Australia news LIVE: Search for William Tyrrell continues in northern NSW; Victoria pandemic bill protesters remain outside state Parliament

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Key posts

  • Far-right protester charged by counter-terror police amid talk of killing Victorian Premier
  • Police need physical evidence for arrests over William’s disappearance
  • Another COVID-19 booster shot will likely be needed, experts say
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Far-right protester charged by counter-terror police amid talk of killing Victorian Premier

Counter-terrorism officials have charged a Victorian man who encouraged anti-lockdown protesters to bring firearms to State Parliament and execute Premier Daniel Andrews, and are continuing to investigate other alleged extremists involved in the Melbourne pandemic bill protests.

The criminal charges are among several cases brought quietly by Victoria Police’s counter-terrorism command security investigation unit and come amid growing evidence that neo-Nazi extremists have infiltrated the Victorian anti-pandemic-law protest movement.

The revelations will increase pressure on Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy after several Coalition MPs have given support to the protesters by attending rallies and posting approvingly on social media. They also raise questions for political figures Clive Palmer and Craig Kelly, with evidence suggesting an anti-lockdown group affiliated with the pair’s political party has also been infiltrated by neo-Nazis.

An investigation by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald into the role in the protest movement of far-right extremists, including those on security agency watch lists, shows some neo-Nazi figures are seeking not only to attend rallies, but to organise, recruit and radicalise other protesters, many of whom are ordinary Victorians concerned over civil liberties and vaccine mandates.

Read the full investigation here.

Police need physical evidence for arrests over William’s disappearance

The foster-mother of missing boy William Tyrrell is the lone person of interest in his disappearance but, without physical evidence, nobody will ever be charged in the case.

As investigators continue to dig up the garden of the NSW Mid North Coast home that William was visiting when he disappeared in September 2014, and comb over a small tract of nearby bushland, police and legal sources have confirmed to this masthead that the evidence gathered so far is insufficient to refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Detectives have seized a grey Mazda that once belonged to William Tyrrell’s foster-grandmother for forensic examination as the quest to discover what happened to him gathers momentum.

Police are probing whether the three-year-old fell to his death from the second-storey balcony of his foster-grandmother’s Kendall home. His foster-mother has emerged as the person of interest in his disappearance, police sources have said.

Precise new information led Strike Force Rosann officers to a five-metre square area of bush, a kilometre from the foster grandmother’s home.

Police have also seized a car that belonged to William’s foster-grandmother when he disappeared that will undergo forensic examination in the coming weeks. She has since died.

More on the latest developments here.

Another COVID-19 booster shot will likely be needed, experts say

A second coronavirus vaccine booster jab may be needed within the next few years, experts say, with immunity against the virus likely to drop below 50 per cent in the six months after a second dose.

Data from the federal Health Department shows 284,000 people aged over 16 have received the booster, which is just under half the 577,000 people currently eligible for the shot. Roughly 1.6 million people in Australia will be eligible for a booster dose in December.

Analysis has found a third jab within a year more than doubled levels of immunity from two doses.Credit:Edwina Pickles

In an analysis published in the medical journal Lancet, researchers from the Kirby Institute, the Doherty Institute and the University of Sydney found that a third booster jab within a year more than doubled levels of immunity than that seen after the first two doses.

The research also showed that boosters work at improving immunity against current variants, including Delta.

More on the research here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for reading our live coverage.

I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll bring you some of the day’s biggest stories as they unfold.

Here’s everything you need to know in the meantime.

  • The foster-mother of missing NSW boy William Tyrrell is the lone person of interest in his disappearance but, without physical evidence, experts say nobody will ever be charged in the case. Investigators continue to dig up the garden of the NSW Mid North Coast home that William was visiting when he disappeared in September 2014, and comb over a small tract of nearby bushland. Earlier this week, it was revealed police had seized a car that belonged to William’s foster grandmother before she died. Meanwhile, NSW reported 231 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and zero deaths.

NSW Police say they’re looking for the little boy’s remains. Credit:Wolter Peeters

  • In Victoria, counter-terrorism officials have charged a man who encouraged anti-lockdown protesters to bring firearms to State Parliament and execute Premier Daniel Andrews. Authorities are continuing to investigate other alleged extremists involved in the Melbourne pandemic bill protests. Victoria yesterday reported 996 new cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.Credit:Eddie Jim

  • Experts say a second coronavirus vaccine booster may be needed within the next few years. That’s off the back of new research that says immunity against the virus is likely to drop below 50 per cent in the six months after a second dose. Data from the federal Health Department shows 284,000 Australians aged 16 and over have received their booster shot (this is just under half the 577,000 people currently eligible). Roughly 1.6 million people will be eligible for a booster dose in December.

Experts say a second COVID-19 booster shot may be necessary. Credit:AP

  • The Northern Territory recorded eight new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Five of the cases were in the remote community of Robinson River and three were in Katherine. Authorities remain concerned about the spread of the virus in Indigenous communities.

A COVID-19 testing site at the Wurli-Wurlinjang Aboriginal Health Service in Katherine, NT.Credit:Krystle Wright

  • There were no local new cases of COVID-19 reported in Queensland yesterday. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is enlisting the help of NRL stars to encourage people to get vaccinated. This weekend, people who get the jab at certain clinics will have the chance to meet one of their sporting heroes.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Credit:Getty

  • And the ACT recorded six new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. There are three coronavirus patients in hospital in Canberra. But just one is in intensive care (that person is also on a ventilator).
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