire ant blitz of 600 homes

Fire ants

Josh Dye 12:15 PM   Trained red imported fire ant inspectors will search 600 Sydney homes on Saturday as the state government investigates whether the ants have spread beyond the initial outbreak into nearby residential properties.

The mysteries of ATAR: Why not 100?

The students who came first in HSC courses gather on Tuesday.

Pallavi Singhal 3:00 PM   An ongoing ATAR mystery for many people is why the maximum rank is 99.95, instead of the 100 awarded to the best in the state under the previous Universities Admission Index (UAI) system.

Boys proving they are all-rounders too

Reaping the rewards: Parramatta Marist Brother Patrick Howlett  with students Jonah Maranan, Gabriel Salonga, Peter Broschofsky, Andre Nunez, Joseph Roveto.

Amy McNeilage and Alexandra Smith 10:15 AM   Parramatta Marist High is the big mover this year among the state's top HSC schools.

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Sydney light rail  likely to open  in 2019

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says the project will create more than 10,000 jobs.

Jacob Saulwick   The light rail line from Circular Quay to Sydney's eastern suburbs is likely to open for services in early 2019, after the $2.1 billion contract for the project was signed on Wednesday night.

Obeid hires  barrister Stratton to fight charges

Eddie Obeid wrote a letter of support for Barbara Perry when she was campaigning in the 2001 byelection which saw her elected to the NSW Parliament.

Kate McClymont, Michaela Whitbourn   His former clients include a woman who skinned her partner before boiling his head and a notorious gang rapist . John Stratton, SC, can now add Eddie Obeid to his client list.

Field jailed for one-punch killing

Former NRL star Craig Field has been jailed.

Former NRL player Craig Field has been sentenced to at least seven and a half years for the one-punch killing of a farmer at a pub in 2012.

Mr Fluffy fix could cost state billions

Moving on: Chris and Charmaine Sims with their son Zac and daughter Alma. They are leaving Mr Fluffy behind after buying a new home in Kambah in the ACT.

Nicole Hasham   More than 5300 NSW homes may be riddled with deadly Mr Fluffy asbestos insulation and the state government should demolish and buy affected properties, a parliamentary report has found.

ICAC calls for tough rules on donations

Former Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy.

Michaela Whitbourn   The Independent Commission Against Corruption has recommended an overhaul of political donations laws in NSW, including criminal charges for party chiefs who fail to ensure compliance with the rules.

'Divorced' council looks for a reunion

"Better value for rate payers and better ability to plan": Warringah mayor Michael Regan's council supports the idea of merging with Pittwater and Manly.

Kathryn Wicks   In 1992, Pittwater seceded from Warringah and formed its own council. Now, Warringah wants its northern neighbour back - and Manly as well.

Highlights

Acknowledge errors to prepare for the future

John Howard used to say it and Tony Abbott does too: the first responsibility of government is national security, identifying potential threats and protecting to the maximum extent possible. Judged against this criterion, the government has failed.

'We have to do something'

Anne Davies: A reporter's creepy encounter with Man Haron Monis.

Driven by personal crises

Was the Sydney siege gunman a politically motivated Islamist terrorist or a disturbed individual consumed by personal crises looking to end his life in a blaze of publicity?

Siege a 'nightmare' for hostage's father

The Sunshine Coast father of Sydney siege survivor Harriette Denny endured a "horrible" day before seeing his daughter flee the Lindt Cafe.

Sydney siege: Martin Place fills with flowers

An outpouring of sympathy draws hundreds, including Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to an impromptu memorial at the site of the Sydney siege on Tuesday.

Sunday Assembly: a congregation without God

They may have lost their religion, but not their faith in traditional religious rituals. As Peter Munro finds, members of atheist churches are gathering for "all the best bits" of Sunday services - but no worship.

Schoolies: rite of passage or reckless booze-fest?

Bleary eyes, sunburnt shoulders and sleazy selfies will be the lingering evidence of schoolies for the thousands of weary Australian teenagers dragging themselves home this weekend.

How we're driving the obesity pandemic

New research finds that obesity has become a major pandemic and looks set to get worse - in animals as well as humans.

VIDEO

Sydney siege brings out message of hope

Musicians Edo & Jo sing their song I'll Ride with You with their friends as people pay their respects in Martin Place on Wednesday, in the wake of the Sydney siege.

Sydney seige: Why police didn't act sooner

A sniper perched metres away from the Lindt Cafe had a clear shot of the gunman, so why didn't he shoot?

New vision: Siege gunman's last moments

Man Haron Monis can be seen standing just inside the doors of the Lindt Cafe preparing to make a move just moments before his death.