Lawyers seek stay of prosecution for alleged rape of Brittany Higgins
The ACT supreme court is conducting a hearing in the prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged sexual assault of Brittany Higgins.
Lehrmann denies the alleged assault and will plead not guilty.
Lehrmann’s counsel, David Campbell, has confirmed that he has instructions to seek a permanent stay of the prosecution.
Campbell revealed Lehrmann’s legal team will also write to media outlets asking them to take down articles about the Higgins allegation.
If the permanent stay application is not granted and media outlets do not voluntarily take the articles down – Lehrmann will move for the court to order they be taken down.
New Zealand to reopen its borders
New Zealand is reopening its borders to the world, after two years spent closed off by the pandemic.
From 13 April, vaccinated tourists from Australia will be able to enter the country without isolating, and from midnight May 1, they can enter from other visa-waiver countries around the world.
“We’re ready to welcome the world back,” the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said.
“While we have removed all travel isolation so that tourists will be able to experience the sights and sounds [of Aotearoa] immediately, they will be required to have a pre-departure test.”
The New Zealand tourism minister, Stuart Nash, said Australians were welcome.
“We have missed you,” Nash said, “We are ready to roll out the green and gold carpet to our Australian neighbours, and in time for the school holidays.”
It is now two years since Ardern’s 2020 decision to snap close New Zealand’s borders, as the country’s first outbreak of Covid cases sprung up.
The country is reopening now after vaccinating the vast majority of adults – 95% of those aged 12 and over are now double-vaccinated, and 72% have had a booster shot.
Victoria records 9,426 new Covid cases and eight deaths
New South Wales records 30,402 Covid cases and five deaths