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New Zealander Lundy guilty of murder

Mark Lundy has always denied killing his wife and seven-year-old daughter

A New Zealand court has found Mark Lundy guilty for a second time of murdering his wife and daughter.

Lundy was found guilty in 2002 of killing Christine and seven-year-old Amber in 2000, and was jailed for life.

But the conviction was overturned in 2013 by Britain’s Privy Council after new evidence emerged.

The jury at the High Court in Wellington unanimously returned a new guilty verdict on Wednesday, and Lundy was sentenced again to life in prison.

New Zealand media reported that Lundy stood open-mouthed in the dock as the verdict was delivered.

His brother, Craig, told reporters the ruling “brings some form of closure” for the family.

“For the past few months we have had to relive the moment we were told a despicable human being took the lives of our much cherished sister-in-law Christine, and our beautiful niece, Amber,” the New Zealand Herald quoted him as saying.

Justice Simon France said time already served in prison would be taken into account in Lundy’s sentence.

DNA query

The two victims were found dead in a house in Palmerston North in 2000

Christine and Amber Lundy were found dead at their home in Palmerston North in August 2000. They had been killed by multiple blows to the head from an axe or tomahawk.

Lundy was accused of staging a burglary to killed them for insurance money. Police believe Amber was killed as she tried to run away after witnessing her mother’s murder.

Lundy, who was charged in February 2000, has always denied the murders, saying he was on a business trip in Wellington at the time and with a prostitute that evening.

Following his first conviction, a group of supporters compiled a lengthy dossier questioning the evidence presented in court, including DNA samples found on his shirt which the prosecution said were Mrs Lundy’s brain tissue.

The appeal was lodged in Britain because New Zealand did not have a Supreme Court at the time.

The Privy Council ordered a retrial and Lundy released on bail in 2013.

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Australia announce Ashes squad

Middlesex captain Adam Voges and Pakistan-born spinner Fawad Ahmed have been included in Australia’s 17-man Test squad to play England this summer.

Fawad, 33, is selected as the second spinner ahead of Ashton Agar, who

broke the record for the highest score by a Test number 11

against England in 2013.

Voges, 35, was voted the Sheffield Shield Player of the Year, having made 1,358 runs at an average of 104.46.

The first of five Ashes Tests begins in Cardiff on Wednesday, 8 July.

Prior to that, Australia will play a two-match series against West Indies, beginning on 5 June.

Australia were crowned one-day world champions for a fifth time after beating New Zealand

“Adam Voges and Fawad Ahmed had sensational seasons at domestic level and their performances just couldn’t be ignored,” said national selector

Rod Marsh. 

“We believe that both can play important roles in the side if required.”

Fawad claimed asylum in Australia in 2010 and his

citizenship application was fast-tracked three years later.

He has played in three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for Australia, but is yet to make his Test debut.

Michael Clarke will captain the Test side having led Australia to their

fifth World Cup title

with victory over New Zealand in his final one-day international on Sunday.

Bowler Ryan Harris will not travel to the West Indies as his wife is pregnant with their first child, but has been included in the Ashes squad.

Australia squad in full:

Michael Clarke (c), Steve Smith, (vc) Fawad Ahmed, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson.

Will England ‘get bombed’?

Mitchell Starc will be a key component in Australia’s bowling attack

England lost their last

Test series against Australia 5-0

in January 2014, in what was just the third whitewash in Ashes history.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, summarising for Test Match Special, described the tourists’ performance down under as “pathetic” and a “humiliation”.

Speaking on

The Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show

on BBC Radio 5 live, ex-England bowler Phil Tufnell said he did not expect England to gain revenge this summer.

“We are going to get bombed, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “Confidence within the Australia camp will be sky-high, and they will come over here looking to batter us.

“England will just be hoping to play on slow, grubby pitches, so that their bowlers can’t knock our heads off. They have got to man up a bit, because they know what is going to come at them.”

BBC cricket correspondent

Jonathan Agnew

struck a similar tone, saying Australia’s World Cup victory would have “an Englishman quaking in his boots when thinking about what might happen in the Ashes”.

