The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Friday November 26.

Pilot Greg Lynn charged with the murders of missing Victorian campers.

The 55-year-old airline pilot who was last night charged with the murders of Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay is due in court this morning, 20 months after the couple went missing.

Greg Lynn, from Caroline Springs, was arrested on Monday by specialist police at a remote campsite in Arbuckle Junction, 280km northeast of Melbourne. He will face Sale Magistrates Court on Friday.

Police and forensic specialists are now scouring Victoria's Great Alpine region for Mr Hill and Ms Clay's remains, after a crime scene was established in the area on Thursday.

"We've located a specific area and we will be establishing a search parameter in the coming days," Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill told reporters on Thursday night.

"We are hopeful that we will locate the remains of Mr Hill and Ms Clay... and provide closure to their families.

"This investigation is far from over."

Asst Comm Hill confirmed no one else was being sought for the murders.

Mr Hill and Ms Clay were last heard from on March 20, 2020 while camping in the Victorian Alps.

Campers found Mr Hill's car destroyed by fire at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track on March 21.

Vax deadline passes for 1 million Vic staff as state reaches 90 per cent. 

About one million Victorian workers must now be fully vaccinated to continue working after a major vaccination deadline passed overnight.

All those in jobs on the state's authorised worker list - including professional athletes, lawyers, journalists, court staff and personal trainers - were required to have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination by Friday, November 26. 


Victoria passed a major vaccination threshold on Thursday, with more than 90 per cent of all people aged over 12 now fully vaccinated.

The health department announced late on Thursday that the state's domestic travel permit and traffic light system had ended, with anyone from all states and territories now allowed to enter regardless of their vaccination status.

While Victoria still has active COVID-19 cases in the community, with 1254 fresh infections reported on Thursday, the department said the permit system was "no longer a proportionate response".

NSW roadmap tweaked as the state heads for 95 per cent milestone.

Close contacts of COVID cases at schools will no longer need to isolate, density limits will be scrapped and mask rules will be relaxed further, the NSW government has announced after tweaking the next stage of restrictions which will ease again when NSW reaches 95 per cent double vaccination or on December 15, whichever comes first.

Some 92.1 per cent of people 16 and over are fully vaccinated and while most teenagers - 75.9 per cent - have also had two jabs.

The government also announced changes to requirements for close contacts of COVID cases in schools across the state.


From Monday, they will no longer need to isolate for a full seven days. Students who are close contacts of a positive case will be required to get a PCR test as soon as possible after being notified of exposure. 

If it is negative, they may return to school immediately, so long as they provide negative Rapid Antigen Home Test results for the next seven days.

NSW recorded 276 COVID-19 cases and no deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.

More rain for NSW, QLD amid calls for relief.

A low pressure system that brought heavy rains and damaging winds to southern and western NSW is expected to push further east.

It comes amid widespread flooding across the state as extended heavy rains fall in areas where the ground is already saturated and rivers already high in many areas and flooding in others.

Australia is on track for its wettest spring in a decade and some regions in NSW have already received more than three times their normal rainfall for November.

On Thursday some areas in the south of the state copped a drenching, with a portable rain station south of Griffith measuring 60mm in an hour.


Sydney's Warragamba Dam received 96mm of rain in 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday.

NSW Farmers Association has called for a statewide natural disaster declaration so relief funds can be accessed as farmers watch paddocks go underwater and their crops destroyed after so many years of drought conditions.

Further north, rainfall is expected to intensify in QLD today as two tropical air masses, fuelled by Tropical Cyclone Patty which formed near Christmas Island but has since weakened, collide. 

Last night Upper Retreat recorded 78mm in just one hour.

Pressure to protect gay students, teachers in religious discrimination bill. 

The federal government is under pressure from within its own ranks to make sure teachers can't be sacked and students expelled because of their sexuality or gender identity.

The introduction of the government's religious discrimination bill that would green light faith-based hiring has fuelled momentum for greater protections for LGBTQI+ people.  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison maintains nothing in the bill would allow the discrimination of students because of sexuality or gender identity.


This is because that issue falls under the Sex Discrimination Act, which is being looked at by the Australian Law Reform Commission.

"My view on that hasn't changed. Gay students should not be expelled from religious schools, and nor should gay teachers who have been employed at those schools be dismissed," Mr Morrison told reporters on Thursday.

Moderate Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman doesn't see why the government can't move faster on changes to the Sex Discrimination Act.

"I don't see why, particularly in relation to students, a relatively simple fix can't happen earlier," he told the ABC.

Labor wants both the issue of protecting students and the religious discrimination bill examined.

Around the world.

- At least 27 people have died trying to cross the English Channel in a small boat, including seven women, one of whom was pregnant. French police say the boat set out from the Dunkirk area, east of Calais. 

- South Africa has requested an urgent sitting of a World Health Organisation working group on virus evolution to discuss the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant that has an "unusual constellation" of mutations which could make it more transmissible. 

- Australia has sent more than 100 Australian troops and police officers to the Solomon Islands as political tensions spark violent riots. 

- With AAP

Feature image: Linkedin/ Brook Mitchell/Getty/Robert Cianflone/Getty.

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