Bush blaze danger: fires continue to burn

Aisha Dow   Victoria’s Country Fire Authority say they remain extremely concerned about lives and property as four out of control fires burn in the state’s centre and north east.

Latest Victoria news

Man jailed over Rye one-punch death

David Cassai was killed by one punch on New Year's Eve 2012.

Mark Russell 11:32 AM   The last man to be sentenced over a New Year’s Eve confrontation at Rye which ended in the tragic "one-punch" death of David Cassai has been jailed for two years and three months.

Fire engulfs huge rubbish pile outside recycling plant

An aerial view of the fire at Thomastown.

Marissa Calligeros 11:31 AM   A huge pile of rubbish has caught fire outside a recycling plant in Melbourne’s north.

Duo use vacuum cleaner to steal coins from car wash

Car wash thieves.

Marissa Calligeros 10:57 AM   Couple used their own vacuum cleaner to suck coins from car wash machines.

Limping bandit wanted over betting machine theft

CCTV footage of one of the thieves and the getaway car.

Marissa Calligeros 10:25 AM   A man with a distinctive limp is among two bandits wanted over the unusual theft of a betting machine in Ballarat last month.

Apartment boom unsustainable?

Clay Lucas, Craig Butt 10:15 AM   Melbourne has never seen a building boom quite like it, with new skyscrapers sprouting from virtually every city street.

Bill to legalise medical marijuana 'before the end' of 2015: Andrews

Daniel Andrews with Cooper Wallace before the Victorian election. The now Premier is pushing for a bill to legalise medical marijuana before parliament before the end of next year.

Vanessa Desloires 10:03 AM   A bill to legalise medical marijuana could be put to Victorian parliament before the end of next year.

Melbourne Express Live: Friday, December 19, 2014

Larissa Nicholson 9:02 AM   Melbourne Express is a live daily blog bringing you what you need to hit the ground running - news, weather and transport updates, and compelling stories from The Age and beyond.

Rapists jailed for 'vicious, callous and cowardly' attack on mother and daughter

generic thumbnail, court, justice, law, judge

Steve Butcher 9:00 AM   Two men who subjected a mother and daughter to a violent, racially motivated ordeal of horrific sexual abuse have been denounced and jailed for their "vicious, callous and cowardly" attack.

Cooler conditions a godsend for firefighters battling blazes in state's north-east

CFA at work on a farm at Creightons Creek.

Marissa Calligeros 8:51 AM   Firefighters plan to take advantage of milder weather on Friday as bushfires continue to burn in Victoria’s north-east.

Russian roulette or murder?

Adam Cooper 7:46 AM   A coroner has found a man who died from a gunshot wound to the head most likely fired the gun himself in an "Russian roulette" incident, despite a different weapon being found next to his body.

Firefighters brace for warm weather, gusty winds - but hope for rain

Helicopters work on the fire near Wangaratta.

Aisha Dow, Vanessa Desloires 11:12 PM   Two persistent fires continued to burn out of control in the state's north east on Thursday, while new blaze in the Heathcote wine region had authorities briefly alarmed.

Victorian bushfires: residents count the cost

Gerrard Bakker and Steve Gannon survey burnt-out farm area in Creightons Creek, near Euroa in Central Victoria.

Darren Gray, Rural Affairs Reporter 10:47 PM   Emergency fodder deliveries have started to feed hungry livestock on fire-affected properties in the Creightons Creek area, south of Euroa, where many horse, cattle and sheep properties were hit by the fast-moving blaze late on Tuesday.

Christmas Day weather revealed

Looking for a Christmas tree.

Aisha Dow 9:34 PM   Victorians searching for the perfect Aussie Christmas should pack up their cars - and perhaps some sort of floatation device - and head to the country.

Drunk mother crashes car on way to kindergarten, police allege

police

Aisha Dow 7:52 PM   A Frankston woman on her way to pick her son up from kindergarten has been caught driving almost seven times over the legal alcohol limit.

Homeless served posh roast, bad jokes and good company in a city lane

Chef Andrew Blake's lunch for the homeless in the Melbourne CBD.

Carolyn Webb 7:38 PM   Chef to the stars Andrew Blake took a break from catering for corporate and society events to serve a Christmas banquet to the homeless in a city lane on Thursday.

Commuter delays on Upfield line after person hit by train

generic thumbnail, metro, trains, Melbourne, public transport, metro trains

7:29 PM   Commuters are facing delays on the Upfield line after a person was hit by a train near Coburg station on Thursday afternoon.

