Hunt on for 'Judas goats' 

Seven feral "Judas goats" will help shooters in a landmark aerial shooting program next month.

Latest Victoria news

Chinese fruit pickers underpaid $10,000 in northern Victoria

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.

Nick Toscano 3:27 PM   Chinese backpackers working as fruit-pickers in northern Victoria have been grossly underpaid thousands of dollars in the latest details of migrant worker exploitation to become public.

Cardinal Pell visited St Patrick's weeks before sex abuse hearing

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2014 file photo Cardinal George Pell arrives for a morning session of a synod on family issues, at the Vatican. Pope Francis' finance czar is coming under intense scrutiny after ruffling feathers at the Vatican as he seeks to impose order on its unruly finances. Italian weekly L'Espresso reported in its Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 editions that Cardinal George Pell's economy secretariat had run up a half-million euros (dollars) in expenses in the first six months of its existence. The total includes seemingly legitimate expenses, including computers and printers, but also a 2,508 euro bill from the famed Gamarelli clergy tailor. The expenditures are notable given that Pell has instituted a spending review across the Vatican to ensure any excess money is spent on the poor, L'Espresso noted. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

Rania Spooner 3:25 PM   As pressure builds for Cardinal George Pell to return from the Vatican and front the child abuse royal commission in Ballarat, it has emerged he visited the town, and a school at the centre of clergy abuse allegations, just weeks ago.

Fatal attack sparked by a missing mobile phone, court told

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Mark Russell 3:19 PM   A missing mobile phone led to a woman being attacked and killed outside a Fawkner hotel, a court has heard.

Man ordered to pay de facto $70,000 for 'cowardly and brutal' assault

County Court

Steve Butcher 2:40 PM   A man jailed last year for the "cowardly and brutal" assault of his de facto partner has been ordered to pay her $70,000 in compensation for pain and suffering.

Child abuse victims live 'shorter lives' than other children, royal commission hears

People who have been abused as children have more real illness and don't live as long as children who have not been traumatised.

Jane Lee 2:27 PM   People who have been abused as children live shorter lives than those who have not been abused, a psychiatrist has told a Royal Commission.

Graham Ashton to take over as state's top cop

Former Victorian deputy commissioner Graham Ashton.

Nino Bucci and Rania Spooner 2:27 PM   Graham Ashton has been appointed Victoria's new Chief Commissioner of Police, replacing Ken Lay, who left the role late last year.

Jail for 'vile and repulsive' rape, abuse of hostage backpacker

Judge's gavel

Mark Russell 12:23 PM   A man who repeatedly raped, bashed, degraded and threatened to kill a terrified Dutch backpacker has been jailed for 17 years.

Melbourne pair jailed for multiple rapes of fourteen-year-old girl

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Steve Butcher 12:02 PM   Two men who subjected a 14 year old girl to multiple rapes described by a Melbourne judge as "vile" conduct have been jailed.

Tattslotto syndicate sues for missing millions

Members of a lottery syndicate are about to take Supreme Court action against a former friend.

Cameron Houston and Chris Vedelago 10:03 AM   A courier from Geelong has been accused of cheating 14 former colleagues out of a $16 million windfall from a Powerball draw last October.

Melbourne Express: Monday, May 25, 2015

Express sunrise

Deborah Gough 9:12 AM   Melbourne Express is a live blog bringing you what you need to hit the day running - news, weather and transport updates, and compelling content from The Age and beyond.

Men whack heads on concrete in attack outside Brunswick bar

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Robyn Grace 9:05 AM   Two people have been taken to hospital after an attack outside a bar in Melbourne's north.

New app for family violence intervention orders

A trial is underway to make it easier for victims of domestic violence to apply for intervention orders.

Jane Lee 1:21 AM   Victims of family violence will be able to apply for intervention orders on their mobile phones and personal computers using an app designed to make it safer for them to leave their partners.

Rare white sparrow found in Melbourne

The rare white sparrow spotted in Melbourne.

Bridie Smith 12:35 AM   A pure white sparrow, the rarest incarnations of one of the world's most common birds, has been spotted in suburban Melbourne.

Scotch College reveals five cases of abuse

Scotch College in Hawthorn.

Steve Lillebuen 12:33 AM   One of Australia's top private schools, Scotch College, has revealed that at least five boys were abused on school grounds as it encourages other victims to come forward.

Australian thalidomide managers knew drug was killing babies 'for five months'

Melbourne lawyer Michael Magazanik has written a book about the thalidomide scandal.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker 11:30 PM   Australian managers of the firm that sold Thalidomide to pregnant women in the 1950s and 60s actively covered up concerns it was causing birth defects, according to an explosive statement provided by a company insider.

George Alex's bankruptcy trustees claim millions linked to slain standover man

George Alex was declared bankrupt in 2011, owing more than $1.2 million to the Australian Tax Office.