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VIDEO: Australia introduces cockpit rules

Australia has introduced a new aviation rule that will make it compulsory for two people to remain in the cockpit at all times.

The ruling comes into effect immediately, and applies to all domestic and international passenger planes carrying 50 people or more.

It follows the Germanwings plane crash last week, which investigators believe was caused deliberately by the co-pilot after locking the pilot out of the cockpit.

Catharina Moh reports.

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Australia orders new cockpit rules

Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 crashed in the French Alps last week, killing all 150 people on board

Australia has ordered that two people remain in the cockpit at all times during commercial flights, after last week’s Germanwings crash.

Transport Minister Warren Truss said the rules would apply to all domestic and international passenger planes carrying 50 people or more.

The rules would take effect immediately, he said in a statement.

Investigators believe the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane deliberately crashed the aircraft.

Flight 4U 9525, heading to Dusseldorf from Barcelona, came down on Tuesday in the French Alps killing all 150 on board.

A German newspaper has reported that the pilot of the plane, locked out of the cockpit by the co-pilot while he went to the toilet, tried desperately to get back in as the plane descended.

The Australian move to implement what is known as the “rule of two” will affect carriers including Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia.

“The airlines will be acting immediately to implement this change and we’d expect to see this policy in place within hours on our major airlines,” Warren Truss, who is also the deputy prime minister, told journalists.

The rules would be reviewed in 12 months, he said.

The “rule of two” is common in the US, where members of the cabin crew enter the cockpit while one of the pilots is absent.

Airlines in Canada and New Zealand have also adopted the rule in recent days. On Friday, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also recommended airlines adopt such a system.

Unanswered questions

What drives people to murder-suicide?

Who was Andreas Lubitz?

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New Zealand ‘start as underdogs’

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum says his team will start “as underdogs” when they meet Australia in the World Cup final on Sunday.

The Kiwis are unbeaten but have played all their matches at home and now travel to meet the four-time winners in Melbourne.

“I’m confident we’ll give ourselves the best chance,” said McCullum.

“We’ll play well, but that doesn’t guarantee us anything. It also doesn’t guarantee Australia will beat us.”

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Tim Southee on New Zealand v Australia

However, Australia captain Michael Clarke, who will retire from one-day cricket after the final, does not believe his side have the upper hand.

“I don’t buy into the favourites or not favourites,” said the 33-year-old batsman.

“New Zealand have been the form team of the competition, but I’m confident if we play our best, we can beat them tomorrow.”

New Zealand are appearing in their first final having beaten South Africa in the last four after losing six previous semi-finals.

Australia, champions in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007, are looking to extend their record for most World Cups won, with no other having lifted the trophy more than twice.

Home comforts?

While New Zealand have won all six of their matches on home soil, Australia’s only defeat came at the hands of the Black Caps;

a thrilling one-wicket loss in Auckland.

The MCG is thought to favour the Australians as the ball is less likely to swing for New Zealand opening bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee, while a much bigger playing area compared to venues across the Tasman may work against McCullum’s aggression at the top of the order.

“Obviously it’s got a different look to it,” said McCullum, 33. “But in this day and age with bigger bats it still brings into play the fours and sixes, so we’ll adapt accordingly.”

The farewells

Clarke, who was part of the team that won the World Cup in 2007,

will end his ODI career with 245 caps.

The right-hander said he decided to give up limited-overs cricket after the semi-final win over India.

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Cricket World Cup 2015: Australia-New Zealand final preview

“I believe it’s the right time because I don’t think I’ll be playing in the next World Cup,” said Clarke, who will continue to captain the Test side.

“I’m very happy. I’ve said from day one that the game owes me nothing, I owe the game everything, and I’ve been really fortunate in my life to be where I am today because of the game of cricket.

McCullum has also hinted that New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori could retire after the final, ending the 36-year-old’s 18-year international career.

“He’s a tremendous ambassador for the game of New Zealand and also worldwide,” said McCullum. “He’s been an outstanding team-mate and a very close friend as well.

“It would be nice, not just for him, but for the other guys as well to achieve the ultimate success.”

