Hunt on for 'Judas goats' 

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

Latest Victoria news

Black Saturday: Court approves $300m Marysville bushfire settlement

An aerial shot of the devastation in Marysville two days after Black Saturday.

Steve Lillebuen 11:59 AM   Hundreds of survivors of the Black Saturday bushfire that destroyed Marysville will share in a $300 million settlement, bringing an end to all lawsuits over the devastating disaster.

Police Minister Wade Noonan moves to block legal challenges by drunk, drugged drivers

'Urgent legislation' has been called for to stop a Victoria Police administrative error from affecting alcohol and drug testing cases.

Nino Bucci 11:39 AM   Police Minister Wade Noonan has moved to block more than 1100 alcohol or drug affected drivers from mounting legal challenges to their penalties, after it was revealed that hundreds of police officers had performed the tests without authorisation.

He destroyed our lives: Bayley's other victims

Adrian Ernest Bayley

Mark Russell 11:19 AM   Three women brutally raped by Jill Meagher's killer, Adrian Bayley, have told how he has destroyed their lives.

Port of Melbourne up for 50-year lease to pay for level crossings

Melbourne Port will be leased out for 50 years to raise billions for infrastructure

Benjamin Preiss 11:11 AM   New laws to allow the Port of Melbourne to be leased to a commercial operator for 50 years have been introduced to Parliament today.

I was abused as a child: disgraced priest Ridsdale

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale giving evidence via videolink from jail to the child sex abuse royal commission

Rania Spooner 11:06 AM   Convicted paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, 81, says he was sexually abused by two family members before he was 12 as he began giving evidence at the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse in Ballarat.

Voters soon forget Napthine's $15m transport ad campaign: report

One of the outdoor ads that appeared during the $15 million Moving Victoria ad campaign.

Clay Lucas 11:06 AM   An ad binge may have failed to make the impact the Coalition sought because while transport was a hot-button issue in Victoria, it was not considered as important as unemployment, health, inflation and education.

Comments 41

Train hero who defended Muslim women against abuse forgives others for not stepping in

Jason Cias (centre) is assaulted by the man wearing orange after defending three women from abuse on a Craigieburn train.

Tammy Mills and Marissa Calligeros 11:02 AM   A Good Samaritan who jumped to the defence of three Muslim women being racially abused on a Melbourne train does not blame other commuters for not stepping in.

Cardinal George Pell says is he is willing give evidence to the Royal Commission into child sex abuse

Cardinal George Pell (right) with Gerald Ridsdale in 1993.

Rania Spooner 10:25 AM   Cardinal George Pell has promised to appear in person at the royal commission into institutional child abuse if asked, in a letter sent to the commission hours before a former housemate, notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, began to give evidence.

No beer for you: two-year statewide grog ban

Lagers, ales, stouts, pilsners, IPAs and many more styles will be tasted and explored at Good Beer Week.

Andrew Thomson 10:22 AM   Nicholas Murnane is not allowed to drink in any pub in Victoria. Or at a restaurant, the Grand Final, the Australian Open Tennis, the races ....

Melbourne Express: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Express sunrise

Deborah Gough 9:20 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.

Biodiversity under threat as Melbourne's grasslands become suburbs

Ecologist Mark McDonnell has warned that Melbourne is at risk of losing more than half its native plants species in the next century.

Bridie Smith 12:43 AM   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.

Bottle shop areas suffer more injuries: report

A researcher said bottle stores contributed to but were not the cause of the increased ambulance callouts in surrounding areas.

Craig Butt 12:34 AM   A study has found there are more injuries in neighbourhoods surrounding liquor chain stores.

Could you live off less than $10 a day?

Trevor Wulf, a part time staff at the Salvation Army in the City. 26 May 2015. The Age NEWS. Photo: .

Jason Dowling 12:15 AM   "We are heading to Victorian-era England where three families lived in a couple of rooms."

