Toy shop succumbs to 'commercialisation of play'

Dani Valent   After 50 years of playtime, toy shop Boy and Girl is closing, and its 86-year-old owner Jim Wootton despairs at the industry he is leaving behind.

Latest Victoria news

Firefighters battle blaze in state's north east

CFA

Lily Partland 10:13 PM   About 60 firefighters are battling a large blaze which broke out in the Thologolong area of Mt Lawson State Park in Victoria's far north east just before five o'clock on Sunday.

Study finds no bulk-billing link to short visit

doctor

Kate Hagan Health Reporter 12:15 AM   In a study of 2500 Australians, researchers found patients who had a short consultation with a general practitioner at their last visit were no more likely to be bulk-billed than those who had longer consultations.

Pride march shows its true colours

Photo by Penny Stephens . The Age. The annual Pride March down Fitzroy st, St. Kilda. 1st February 2015

Lily Partland 8:20 PM   A record crowd celebrated among the vibrant colour of the 20th annual Melbourne Pride March, which brightened a grey summer’s day on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.

Workers' four-day sit-in ends as agreement reached

boss generic

7:16 PM   Workers who staged a four-day sit-in at a Melbourne factory have voted for a new agreement with their bosses.

Victoria's credit rating threatened by decision to rip up East West Link contract

Former premier Denis Napthine with plans for the East West Link.

Josh Gordon, State Political Editor 7:10 PM   Victoria’s coveted AAA credit rating could be threatened if Labor is forced into a big compensation payout following its decision to dump the East West Link contract.

Meat worshippers celebrate barbecue styles from around the globe

Barbecue chicken at Fancy Hank's, headquarters for the Melbourne BBQ festival.

Chloe Booker 5:27 PM   Thousands braved the rain to attend the inaugural Melbourne Barbecue Festival at the Queen Victoria Market on Sunday.

No charges to be laid over toddler Daniel Thomas' death

Toddler Daniel Thomas.

Tammy Mills 5:06 PM   One of Victoria's most frustrating unsolved cases has been dealt a bitter blow with the homicide squad told they do not have enough evidence to charge anyone for the death of Daniel Thomas.

EPA faces review ahead of massive Point Henry clean up

Victorian Environment Minister Lisa Neville in Geelong. Part of her agenda is cleaning up contaminated sites.

Tom Arup and Jason Dowling 12:15 AM   The power of Victoria’s environmental watchdog to properly oversee massive rehabilitation projects - such as the looming clean up of Alcoa's defunct Point Henry aluminium smelter - will be tested under a new review.

Missing Mernda mother Deborah Lorkin found

Missing Mernda woman Deborah Lorkin.

Chloe Booker 3:00 PM   Police hold fears for a missing mother last seen in Melbourne's north east.

State government backs youth diversion program

Prison

Jane Lee 12:15 AM   Court Services Victoria last week posted a request for tender for organisations to run a youth diversion program.

Facebook used to find missing Bendigo teen

Missing teen John Wattie.

Chloe Booker 2:02 PM   Facebook has helped locate a 15-year-old boy missing in the Bendigo area.

Top cop refused to take statement from gangland witness because of reprisal fears

Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles has  called for reforms to the way the force protects informers and witnesses.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, John Silvester 12:15 AM   One of Victoria's top detectives has revealed how he refused an order from former police chief commissioner Simon Overland to take a statement from a key gangland witness because it may have exposed the witness to underworld reprisals or even death.

'He is not a violent person': badly beaten woman keeps partner out of jail

Justice

Adam Cooper 12:48 PM   A woman who was badly beaten by her partner and repeatedly had her face smothered with a pillow has helped keep her attacker out of jail by speaking in his defence to a magistrate.

School food all Shuk up

Bonnie So, Natalia Shostak and Debbie Poratt in the canteen at Bialik College.

Benjamin Preiss 11:44 AM   The Shuk is no ordinary school canteen. At Bialik College's cafeteria, students feast on fresh salads, falafel, quinoa and soba noodles.

'Large sum of cash' found in Sunshine Vinnies donation bin

generic police car

Chloe Booker 10:28 AM   A good samaritan may have been kinder than they intended, donating jackets containing a "large sum of cash" to charity.

Corruption busters to get sharper teeth

public service generic

Farrah Tomazin 9:47 AM   Victoria's integrity watchdogs will get beefed-up powers and the public service will be revamped to curb what the Andrews government says is a loss of talent and capability across the bureaucracy.