The history

Despite being near-neighbours, New Zealand have not played a one-day international in Australia since 2009, a series that was drawn 2-2 and included a Black Caps win at the MCG.

The most famous moment in trans-Tasman cricketing history also occurred at the MCG, when Australia’s Trevor Chappell delivered the final ball of an ODI underarm, rolling along the ground, to prevent New Zealand’s Brian McKechnie hitting a six that would tie the match.

“I think it’s a healthy rivalry,” said McCullum. “I think we’ve seen some epic battles over the years, and across codes as well. It’s not just cricket and rugby, it’s all codes.

“We’ve seen tremendous battles between the two and both countries stopped while the teams are playing respective sports. Sunday is no different.”

The two captains embrace after the pre-World Cup final media day

The expert view

Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming:

“Yes, McCullum’s men can win, but as to whether they will, that is absolutely in the balance with the odds favouring Australia – but only just. That is not some Kiwi self-deprecation on my part, but rather an acknowledgement that Clarke’s side has a slight advantage because they know the conditions better than the Black Caps.”

Former Australia fast bowler Andy Bichel:

“For New Zealand, now is a new challenge playing for the first time in Australia. I believe this won’t really be a huge factor. Boult and Southee will enjoy the extra bounce from the MCG wicket.”

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith:

“Although losing the toss is not the end of the world, I would expect the winning captain to elect to bat first. Putting runs on the board in a pressurised environment cannot be underestimated. Giving your bowlers a decent total to defend, gives them the confidence to go out there and execute their skills accurately.”

The stats

  • Australia are playing in their seventh World Cup final, more than any other team. They have won four. New Zealand have never before reached the final.
  • Left-arm pace pair Trent Boult of New Zealand and Australia’s Mitchell Starc at the leading wicket-takers in the tournament with 21 and 20 respectively.
  • New Zealand’s Martin Guptill needs nine runs to join Kumar Sangakkara on 541 runs, the most in the tournament.
  • Of all the players to have scored 300 runs in the tournament, Brendon McCullum’s strike-rate of 191.81 is the highest. Australia’s Glenn Maxwell strikes at 182.02.
  • Daniel Vettori needs one wicket to become New Zealand’s leading World Cup wicket-taker (currently tied with Jacob Oram on 36). Tim Southee (currently 33) also has a chance to break that record.
  • Corey Anderson needs 19 runs and one wicket to join Lance Klusener (1999) and Yuvraj Singh (2011) as the only players to have scored 250 runs and taken 15 wickets in a World Cup.

Trent Boult has the most wickets in the first 10 overs in the tournament (12 at 11.83)

Steve Smith, left, will be the first player to reach 50 in five consecutive World Cup innings if he hits a half-century

A crowd of 100,000 has been predicted ahead of the final. Spectators crowded round to watch the players having a final net session on Saturday

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Australia beat India to reach final

Australia powered into the World Cup final with a 95-run victory over defending champions India in Sydney.

Steve Smith struck a fluent 105 from 93 balls and Aaron Finch 81 as Australia posted 328-7, the highest score in a World Cup semi-final.

India made a solid start to their reply but lost four wickets for 32 runs and fell well short on 233 despite captain MS Dhoni making 65.

Australia will meet fellow co-hosts New Zealand in Sunday’s final in Melbourne.

They will do so looking for their fifth World Cup crown – no other team has more than two – and on the back of a seventh semi-final win in as many attempts.

For India, the defence of the trophy they won on home soil four years ago and a run of 16 consecutive wins in major one-day tournaments – the World Cup and Champions Trophy – is over.

They can reflect on how their top order fell apart after openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma put on 76 inside 13 overs, but perhaps Dhoni’s biggest mistake was calling incorrectly at the toss.

As a result, India, who failed to win any of the 10 matches on their tour of Australia that preceded the World Cup, were made to bowl first on a Sydney pitch that was full of runs.

Even then, Australia failed to fully capitalise on the second-wicket stand of 182 between Smith and Finch, as Michael Clarke’s men were stunted by the off-breaks of Ravichandran Ashwin and a curious collective failure against back-of-a-length bowling.

