Hunt on for 'Judas goats' 

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

Latest Victoria news

Man scales city rooftops, shuts central Melbourne road and trams down

Stock. Pictured - Police tape. 140209RG35 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Tammy Mills 4:37 PM   A man who scaled city rooftops and caused the city centre to come to a standstill for hours on Tuesday afternoon has come down safely.

Biodiversity under threat as Melbourne's grasslands become suburbs

The possible loss of plant species as a consequence of Melbourne's urban sprawl will impact on other endangered species, such as the sun moth.

Bridie Smith 4:31 PM   Ecologists have warned that Melbourne is at risk of losing more than half its native plant species over the next century, with grasslands in Melbourne's west the most vulnerable to the city's urban sprawl.

Terror accused wrote death plans hours before raid, court told

Sevdet Ramadan Besim

Adam Cooper 4:29 PM   One of the teenagers accused of planning a terror attack for Anzac Day drafted in the hours before his arrest instructions for his family on what to do after his death, a court has heard.

Melbourne man accused of giving thousands of dollars to terror groups

Hassan El Sabsabi outside a Seabrook property last year.

Adam Cooper 3:58 PM   Additional charges have been laid against a Melbourne man accused of making funds available to the Islamic State and another terrorist organisation.

'Absurd' decade long cattle cull case ends in RSPCA payout

The Murray Grey cattle were shot by an RSPCA inspector, after complaints about starving animals.

Steve Butcher 3:32 PM   The RSPCA has been ordered to pay a couple more than $1.4 million damages after one of its inspectors negligently shot dead 131 pure bred Murray Grey cattle.

Re-opening of Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry welcomed by environmentalists and locals

The Hazelwood Mine fire covered Morwell.

Darren Gray 3:24 PM   The reopened Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry's focus on mine rehabilitation and the effectiveness of rehabilitation bonds have been lauded by environmentalists, who believe the inquiry could mark "the start of a new era for the Latrobe Valley."

Education Department funds used to pay for credit card of official's wife, inquiry told

Sacked Education Department official Nino Napoli hid documents in his mother's roof in the wake of an anti-corruption investigation, an inquiry has heard.

Timna Jacks 2:52 PM   Nearly $5000 of department funds was used to pay off the credit card belonging to the wife of sacked Victorian Education Department official Nino Napoli, a corruption inquiry heard.

Plans to teach the big five religions in less "preachy" subject

Buddhism could be taught alongside Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism in a new school subject.

Alana Schetzer 2:08 PM   Special religious instruction in Victorian schools could be phased out as the state government considers introducing a new generalised religious class as part of the curriculum.

Woman who stole $1.4m from Wangaratta retirement village loses appeal bid

Former St John's Village finance officer Coral Dyason 'abused a position of trust to fund her lifestyle'.

Mark Russell 1:40 PM   The state's highest court has rejected a bid by a woman who systematically stole more than $1.4 million from a Wangaratta retirement village to have her five-year jail term reduced.

Metro driver stood down over safety breach that could have caused a train smash

Metro drivers are trained to avoid passing red signals from day one.

Adam Carey 1:39 PM   Only luck and timing prevented a potential head-on train collision in Melbourne's east last month, after an experienced Metro driver defied all safety protocols and drove a train past two stop signals along a 2.5-kilometre section of single-track railway.

The case of the jaywalking chook

McDonald's

Robyn Grace 1:28 PM   Why did the chicken cross the road? Police are investigating.

Accused terror teen charged with third offence

Police badge

Steve Butcher, Adam Cooper 12:35 PM   A 17-year-old recently arrested in a counter-terrorism operation in Melbourne has been charged with a third offence.

Security systems ripped out in burglaries surge

CCTV from a burglary at Donvale in April.

Robyn Grace 11:26 AM   Homes with security systems are being targeted in a surge of burglaries worth $4 million in Melbourne's north-east.

'I'll f---ing smash ya': Good Samaritan punched after standing up against abuse of Muslim women on train

An image taken by a passenger on the train.

Tammy Mills 10:55 AM   A commuter who was punched in the face after he stood up for three Muslim women who were subject to a vile racist attack on a packed Melbourne train said he would not have changed what he did.

Woman critical after being hit by tram

tram

Robyn Grace 10:07 AM   A woman has been hit by a tram in Port Melbourne.

Melbourne Express: Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Express sunrise

9:51 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 armed with plastic pistols threaten train riders

Police tape

Robyn Grace 9:21 AM   Two men armed with plastic pistols have threatened passengers on a suburban train.

Brrrr: Melburnians shiver through coldest start to the year

Snowman

Robyn Grace 7:51 AM   If you thought it was cold this morning, you were right. The freshest start in Melbourne since September, in fact.

Inside the world of new police commissioner Graham Ashton

Inspired choice: Victoria Police's new Chief Commissioner,  Graham Ashton.

John Silvester 7:31 AM   In the insular world of police politics he was dubbed one of the Three Amigos – the federal officers who would take key positions in Victorian law enforcement.

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

Court

Mark Russell 6:59 AM   A man who repeatedly raped, bashed, degraded and threatened to kill a terrified Dutch backpacker has been jailed for 17 years.

Chinese fruit pickers underpaid $10,000 in northern Victoria

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.

Nick Toscano 12:33 AM   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.

Powerball winner Gary Baron confronted by syndicate members

The group won a share in $50 million.

Cameron Houston, Chris Vedelago 10:46 PM   Former courier and multi-millionaire Gary Baron admitted that he was the mystery winner of a $16.6 million Powerball draw when confronted by angry members of a lottery syndicate on Sunday afternoon.

Man dies in car crash south-west of Colac

police

Beau Donelly 9:14 PM   A man has died after his car rolled on a rural road in the state's south-west.

Somyurek to face independent investigator over abuse allegations

Victorian MP Adem Somyurek

Josh Gordon, State Political Editor 9:04 PM   A senior legal figure will be called in not only to investigate allegations of bullying, abuse and intimidating behaviour by small business minister Adem Somyurek, but also the general competence of his office.

The phones that cost $1000 a call

Freeway phone

Adam Carey 8:52 PM   They're the phones we use in an emergency and they're costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to run.

Geelong Grammar urges school sex abuse victims to come forward

Geelong Grammar

Beau Donelly 8:27 PM   Geelong Grammar is the latest Victorian school to contact parents over sexual abuse, calling on former students abused by staff members to come forward.

Andrews' property tax watered down for developers

State treasurer Tim Pallas.

Josh Gordon 7:26 PM   State Labor has caved to the demands of property developers by agreeing to water down a new tax on foreign home buyers.

Education department executives wipe evidence from computers

Former senior Victorian Education Department official Nino Napoli.

Timna Jacks 7:06 PM   Former Victorian Education Department finance manager Nino Napoli asked friend Mark Stecher to wipe his external hard drive, PC and laptop because he was worried about incriminating evidence.

Melbourne's parks should copy New York model

Fitzroy Gardens needs more seating, New York parks commissioner says.

Aisha Dow 6:59 PM   New tourist attractions such as restaurants, boating activities and ice-skating rinks should be built in Melbourne's parks in order to boast visitor numbers, says New York's Park and Recreation Commissioner.

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 6:11 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.

Opinion

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.

Video

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.