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Melbourne Express: February 19, 2014

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

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And that's all from our breakfast blog for Wednesday, February 19. Thanks for tuning in, we'll be back at the same time (6am) tomorrow with more breaking news, traffic updates, tweets from around Melbourne, things to do and more. Send your comments and feedback to aholland@theage.com.au or tweet me @Angus_Holland. Bye for now!

Another smoky sunrise for Melburnians - this time nothing to do with bushfires; instead, a factory fire in Altona overnight. 

Bikie raids: Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana fronts the media this morning, scroll through for full details and how the events unfolded. He said police had found firearms, drugs, explosives, drugs and tasers.

Police chase: There have now been several reports of a high-speed police chase on the Hume Highway at Craigieburn. 3AW reports several people were forced off the road by a black Chrysler believed to be travelling at speeds of up to 200 km/h. We don't know at this stage if it was related to this morning's raids on Comanchero bikie premises.

 

While you don’t want to swim in the Yarra (see earlier post), the bay is looking peachy for a dip this week.

Beach forecast

Beach forecast

A new bar to try: David Zhou has opened a bar above Oriental Tea House in 455 Chapel Street, Prahran with craft beer, sake and cider and a bar menu of dumplings, pork buns and chicken ribs.

Zhou Zhou, a bar above Oriental Tea House at 455 Chapel Street, Prahran.

Zhou Zhou, a bar above Oriental Tea House at 455 Chapel Street, Prahran. Photo: Roslyn Grundy

Bikie update: we know raids have been conducted across the state at Comanchero club-related premises including in South Melbourne, Frankston, Kilsyth and - newly in - this building in Hallam (see Tweet). Police have seized firearms, explosives and Taser stun-guns. 

Were you on the Etihad flight out of Melbourne that got diverted to Jakarta because of several incidents on board? Police are now investigating in Abu Dhabi, Caroline Zielinski REPORTS HERE

OMG! And when did the police start using “OMCG” as shorthand for “Outlaw Motorcycle Club Gang”? Very Gen Y, Vic Police. 

 

John Silvester also reports this morning that Adrian Ernest Bayley, the man who raped and murdered Jill Meagher in Brunswick, is being held in prison protection as fellow long-term inmates blame him for radical changes to the parole system. FULL STORY

Adrian Ernest Bayley is escorted into a prison van to begin his minimum 35-year jail sentence.

Adrian Ernest Bayley is escorted into a prison van to begin his minimum 35-year jail sentence. Photo: Jason South

Bikie raids: Age crime editor John Silvester is speaking on 3AW about this morning's massive raids now...

Tasers, explosives seized: 3AW reports assistant commissioner Steve Fontana has confirmed that the raids are targeting the Comanchero bikie gang and they have been “involved in significant criminal activity”. Police made nine arrests and seized guns, drugs, explosive and Tasers.

 

Water theft? Police say somebody deliberately released up to 5 million litres of water from a pipeline into a creek at Romsey. The water ran into a creek that supplies several rural properties and had been dry up till then. Police are investigating.

How the Comancheros went wrong (via Twitter)... (scroll through for the latest update on the raids and photos)...

Drunks who end up in hospital should be forced to pay their own bill, a former Abbott advisor has suggested to a Senate committee. Good idea? Share your thoughts on Twitter with @theage or in the comments here. FULL STORY

adl080621.003.001   one of the last Ambulance moving the Royal Womens Hospital across Carlton. No byline please De La Rue The Age Melbourne.

adl080621.003.001 one of the last Ambulance moving the Royal Womens Hospital across Carlton. No byline please De La Rue The Age Melbourne.

Police are investigating the overnight fire at Altona that covered the region with smoke and prompted a community alert. CAROLINE ZIELINSKI REPORTS

Bikie raids update: Age crime editor John Silvester reports that around 650 police have raided over 60 premises around Victoria related to the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle club, including buildings in South Melbourne, Kilsyth and Frankston. Police have issued more than 60 warrants on Comanchero bikies and their associates.

The Comanchero raid at South Melbourne.

The Comanchero raid at South Melbourne. Photo: Penny Stephens

Poll: do you think Julian Knight should be held in prison indefinitely? VOTE HERE

Traffic: reports of an accident on the MacRobertson Bridge at Richmond affecting traffic heading southbound.

Bikie raids: We're hearing more than 650 police and more than 60 premises have been involved in this morning's massive bikie raids across the state. Early this morning police raided members and associates of the Comanchero motorcycle club. More details to come. 

The Comanchero raid in South Melbourne.

The Comanchero raid in South Melbourne. Photo: Penny Stephens

Trains: expect 15 minute delays on the Werribee and Williamstown lines due to an ill passenger at North Melbourne.

This morning's most-read story: John Silvester on Julian Knight, who would have been a year away from being eligible for parole had the government not changed the law to keep him in jail. FULL STORY

Hoddle Street mass killer Julian Knight arrives at court.

Hoddle Street mass killer Julian Knight arrives at court.

Bikie raids update: so far we understand that police have raided Comanchero bikie club premises in South Melbourne, Kilsyth and Frankston. Police have issued more than 60 warrants on Comanchero bikies and their associates. 