Ventura bus drivers' strike set to hit Christmas

generic thumbnail,bus, buses, Victoria, Melbourne, public transport

Adam Carey 5:41 PM   Buses will be grounded across much of Melbourne's east on the last three days before Christmas after Ventura bus drivers chose on Thursday to strike.

IBAC to review Corinna Horvath complaints to police

Corinna Horvath was paid an undisclosed sum of compensation after an unlawful police raid on her Somerville home in 1996.

Jane Lee 7:30 PM   The Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission is reviewing Victoria Police's handling of allegations police attacked Corinna Horvath almost 20 years ago.

Police exceeded powers and breached the human rights of African man, says judge

Magnus Kaba

Steve Butcher, Jane Lee 5:16 PM   A Victorian judge has found that police exceeded their powers and breached the human rights of a man who claimed to have been racially harassed.

Record numbers charged over lighting fires on bushfire danger days

Crackdown: Police are laying more charges than ever against people lighting fires on banned days, since the horror that was Black Saturday.

Nino Bucci 4:51 PM   The number of charges for lighting fires on days of total fire ban or during bushfire danger periods has reached a 10-year high, as police crack down on the foolishness that has sparked destructive blazes since Black Saturday.

Federal Auditor called on to look at East West

Anthony Albanese has written to the National Audit Office asking it look at why Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government allocated $3 billion to the project "without a scrap of evidence" as to whether the project was value for money.

Richard Willingham, State Political Correspondent 4:46 PM   The federal auditor-general has been called on to investigate the Abbott government's funding of the controversial East West Link.

Interaction with lions in new zoo enclosure

A lion at Melbourne Zoo. The new enclosure houses three 13-year-old male lions, among other animals.

Bridie Smith 4:45 PM   Eyeballing a cat in the morning isn’t that unusual if you’re a toddler. But eyeballing a big cat at Melbourne Zoo, well, that’s something to brag about at daycare.

Deaths mar holiday season at Victoria workplaces

Sad end: Workplace deaths have marred the holiday season.

Jason Dowling 4:37 PM   It has been a lethal conclusion to 2014 at work places in Victoria with seven deaths in seven weeks. 

Actor to face 103 child sex abuse charges

Actor Jeremy Kewley outside Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Adam Cooper 4:30 PM   An actor with credits on some of Australia's most popular television programs has been charged with more than 100 counts of performing indecent acts on boys.

Are you drunk or intoxicated?

Generic

Nino Bucci 3:39 PM   While at a Christmas gathering, between the third and sixth toast, some of us may ponder: is there a difference between being intoxicated and being drunk?

Husband driven to kill wife after brothel calls jailed for 18 years

court

Mark Russell 3:30 PM   A man who strangled his wife of 38 years after getting upset over constant phone calls from strange men believing it was the local brothel's number has been jailed for 18 years.

Victorian man accused of trying to meet Qld teen for sex

Queensland police arrested a Victorian man who allegedly travelled to the state to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Marissa Calligeros 2:39 PM   A Victorian man, who allegedly thought he was travelling to Queensland to have sex with an underage girl, has been arrested in an undercover sting.

Former policeman jailed for exchanging information for drugs

Former policeman David James Branov, who has been jailed for exchanging police information for drugs.

Adam Cooper 2:33 PM   A policeman who released confidential police information to a drug dealer in exchange for quantities of the drug ice will spend at least two and a half years in jail.

New kid on the block: Matthew Guy bars East West Link critics, Twitter users claim

Building blocks: Matthew Guy on Twitter.

Henrietta Cook 2:22 PM   Victoria's new Opposition Leader Matthew Guy appears to have "blocked" Twitter users opposed to the East West Link.

Inside Victoria's fire zone: Property owner films journey through bushfire

Jacob Haddrill and his father drove through the fire zone on Wednesday night.

Marissa Calligeros 1:27 PM   Terrifying footage emerges of two property owners driving through Victoria's fire zone as flames race along the roadside and raging winds whip up embers.

Opinion

The secret report Napthine won't let you see

Much work went into the preparation of a state-based reform agenda, so why has it never been released?

Victorian jobs: Hockey will have the last say

Denis Napthine's employment boast is actually an admission of failure.

State election: grubby campaign, tight result

Fifty-one days out from polling day, the battle for power is set to get nasty.