Billion-dollar bus contracts not value for money

Adam Carey   It costs Victorians $1 billion a year to run Melbourne's public buses, yet there is no guarantee that bus operators give value for money, a scathing auditor-general's report has found.

Latest Victoria news

Two cops escape serious injury after their van was repeatedly rammed

Six people have been arrested after this police van was repeatedly rammed in Airport West this morning.

Allison Worrall 7:27 PM   Six people have been arrested after a police car was repeatedly rammed in Airport West in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Darebin Council under investigation after local government minister intervenes


Clay Lucas 6:48 PM   Darebin Council is under investigation over planning issues and its appointment of a chief executive on almost $400,000, with Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins putting the council on notice over him possibly being illegally appointed.

Lack of detail on $5.5b road plan, as Tony Abbott moves to back it

Transurban's proposed $5.5 billion Western Distributor.

Clay Lucas, Richard Willingham 6:32 PM   Neither Transurban nor the Andrews government are willing to identify how a proposed $5.5 billion freeway in Melbourne's west from the West Gate Freeway will link to CityLink – despite the toll road operator saying they have worked on the proposal for two years.

IBAC: Sons of sacked finance chief were secretly paid for 'volunteer' work

Former senior Victorian Education Department official Nino Napoli.

Timna Jacks 6:17 PM   Two sons of sacked Education Department finance chief Nino Napoli were paid for "volunteer" work they did not do, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission has heard.

Inquiry to explore voluntary euthanasia in Victoria


Benjamin Preiss 6:14 PM   Supporters of voluntary euthanasia have applauded a decision for a state parliamentary inquiry to investigate "end of life choices".

'Underperforming' roads to be ripped up and turned into parks

Parkland in Errol Street, North Melbourne

Aisha Dow 5:50 PM   Southbank Boulevard could be turned into the city's largest linear park, as strips of "underperforming" roads are ripped up as part of a Melbourne City Council plan to create more open space.

Government hopes to sail to $7bn as Port of Melbourne set for sale

Port of Melbourne

Josh Gordon, State Political Editor 5:34 PM   The sale of the Port of Melbourne has been moved back to 2016.

Nearly half of Victorian prisoners return to jail within two years

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Richard Willingham, State Political Correspondent 5:28 PM   Victoria's recidivism rate has blown out, with 45 per cent of the state's prisoners leaving jail returning to prison within two years.

Care girl's heroin overdose preventable: coroner

Heroin generic thumbnail

Mark Russell 5:22 PM   There were lost opportunities when the DHS copuld have intervened, to prevent the course of events leading up to 15-year-old Krisinda's fatal overdose, says a coronor.

Too many to drive but OK for work: Sacked worker wins unfair dismissal case

50 chickens died after a worker fell asleep at work following Melbourne Cup day drinks.

Nick Toscano 5:03 PM   A poultry worker who was sacked the morning after Melbourne Cup Day for allegedly being drunk and sleeping on the job has won her unfair dismissal claim.

More traffic chaos predicted for Friday


Bianca Hall 4:10 PM   Melburnians would be well-advised to leave the car at home on Friday, with a raft of sporting blockbusters expected to draw large crowds to the CBD.

Teenage girl allegedly robbed, blackmailed with sexual acts

The commission has heard evidence that Rolleston sexually abused up to 14 boys in the 1970s and 80s in the north shore practices.

Bianca Hall 3:51 PM   Three teenage boys have been charged with blackmail, after allegedly trying to coerce a 15-year-old girl into performing a sexual act to get her stolen mobile phone back.

Court told of principal's plea to alleged abuse victim

Adass Israel Girls School, where the alleged abuse took place.

Steve Butcher and Patrick Hatch 3:45 PM   One of three sisters allegedly sexually abused by the principal of the Adass Israel Girls School has told a court how the woman "begged" her to reveal "what was going on" before she was sacked and then flew to Israel days later.

Tony Abbott signals money for new Western Distributor

Prime Minister Tony Abbott addressed speculation about Treasurer Joe Hockey's future during a radio interview.

