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

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

Chef Andrew Blake serves lunch for the homeless in the Melbourne CBD.

Carolyn Webb 6:14 PM   Chef to the stars Andrew Blake took time out from catering for wall to wall 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

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5:43 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

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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.

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.

Victorian bushfires: residents count the cost

Darren Gray, Rural Affairs Reporter 4:27 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.

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

Helicopters work on the fire near Wangaratta.

Marissa Calligeros and Vanessa Desloires 2:32 PM   A fast-moving grass fire has put central Victorian communities in immediate danger as firefighters across the state's north brace for another dangerous afternoon.

Are you drunk or intoxicated?


Nino Bucci 3:07 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?

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.

'Lack of evidence' finding from Maureen Braddy, Allan Whyte disappearance inquest

Maureen Braddy: missing since 1968.

Hannah Carrodus 1:12 PM   Coroner finds 'simply a lack of evidence' from inquest into 1968 disappearance of Bendigo teens Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte.

Richard Yan square(d)

Meet your namesake

Konrad Marshall 1:05 PM   To make things easier in telling the tale of Richard Yan and Richard Yan, let's use their middle names, shall we?

Black Saturday theft: Grieving mother pleads for return of dead son's memorial

The sculpture dedicated to Sam Matthews was stolen this week.

Marissa Calligeros 12:31 PM   A grieving mother pleads for thieves to return a memorial sculpture dedicated to her son.

'Despicable act': Father jailed for life for murdering daughters

Charles Mihayo has been jailed for life for murdering his two young daughters.

Mark Russell 12:04 PM   A man who cold-bloodedly murdered his two young daughters in a ''hideous crime'' will spend more than 30 years in jail.

Truckie jailed over fatal train derailment

Melville Bollen has been jailed for causing the derailment of a Metro train killing one person.

Mark Russell 11:22 AM   An elderly truck driver who caused the fatal derailment of a Metro train has been jailed for five years.

Top VCE schools: Mount Scopus Memorial takes title from MacRob

Illustration: The Age

Vanessa Desloires 11:07 AM   Mount Scopus Memorial School in Burwood has emerged as the top VCE school for 2014.

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Melbourne Express Live: Thursday, December 18, 2014

Larissa Nicholson 9:17 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.

Victoria bushfires claim four homes

Firefighters battling the blaze at Wodonga on Tuesday.

Tammy Mills, Marissa Calligeros, Aisha Dow and Darren Gray 11:24 PM   Victoria's fires have destroyed at least five homes and the rural community around Euroa continues to be threatened by the Longwood fire.

Longwood fire burns: 'It looked like lava'

The view from the Haddrill's farm

Aisha Dow 11:07 PM   Jacob Haddrill stood briefly atop a hill on his Gooram farm on Tuesday night and watched the land burn.

Cavity search at Seaford brothel; woman found

Diana Hodgetts and Nick McKenzie 8:04 PM   Victorian authorities have launched legal action to shut down a Melbourne brothel after discovering a Chinese woman hidden in a secret cavity in one of its walls.

Plea for top-10 VCE heeded by Shelford Girls' Grammar

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Vanessa Desloires and Craig Butt 12:15 AM   In her start-of-year speech, Shelford Girls' Grammar captain Florence Potter rallied her class to break the school into the top-10 VCE performers.

Pop up op shop a Christmas gift to homeless

City workers Nick Pearce and Marcus Crook are opening a pop-up city op shop.

Carolyn Webb   On Saturday the two young creators of the Homeless of Melbourne Facebook page will run a pop up op shop for the disadvantaged called The Street Store in Federation Square, and invite the public to donate clothes.

One home, 2000 livestock lost to bushfires

Bob and Jane Derrick at their Boweya farm.

Darren Gray   Bob Derrick used to spend hours in his workshop. A builder and a farmer, the 72-year-old is a good hand at both building and fixing things.


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.