Former cricketer Michael Slater arrested after allegedly breaching AVO, and more in News in 5.

Former cricketer Michael Slater arrested after allegedly breaching AVO.

Former Australian Test cricketer Michael Slater has been arrested and refused bail after allegedly breaching an apprehended violence order put in place in October.

The 51-year-old was arrested on Wednesday morning and charged with contravening prohibition/restriction in AVO, use of carriage service to menace/harass/offend, and breach of bail.

It comes after he was charged with stalking and harassment offences over a domestic violence incident two months ago. 

The cricketer played in 74 Tests for Australia, scoring 5312 runs at an average of 42.83 after making his debut during the 1993 Ashes tour of England.

Tasmania reopens to mainland Australia.

Tasmania is bracing for an influx of tourists and inevitable COVID-19 cases as it reopens to mainland states and territories.

The island state is throwing open its borders to all fully-vaccinated travellers from Wednesday after closures spanning the best part of two years.

"This has been a very difficult 22 months. We have made some really difficult decisions," Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein told reporters on Tuesday.


"We've had to stop people entering to attend a funeral, to bury a loved one. We've stopped weddings."

Under the reopening plan, people coming from designated high-risk areas must return a negative test in the 72 hours before they arrive and present proof at the border.

Tasmania, with population of more than 541,000, has had 238 cases in total and 13 deaths.

Restrictions ease in NSW for unvaccinated as COVID cases rise.

The NSW government has held firm on its pledge to significantly ease COVID-19 restrictions in NSW, despite a sharp rise in case numbers amid super-spreading events.

From Wednesday, for the first time in three months, the same set of rules will apply to the vaccinated and the unvaccinated in NSW.

The use of QR code check-ins will be scaled back and masks required only in certain high-risk settings. 

There's no cap on visitors in homes, to hospitality venues, or on numbers for outdoor public gatherings. 

The unvaccinated, who've remained in quasi-lockdown since restrictions eased for the vaccinated in October, can return to hospitality venues and non-essential retail. 


Overnight, NSW also announced it will also remove the requirement to hotel quarantine for two weeks for travellers from southern Africa after concerns over the Omicron variant.

The lifting of restrictions - long-planned for December 15 - comes just as case numbers spike to a two-month high.

Some 804 people tested positive for COVID-19 in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, a 50 per cent increase on the previous day.

They included 224 people in Newcastle, where super-spreading events at a nightclub and a pub have been identified.

Queensland Health on Tuesday night classified Monday's Virgin Australia flight 1105 Newcastle to Brisbane flight as a close contact exposure site, putting all passengers into isolation for Christmas.

Visa holders able to return to our shores.

Visa holders are now allowed to enter the country, almost two years since Australia's international borders closed due to the pandemic.


The decision will from Wednesday allow skilled workers and international students to come into Australia without needing a travel exemption.

It comes after the federal government placed a two-week pause on visa holders being able to return over concern about the arrival of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Despite Omicron leading to spikes in case numbers in several states, the pause will end on schedule.

The resumption means a travel bubble with Japan and South Korea can also begin.

The government estimates about 235,000 visa holders would be eligible to enter the country, including an estimated 133,000 international students.

Search for William Tyrrell remains to end.

A highly-publicised month-long search for the remains of missing toddler William Tyrrell is set to conclude without any obvious breakthroughs.

Current inquiries and search operations in the mid-north coast town of Kendall will wrap up in the coming days, the NSW Police Force said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

The renewed search began on November 15, with investigators saying the aim was to find a body. 

It came over seven years since three-year-old William - the boy in the Spiderman suit - went missing from his foster grandmother's home in Kendall in 2014.

As the search winds down, police have not informed the public of any important finds.


However, the police statement said items seized during the search and a significant quantity of soil would be forensically examined.

As the search got under way, it emerged that police had narrowed their focus to one person of interest. 

Former Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said last month there had been a significant breakthrough and he was confident police would solve the mystery of William's fate.

NAPLAN proves COVID not detrimental to kids' learning.

Girls have once again outperformed boys in reading and writing, according to data from the latest round of NAPLAN tests.

The 2021 NAPLAN national report, released on Wednesday, confirmed that while girls performed better at literacy, boys outperformed girls in numeracy, except for students in year nine.

The national report confirmed data from a preliminary summary released in August that COVID-19 was not detrimental to students' literacy and numeracy skills.

The national tests for students in years three, five, seven and nine was held for the first time in two years in 2021, after they were scrapped due to COVID-19 in 2020.


Compared to 2019, there were no statistically significant changes in the most recent round of testing.

Acting Education Minister Stuart Robert said it was encouraging that results between the past two tests remained mostly consistent.

"It is heartening to see that overall NAPLAN results have remained stable with no changes in subject area, year level or jurisdiction," he said.

"Overall, the national report reaffirmed the preliminary findings that the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions to schooling had no statistically significant impact on students' literacy and numeracy achievement."

The national tests were taken in May by more than one million students at more than 9000 schools.

LISTEN: If you want more, here's today's Quicky news headlines and deep dive. 

Around the world.

- UK PM Boris Johnson faces a large rebellion among his conservative MPs in a parliamentary vote over new restrictions to try to curb the spread of Omicron. 

The measures - including ordering people to work from home, to wear masks in public places and use COVID passes to enter some venues - are still expected to pass parliament, with the help of opposition votes.

- More than 100 former Afghan national security force members and others have been killed since the Taliban takeover, says the UN. 

- With AAP

Feature image: Getty/NSW Police.