Various Comancheros addresses are being raided this morning across Melbourne including this one in Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne.

Various Comancheros addresses are being raided this morning across Melbourne including this one in Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne. Photo: Penny Stephens

Latest on the massive bikie raids: more than 60 warrants have been executed this morning (see tweet). 

Traffic: reports of a smash on the Westgate Freeway blocking the right-hand lane inbound at Spotswood on the run-up to the bridge. Delays back to Forsyth Road. Expect a slow crawl in... (via @JimmyTraffic)

Police raided Comanchero bikie hangouts around Melbourne earlier this morning - the headquarters in South Melbourne is now under guard (see tweet). 

National news: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has launched an inquiry into violence at Manus Island detention centre that left one asylum seeker dead and scores injured, many seriously. FULL STORY 

 

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is cracking down on asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is cracking down on asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Today’s biggest political story: Victorian Premier Denis Napthine will meet Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Canberra today as the state reels from another major factory closure and the loss of 500 jobs. FULL STORY 

 

Why it's not a good idea to swim in the Yarra (unless it's up near Warrandyte) - check out the conditions forecast for today...

River forecast

River forecast

Trains: the 7:40am train from Glen Waverley to Flinders Street has been cancelled.

Traffic accident updated: the Mulgrave smash is actually on the Princes Freeway near Springvale Road - a lane is blocked. 

Bikie raids: 3AW is relaying reports from listeners that police are raiding the Comanchero bikie gang at Kilsyth and Frankston. These photos are at South Melbourne. More details to come, the police statement is below if you scroll through...

That police operation - as suspected - is a massive raid on clubhouses and private homes of members of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang. There will be a press conference with more details later this morning. The police statement: Victoria Police is in the process of executing a large number of warrants across the state at clubhouses and private addresses of members and associates of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG). The warrants are part of ongoing work being done by Victoria Police in relation to criminal OMCG activity.

 

 

Weather update: a cloudy day ahead with some showers in the afternoon and a chance of localised thunderstorms. The wind will pick up to be fairly brisk this afternoon with the chance of squalls if it turns stormy. Expect a top of 23 degrees; it's currently 16 degrees. 

News: former federal MP Craig Thompson faces FIVE years in jail after being found guilty in Melbourne yesterday of misusing thousands of dollars in union funds including a $418 bill for 90 minutes in a brothel's spa room. FULL STORY

Former federal MP Craig Thomson outside the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

Former federal MP Craig Thomson outside the Melbourne Magistrates' Court. Photo: Paul Jeffers

The police have just mysteriously tweeted "big operation underway this morning #omcg". We'll have more details shortly... "omcg" meaning "outlaw motorcycle gangs".

Did you see the fire at Altona last night? That massive plume of smoke was from a garden supply factory that burned down, with explosions believed to be caused by fertiliser ingredients, according to the MFB. A community warning was issued. If you have any more photos we're keen to share them - aholland@theage.com.au or Twitter @theage

Traffic: we're getting reports of an accident on the Hume Highway near Wangaratta. 

World: the situation in Kiev is getting desperate with violence between riot police and protestors erupting. There are some disturbing images – like this one - coming through from Twitter. FULL STORY

 

A new breakfast spot: "1950s English workshop lunchroom” Arkwright & Co in North Carlton. Expect a period décor of Laminex and lino – but the menu is pretty 2014 with Noisette pastries, house-made granola, toasted fig fruit bread with lemon curd and Seven Seeds coffee. 611 Nicholson Street, Open daily 6.30am-6.30pm. FULL STORY

 

Arkwright & Co cafe interior in Carlton North. For Espresso

Arkwright & Co cafe interior in Carlton North. For Espresso Photo: Roslyn Grundy

Police are investigating two upskirting incidents: they believe a man put his hand up a woman’s shirt at a Mount Eliza supermarket “then removed his hand and apologised”. She says he was holding a mobile. Police believe the same man also went into a jewellery shop in a Frankston shopping centre and deliberately dropped things that the sales assistant then had to bend down and pick up.  

 

Traffic: there’s an accident in WERRIBEE on Heaths Road at Tarneit Road.

Lots of smoke from a fire in Altona North last night near the corner of Pinnacle Road and Grieve Parade where a garden supply business burnt down. 3AW reports it was very close to a service station and took 80 fire fighters an hour and a half to bring under control.

Geelong will lose over 2000 jobs if Shell joins Qantas, Ford and Alcoa and pulls out. But the news is not all bad: FULL STORY

 

Where the jobs will go

Where the jobs will go

Weather: a cloudy day ahead with some showers in the afternoon and a chance of localised thunderstorms. The wind will pick up to be fairly brisk this afternoon with the chance of squalls if it turns stormy. Expect a top of 23 degrees; it's currently 16 degrees. 

Good morning! Welcome to Melbourne Express, our live blog from 6am-9am weekdays. Stay with us for updates on traffic and transport conditions, the day's weather, news at a glance, what's happening around town right now, and some suggestions for things to do and see later in the day. We welcome your feedback – tell us what you'd like to know about and we'll chase it up. Please leave a comment for us here, drop a line to aholland@theage.com.au or tweet to @theage

 

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