In all, four Australia batsmen were undone by the short ball, the first being David Warner, offering a leading edge to Umesh Yadav.

That brought Smith to join Finch, who began with uncertainty and rarely looked at his best, but showed tenacity to support his free-scoring partner.

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Cricket World Cup 2015: Steve Smith steers Australia to final

With his familiar shuffle across the stumps, Smith whipped, clipped and pulled three-quarters of his runs through the leg side to become only the fifth man, and first Australian, to score a hundred in a World Cup semi.

As Smith and Finch traded sixes, Australia looked set to move out of sight, but Smith’s hook to deep square leg off Yadav signalled a slowing of the pace.

Four wickets for 51 runs left Shane Watson and James Faulkner to rebuild momentum, with Mitchell Johnson’s nine-ball 27 carrying Australia to a score they would have earlier seen to be the bare minimum.

And Clarke’s men were made to look vulnerable by Rohit and Dhawan, the former going after the short ball, the latter targeting Faulkner with drive after drive.

Fortune also seemed to be going India’s way in what became an increasingly bad-tempered contest. Rohit was reprieved in the first over when an edge off Mitchell Starc was adjudged not to have carried to Watson at first slip, while Dhawan was dropped by a flying Brad Haddin off Josh Hazlewood.

Hazlewood, though, returned to have Dhawan sky a catch to cover and, after Johnson’s extra pace caused Virat Kohli to top-edge and removed Rohit’s leg bail, Australia were rampant.

When Suresh Raina edged Faulkner, all seemed to rest on Dhoni, but his acceleration did not come until the 43rd over, with 121 required and only four wickets in hand.

Glenn Maxwell’s direct hit ensured the assault was not sustained and any slim hopes India maintained departed with their captain.

Listen to

highlights from Test Match Special’s


5 live Sport’s 2015 World Cup coverage.

Steve Smith now has 346 runs for the tournament at an average of 57.66

Umesh Yadav’s four wickets took him to 18 for the tournamen. He finishes as India’s leading wicket-taker

Mitchell Johnson starred with bat and ball for Australia. His 27 not out helped Australia to 328-7

The semi-final was the fifth and last game to be held at Sydney this tournament

Ajinkya Rahane built a 70-run partnership with MS Dhoni before he was out via a referral

Dhoni scored his 65 from 65 balls but was left with too much to do

Mitchell Starc celebrates dismissing Umesh Yadav – the wicket that clinched Australia’s victory

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Norfolk Island is one of Australia’s most isolated territories

Last Thursday, Norfolk Islanders commemorated the anniversary of the sinking of HMS Sirius, the flagship of Britain’s First Fleet that made the six-month journey from England in 1788 to establish the first white settlement in Australia.

Sailing in 1790 from Sydney to the island’s small settlement, laden with vital supplies, the ship was wrecked on a reef in Slaughter Bay. For a settlement never far from starvation, it was an unnerving moment.

Two hundred and twenty-five years later, Norfolk Islanders are lamenting what they claim is another disaster: the wrecking of their democracy and independence.

On Thursday, they learned the Australian government planned to present legislation to the nation’s parliament that would dismantle Norfolk Island’s legislative assembly and force the islanders to pay income and company tax to Australia.

The changes would give the 1,800 islanders access to Australian health and welfare payments for the first time, while the New South Wales government would provide essential services on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia.

But the loss of self-government seems to be too high a price for the islanders, many of whom are descendants of Tahitians and the HMS Bounty mutineers who resettled there from the Pitcairn Islands in 1856 and have fiercely maintained their independence ever since.

HMS Sirius lies wrecked in Turtle Bay. By an unknown Port Jackson Painter, c. 1790.

The island’s chief minister, Lisle Snell, rejects the Australian government’s claim that residents support the changes. He plans to hold a referendum on self-government within the next two months.

“We were deeply disappointed with the way the news was delivered,” Mr Snell tells the BBC.

“But the big issue is the obliteration of our legislative assembly and self-government.”

No longer will the residents of Norfolk Island be able to have a voice on issues that affect them, such as health, social welfare, policing, education, he says.