Richard Willingham, State Political Correspondent 3:35 PM   Tony Abbott will pour federal funds into a recently proposed new tunnel and road linking the city to Melbourne's west, "if it stacks up."

Girl, 14, indecently assaulted on tram

Police want to speak to this man over an indecent assault

Allison Worrall 3:15 PM    Police are searching for a man who groped a 14-year-old girl on a tram during the morning peak hour.

Judy Moran feared she was going to be killed during brawl between two inmates

Judy Moran in 2011.

Mark Russell and Steve Butcher 12:54 PM   Gangland widow Judy Moran feared she was going to be killed during a brawl between two inmates at the state's maximum security women's prison, a court has heard.

Grave concerns for Melbourne teen missing in Canada for 10 days

Melbourne teen Jake Kermond has not been since April 26.

Allison Worrall 11:18 AM   There are grave concerns for a young Melbourne man who has been missing in Canada for more than ten days.

Passenger describes terrifying trip through CBD

Allison Worrall 11:06 AM   A Melbourne cab driver has been caught on camera reading a newspaper while driving in the CBD.

Police hunt burglar and schoolboy sidekick

The man police wish to speak to, seen on CCTV in Horsham.

Allison Worrall 10:26 AM   Police are on the hunt for a burglar and his schoolboy sidekick following a two-day crime spree in country Victoria.

Melbourne Express Live: Thursday May 7, 2015

Express sunrise

Marissa Calligeros 9:06 AM   Kickstart your day with breaking news, commuter and weather updates, giveaways and the hottest events. Email tips, photos, video and comments to or tweet to @marissa_sc or @theage.

'Was it love that put the large chef's knife into his hand?'

Suzie Oghia, another victim of domestic violence. Her former husband, Bona Lual, has been found guilty of her murder.

Mark Russell 1:08 AM   A man who fatally stabbed his estranged wife before mutilating her eyes when she was dead as their four children slept nearby has been found guilty of murder.

Spaniels unleashed to outfox scourge of the bush


Darren Gray 12:18 AM   Sam and Jazz, two English springer spaniels, were employed last week by the Department of Environment to tackle one of the biggest scourges in the Victorian bush: the fox.

Press Council Adjudication

Press Council Adjudication

12:02 AM   The Press Council has decided its Standards of Practice were breached by a headline about James Hird.

Adass Israel School principal 'used student's home life to groom, abuse'

Malka Leifer fled Australia two days after she was sacked, on a plane ticket organised by Adass Israel Girls school.

Patrick Hatch 11:15 PM   A school principal used a student's abusive home life as a way to groom and then sexually abuse her over several years, a court has heard.

TAFE cleared over marking scandal but whistleblowers not interviewed

Box Hill TAFE have been cleared of wrongdoing, but whistleblowers smell a rat.

Henrietta Cook 11:12 PM   Whistleblowers have accused the Education Department of a cover up after their investigation into allegations of a marking scandal at Box Hill TAFE cleared the institute of any wrongdoing.

Forest of tall towers could surround Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market.

Aisha Dow 10:40 PM   The forest of tall towers at the northern end of Melbourne's CBD could be expanded to the doorstep of the Queen Victoria Market.

Boom gates down two-thirds of morning commuter peak

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Josh Gordon 12:15 AM   Boom gates at some of Melbourne's busiest level crossings are down for more than two-thirds of the morning peak, leaving motorists stranded in traffic for hours.

Werribee and Williamstown train lines heavily delayed after fire at Seddon station


Liam Mannix   A fire near Seddon train station has ground the whole of the Werribee and Williamstown train lines to a halt as fire services race to the scene.

East West Link: uncertainty lingers over federal cash

Contractors will receive $339 million after the Victorian government abandoned plans to build East West Link

Josh Gordon   The East West Link has been scrapped but uncertainty remains over the $3 billion given to Victoria for the project.

IBAC: yes, my conduct was corrupt, admits school principal

Mr Giulieri proposed to set up a "mock school council meeting" to justify an invoice of more than $2300.

Timna Jacks   Bogus letter requested $30,000 to pay for work that was never done.


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.

Found ... in a land where searchers do not give up

We might reflect that Australia is a land where searchers and rescuers do not give up.


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.