Premier, Treasurer refuse to rule out gas talks with Theophanous

Theophanous.  Theo Theophanous announces he will not contest the next election after the rape charge against him was thrown out.  Melbourne Age. news. Photo by Angela Wylie. July 27 2009.

Peter Ker 8:52 PM   Former energy minister Theo Theophanous is working as a political advisor to an oil and gas company that wants onshore gas drilling allowed in Victoria.

Ballarat priest provided character reference for 'admired' Gerald Ridsdale

Fr Adrian McInerney, parish priest at Ballarat's St Alipius said he did not provide a reference for Gerald Ridsdale to protect the reputation of the church.

Jane Lee 8:42 PM   Former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns was the "pivotal person" responsible for failing to prevent widespread child sexual abuse at Catholic-run schools there, his former secretary has told a Royal Commission.

Plan for compulsory maths and science for year 11 and 12

Hayley Dureau, year 11 maths methods teacher at Mount Waverley Secondary College.

Henrietta Cook, education reporter 8:40 PM   While most teenagers are waking up, students at Mount Waverley Secondary College are catching up on maths at boot camps at school.

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 8:36 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.

Training hub on the brink of closing without funds

Education Minister James Merlino.

Henrietta Cook, education reporter 8:33 PM   Labor came to power promising to build 10 tech schools, but an existing training hub in an area of high youth unemployment says it is on the brink of closing.  

Sometimes we need to get tough on terror: Fontana

Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana.

Michael Bachelard 8:12 PM   Police know they might strain relations with the Muslim community by bashing down doors, but sometimes options are limited, says counter-terror chief.

Australia's outlook turns drier as Indian Ocean set to reinforce El Nino

Dry times loom for southern Australia if the weather models prove correct.

Peter Hannam 8:03 PM   Prospects are firming that the El Nino event taking hold will mean a drier Australia, with conditions in the Indian Ocean likely to reinforce those in the Pacific, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

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 7:47 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.

Comment

Attempt to buy votes with our cash shouldn't happen again

Former Victorian premier Denis Napthine.

Clay Lucas 7:42 PM   One of Victoria's biggest ever publicly-funded political ad sprees was a series of promises on transport, much of which turned out to be a mirage.

Nine mature cannabis plants seized in police raid

Police seized nine mature cannabis plants.

Beau Donelly 7:35 PM   A man has been arrested for growing cannabis after police raided a house in the state's north-west on Tuesday.

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

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

Tammy Mills 7:34 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.

Labor's hold on upper house weakened in Adem Somyurek's absence

Labor upper house MP Adem Somyurek is being investigated over bullying allegations.

Benjamin Preiss 7:26 PM   Labor's grip has been weakened on the Victorian upper house while Adem Somyurek is investigated for bullying.

Push for landlords' right to enter properties slammed

A report by the Victorian Law Reform Commission recommends landlords be given the right to enter properties and take photos.

Tom Cowie 6:47 PM   The Tenants Union has slammed a push to give landlords and real estate agents the right to enter rental properties without consent so they can take advertising images.

Children's Court president Peter Couzens appointed Parole Board chief

Pic Pat Scala:PRAHRAN; 980429; MELB; AGE NEWS; Photo at Prahran Magestrate Court which is about to closed. Pictured is Peter Cousins (check spelling).

Tom Cowie 6:39 PM   Children's Court president Peter Couzens has been named by the state government as the new head of the Adult Parole Board.

Physical health of mentally ill Australians too often ignored, with deadly results

Joel Chatelier has taken part in a project looking after the physical health of patients receiving mental health treatment.

Alana Schetzer 6:31 PM   The physical health of people with a severe mental illness is "dire", with the biggest cause of premature death not being suicide, but preventable diseases, health experts say.

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

Smoke from the Hazelwood Mine fire covered Morwell.

Darren Gray 6:28 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."

Terror accused wrote death plans hours before raid, court told

Sevdet Ramadan Besim

Adam Cooper 6:24 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.

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.