Man dead in Warragul motorcycle crash

Police

Chloe Booker 9:09 AM   A man has died in a motorcycle crash in West Gippsland.

Get 'real' Melbourne, embrace high-rise living

Melbourne CBD

Aisha Dow   Melbourne needs bigger apartments to encourage family living, creating a real city atmosphere. Aisha Dow reports.

Brough a lightning rod for controversy

Brough.

Timna Jacks   Mal Brough has been a lightning rod for controversy over a long career.

Hallelujah hipsters: Has your time come?

The Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo opens its doors in Melbourne  to celebrate love of all kinds & provide couples with a simpler alternative to tie the knot. Pic shows celebrant, Luke Wyatt with Jake and Evette (L) and Tim and Shaun ?? doing a practice run for the venue. Photo by James Boddington. Fairfax Media/News. Saturday January 31 2015

Chris Vedelago   Hallelujah hipsters, the Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo has come.

Financial worries cloud future of Midsumma Carnival

More than 100,000 flocked to this year's Midsumma Carnival, but donations were few and far between.

Anna Whitelaw   Midsumma Carnival's longer term future is in jeopardy after the flagship event received just 10¢ per person in donations, despite attracting record crowds.

Raw milk devotees bitter over harsh additive

Generic milk on a production line

Janene Trickey   Raw milk devotees have staged a protest "drink in" against the addition of a bitter additive being added under new state government legislation to prevent people from drinking it.

Cyclist dies in Cadel Evans road race

Ambulance Victoria.

Allison Worrall   A cyclist has died after suffering a heart attack while riding in the recreational event of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

Man stabbed in stomach in Carlton

Victoria Police.

Goya Dmytryshchak   A man is in hospital after being stabbed in the upper body in Carlton on Saturday afternoon.

Melbourne's 50,000-strong Pride March celebrates welcomes premier

Some of the original organisers and attendees of the first Pride March 20 years ago, including Darren Ray, Liz Pain and Penny McDonald and several teenagers marching for the first time this year.

Farrah Tomazin   Darren Ray took a gamble when he decided to organise Melbourne's first gay and lesbian Pride March 20 years ago.

State Trustees lose clients' life savings

The late Christa Simmons, who had dementia and whose funds were almost all lost by State Trustees.

Chris Vedelago   The state-owned company that administers the estates of disabled and mentally impaired Victorians has lost their savings by investing in high-risk funds.

Police appeal for more information over Windsor sex attack

Victoria Police

Anna Whitelaw   Police are appealing to the public for more information on a violent sex attack outside a Windsor pub on Australia Day, after a man questioned by police was released without charge.

Big food muscles in on school canteens

Dads at School for NEWS  Warren Spooner is the Canteen Convenor at his two daughters school, Eleebana Public School. Pictured with girls Holly, 8 and Naomi, 10, his daughtes at the school canteen.  March 3rd 2009  NCH NEWS, PIC KITTY HILL

Henrietta Cook   Big food companies are muscling in on the lucrative school canteen industry to promote and sell their products to students.

Two men charged with stealing from 31 cars

Police

Anna Whitelaw   Two men have been charged with 81 offences over a spate of recent car thefts in the Latrobe Valley in the state’s southeast.

Arson attack on St Kilda apartment

MFB.

Anna Whitelaw   An arson attack is believed to be behind a St Kilda apartment fire that left one man injured on Friday night.

Opinion

Left out in the cold by a state reluctant to invest

Homelessness is only the tip of the iceberg of the growing failure of governments.

The lesson my children have taught me

We are in the second week of a family holiday; at the start of last year we decided to buy a holiday home at Philip Island. 

Religious education has its place - but not instruction

The promise from Daniel Andrews to make Victoria the "education state" is both welcome and timely.

Public health the loser in fast-food bunfight

I had so much optimism for the new Labor state government. I believed it held great promise ...

Time to abandon our failed drug policies

Drug prohibition isn't working, and the new state government could do worse than look to Portugal for some fresh ideas.

Video

Rare frilled shark caught off Victoria

Fisherman who caught a rarely-sighted frilled shark says looks like "something out of a horror movie".

Andrews to negotiate East-West payout

Government may face a compensation bill of up to $1.2b for scrapping the East West Link.