Rania Spooner and Beau Donelly 7:53 PM   The bankruptcy trustees of underworld identity George Alex have moved to claim more than $12 million tied up in questionable deals struck amid allegations of businessmen being bashed, drive-by-shootings and high-end extortion linked to Melbourne gangland figures.

Napoli re-hired "on merit" while allegedly ripping off state schools

Former senior Victorian Education Department official Nino Napoli.

Henrietta Cook, Timna Jacks 7:39 PM   Nino Napoli, who is accused of running a $2.5 million fraud ring funnelling money away from state schools between 2007 and 2014, was rehired while there were concerns about his conduct within the Education Department.

Marriner refuses to give up on Forum Theatre tower plan

David Marriner wants to build a 32-storey hotel behind The Forum theatre in Melbourne.

Clay Lucas 7:33 PM   Developer David Marriner has gone to the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn a ruling by the state planning tribunal that destroyed his permit to build a 32-storey hotel behind Flinders Street's Forum theatre.

Conflicts of interest shut down council vote on big Mornington Peninsula project

Mornington Peninsula councillors have a conflict of interest over plans for a $135 million RACV conference centre at Cape Schanck.

Clay Lucas and Aisha Dow 6:33 PM   A $135 million hotel and conference centre at Cape Schanck has been put on hold after a number of Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors said they were members of the RACV, the group behind the development.

Fiat Chrysler claims CEO used company money for home renovations

Former Fiat Chrysler chief executive Veronica Johns unexpectedly quit her job late last year, citing "personal reasons".

Mark Hawthorne 6:13 PM   Fiat Chrysler claims its former Australian chief executive Veronica Johns used company money to help fund renovations to her family home. 

Catholics gather for Mass in Ballarat, and call for survivors to be heard

Stephen and Carolyn Waddington.

Konrad Marshall 5:20 PM   Normally swung shut and baldly unadorned, the wrought iron gates of the early Gothic church were flung wide open on Sunday morning, and tied with colourful ribbons.

Historical rape charges: UK man leaves court in ambulance


Chloe Booker 4:24 PM   A British-Australian dual citizen arrested and charged over alleged historical sexual assault allegations has left a Melbourne court in an ambulance.

Two dead after separate car crashes on Victoria's roads


Chloe Booker   A teenager has died and another is fighting for his life in hospital after a crash in Victoria's north east.

Cheltenham sex attack: Man faces court

Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

Chloe Booker   A man charged with seven counts of rape after a girl was sexually assaulted in her bed in a bungalow in Melbourne's south-east has faced a Melbourne court.

Apology to Cardinal George Pell

Cardinal George Pell.

Last Thursday, The Age inadvertently posted a story on its Facebook page with an offensive remark directed at Cardinal George Pell.

UK resident to face Victorian court on historical rape charges

Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

A British-Australian dual citizen will face court today in Melbourne after being arrested and charged over historical sexual assault allegations.

Hundreds of mental health patients die prematurely each year

The most recent health data shows the use of seclusion among adult mental health patients has dropped in the last six months.

Farrah Tomazin   Hundreds of mental health patients are dying in unexpected, unnatural or violent circumstances every year, with the Andrews government conceding it is "extremely concerned" about the rate of deaths.

My Place: Peaceful deck and scent of flowers belie central city location

A stunning sunset rewards Vimala Beaucasin as she relaxes at her place.

Vimala Beaucasin   The deck is merbau brown and warm and welcoming at day's end when I return home tired from work.   Sun is still shining through a quivering curtain of tall trees just beyond the backyard fence.

Review launched into supervision of sex offenders

FILE PIC Photo by Andrew De La Rue. 4-8-1994.    Gerald Ridsdale, a former Catholic priest , outside the County Court in Warrnambool yesterday

Chris Vedelago   An independent review is being launched into Victoria's system for managing serious sexual offenders amid growing concerns it is failing to protect the public.


It's time to spend, so start borrowing

Self-serving myths about public debt should be exposed.

Now for better projects than East West Link

A happy conjunction is open to the Andrews government if it does two things.

City planning gears up to go into neutral body

Battle over Link validates need for a neutral body to take politics out of infrastructure planning.

Disability crisis: why won’t anything change?

Despite rapes, deaths and neglect in care, the disability sector is obsessed with self-protection.

Fight terrorism by partnering with Muslims

Deradicalisation needs police work, but it’s the Islamic community’s responsibility.

Money talks at state schools

Growing class divide in state system is due to schoosl having lots of  middle-class parents.

What happened to that swag of footy cliches?

Before these articulate ex-champs took to the mike, footy commentary had its own unique vocabulary.

Putting a stop to the endless recyclables cycle

I can't live for the moment. Instead I wish my life away in two-week increments.


A Golden Age of China at NGV

Gallery throws its doors open for a major exhibition showcasing Chinese treasures from the 1700s.

Females 'shouldn't be alone in parks'

The public, especially females, should be cautious following the brazen stabbing murder.

Abbott: 'I just want to see the East-West link built'

Prime Minister won't confirm if Victoria will lose the $1.5bn pledged towards the East West Link.