Mr Snell has been worried for some time about the governing coalition’s election promise to make changes on the island. Last October, he visited Canberra with a petition signed by more than 740 islanders, advocating that island residents have a say in how their 35-sq-km (13.5 sq miles) home is governed.

He said at the time that the model the federal government wanted to impose would prove dysfunctional and inoperable.

Since then, he claims, the risk that the abolition of self-government would also do away with the island’s virtually tax-free status has scared away business investment. The island’s main source of revenue is a 12% goods and services tax.

‘On a knife edge’

Half way between New Caledonia and New Zealand, Norfolk Island is one of Australia’s most geographically isolated and oldest territories. It has always struggled financially but the global financial crisis decimated its main source of income from tourism.

Situated 1,670km north-east of Sydney, freight costs among other things are crippling for tourism operators and other businesses.

Since 2010, Norfolk Island has not been raising enough taxes to pay for services on the island and it has been receiving millions of dollars in Australian government subsidies. Now the Australian taxpayer will have to foot a $A136m ($107m, £53m) bill to turn the legislative assembly into a regional council.

Former Chief Minister Andre Nobbs said the island cannot compete with cheap airfares and bargain holiday prices for destinations such as Bali and Fiji.

“We are on a knife edge,” the Pitcairn descendant told the BBC from his island home.

He takes umbrage at the suggestion locals support the reforms. “There has never been enough information that would enable us to make an informed decision,” he says.

And he argues that the mainland has chosen not to work collaboratively with the island’s government on issues such as an independent body to oversee government decisions, or on alternative forms of income such as establishing the island as a “flag of convenience” shipping registry.

Strong attachment

Islanders have also long been angry that international fishers pay royalties to the Australian Government to fish in Norfolk Island’s exclusive economic zone, rather than the money going into island coffers.

Passion for the birthplace is strong amongst islanders. Mr Snell – descended from the Pitcairn Island people on his mother’s side – said he had always been led to believe that the island had been given to the Pitcairn immigrants by the British Government (before Australia had its own government).

“I have a strong attachment to this place,” he said, describing the beauty and pristine nature of much of the island. “It is my people who have kept it this way.”

Norfolk Islanders have resisted mainland attempts at resuming control of the island before, most notably in 2006 when it hired a lobbyist to fight proposed tax changes. And it seems they have plenty of fight left in them.

“It is not over,” says Mr Nobbs.

Norfolk Island

  • Norfolk Island is an external Australian territory in the Pacific Ocean about 1,600km north-east of Sydney.
  • The island has been a part of the Commonwealth of Australia since 1914, when it was accepted as an Australian territory under section 122 of the constitution.
  • At the 2011 census, Australian citizens made up 80% of the population; 13% held New Zealand citizenship.
  • Pitcairn Islanders settled on Norfolk Island in 1856 and 38% of today’s population are descended from them.
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Australian gangs driving meth boom

Methylamphetamine is most commonly used in its crystal form – known as “ice”

More than 60% of Australia’s major organised crime figures now deal in crystal meth, a new report has found.

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report said the drug – known as “ice” – posed the highest risk to Australian communities of any illegal substance.

It also found that the purity of the drug had increased over the past few years, making it even more dangerous.

Methylamphetamine comes in a range of forms, with the crystal “ice” variety the most common in Australia.

The price of crystal meth in Australia is among the highest in the world, the report found, driving the country’s organised crime gangs to trade increasingly in the drug.

According to the report, gangs supplying the drug were also mixing other illegal substances into crystal meth in an attempt to increase addiction levels.

International network

The ACC said there had been a “considerable increase in the number and weight of detections at the Australian border” without any decrease in domestic production.

It said Mexican drug cartels were becomingly increasingly involved in supplying the drug abroad, working with distribution networks in other countries such as Australia.

The precursor chemicals used by Australia’s domestic producers to “cook” the drug were being increasingly imported from India and China, it found.

Chris Dawson, chief executive of the ACC, said the “availability and addictive nature” of crystal meth had “created new demand in urban, rural and disadvantaged communities”.

“Ice is a devastating, insidious drug. It affects everyone from users, their families, and their communities, and the authorities who deal with the users,” he said.

In November last year, New South Wales police seized more than 800 kilograms of methylamphetamine, along with two tonnes of MDMA – worth a combined estimated street value of A$1.5bn (£800m; $1.2m).

And earlier this month, police discovered 230 kilograms of liquid methylamphetamine in a consignment of 20,000 bottles of flavoured water destined for a Sydney warehouse.

The ACC report recommended a “collective national response” to deal with the drug’s increasing prevalence.

“Everyone plays a role in the fight against illicit drugs – including governments, law enforcement, health, education, industry, non-government organisations and the community,” Mr Dawson said.

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Australia prevents ‘militant’ trips

Two Australian teens were stopped at Sydney Airport on 6 March suspected of trying to join IS

Australian police have stopped more than 200 people suspected of trying to join terror groups from leaving the country since August, say officials.

Among them was a 17-year-old stopped at Sydney airport a fortnight ago, said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Mr Dutton said there was a “growing threat” from Australians attempting to join groups like Islamic State (IS).

Special anti-terror teams were installed in Australia’s eight international airports in August.

The teenager, who was on his way to the conflict in the Middle East, was returned to the custody of his parents while investigations continued, said Mr Dutton.

The interception came about a week after two Sydney brothers, aged 16 and 17, were stopped at the same airport on suspicion of attempting to join IS.

The brothers, who have not been named, were also returned to their parents.

According to Australian media reports, the two students have been allowed to resume their studies at a prestigious Sydney high school, despite concerns being raised by some parents of other students at the school.

‘Trophy paraded online

Australia’s anti-terrorism units have spoken to 85,000 people at airports around the country since August, said Mr Dutton.

Australia estimates that about 90 of its citizens have already travelled to Iraq or Syria to fight with IS and 20 have been killed in the conflict.

Bilardi (centre) converted to Islam before he joined the IS

There are unconfirmed reports that Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi carried out a suicide attack in Syria earlier this month after joining IS.

His father, John Bilardi, said in an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes, that his son was a “loner” who had a “death wish” and had been treated as a “prize” by IS.

“He was a trophy that they paraded online. They gloated about how they had recruited this young boy who didn’t even have a Muslim background,” said Mr Bilardi.

It is a criminal offence in Australia for citizens to set foot in the IS strongholds of Mosul and Raqqa without a legitimate reason such as a visit to family.

Any Australian who travels to the cities could face 10 years in prison.

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Australia finds ‘huge asteroid impact’

Imaging of the rock in the Warburton Basin revealed deformation consistent with a huge impact

Scientists in Australia have discovered what they say is the largest asteroid impact area ever found.

The 400-kilometre (250-mile) wide area is buried deep in the earth’s crust and consists of two separate impact scars.

The team behind the discovery, from the Australian National University (ANU), said the asteroid broke into two before it hit, with each fragment more than 10km across.

The impact is thought to have occurred at least 300 million years ago.

The surface crater has long since disappeared from central Australia’s Warburton Basin but geophysical modelling below the surface found evidence of two massive impacts, said Dr Andrew Glikson, who led the ANU team.

“It would have been curtains for many life species on the planet at the time,” said Dr Glikson.

But the team, which published its findings in the geology journal Tectonophysics, has not been able to connect the impact to any known extinction.

“It’s a mystery – we can’t find an extinction event that matches these collisions,” said Dr Glikson. “I have a suspicion the impact could be older than 300 million years.”

Dr Andrew Glikson examines a sample of suevite – a rock with partially melted material formed during an impact

The rocks around the impact zone are roughly 300 to 600 million years old, but a layer of ash that would have been thrown up by the impact has not been detected as sediment in rock layers from the same period.

The large meteorite believed to have killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago corresponds to a layer of sediment in rocks around the world.

“Large impacts like these may have had a far more significant role in the Earth’s evolution than previously thought,” Dr Glikson said.

The apparent impact zone in the Warburton Basin was discovered by accident while scientists were drilling 2km under the Earth’s surface for a geothermal research project.

The dig returned traces of rock that had been turned to glass by extreme temperature and pressure, consistent with a massive impact.

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