Expect delays on the Cragieburn, Cranbourne, Packenham, Sunbury and Upfield lines due to a broken down train at Flinders Street.
Bad news for soccer fans - the Socceroos were 3-0 up in their friendly against Ecuador, and have just lost 4-3.
A big story breaking today - the Pope has hinted gay civil unions may be tolerable by the Catholic Church. In an interview with an Italian newspaper he said: moves to "regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care".
Pope Francis Photo: Getty Images
We're hearing that the earlier crash on route 96 has also affected route 16 by blocking those tracks too, in case you are waiting for one that hasn't arrived.
An update on the disruption to the 96 tram - it's now terminating at Luna Park. No biggie - the accident was down near Acland Street.
Route 96 trams towards St Kilda Beach are terminating at Luna Park due to a collision near Stop 139 Belford Street and Acland Street.— Yarra Trams (@yarratrams) March 5, 2014
Reports of a tram hitting a car (or vice versa) on the St Kilda Esplanade - that's the number 96 route. Expect delays up and down the line...
There's been an accident on major arterial Toorak Road near Glenferrie Road.
Our letter of the day addresses the Ukraine crisis, from Paul Doogood of Templestowe: As the political crisis in Ukraine unfolds, Vladimir Putin talks of ''provocative and criminal actions on the part of ultra-nationalists who are in fact being supported by the current authorities in Kiev'' and the ''real threat to the lives and health of Russian citizens and the many compatriots who are currently on Ukrainian territory''. All of this sounds eerily familiar. Following the German occupation of the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in October 1938, Adolf Hitler made a speech to the Reichstag in which he said: ''For months the Germans in Sudetenland have been suffering under the torture of the Czechoslovak government … The Sudeten German population was and is German. This German minority living there has been ill-treated in the most distressing manner.'' Let's hope such ludicrous accusations made by a world superpower against a smaller neighbour are this time given the short shrift they deserve but, to the community of nations' great detriment, did not receive in 1938. MORE LETTERS
“An engrossing drama with a spare, simple premise. It's about a man alone on the ocean – played by Robert Redford – in a struggle for survival.” Our film of the day – All is Lost – reviewed by Philippa Hawker. FULL REVIEW
All is Lost stars Robert Redford.
Time to announce the winners of the double passes to the opening night of Manon by the Australian Ballet - drum roll - and they go to Tom Ayers (who wanted to give his partner a nice night off from working at a hospital) and Suzanne Wilson, who deserves them for getting in first, at 6.59am. Sorry to everybody who missed out, we'll have some more giveaways tomorrow.
Manon by the Australian Ballet
And if you're catching a bus out of Doncaster we're hearing of 25-minute delays on the Doncaster-Altona route.
There's been an accident in Ferntree Gully on Napoleon Road with emergency services called.
There’s a new coffee place to try in Carlton: Espresso at Assembly, run by the folks who until recently had Lowlands in Thornbury. It’s at 62 Pelham Street, Carlton.
Odd spot: the New York Times has run a correction on a story it published 161 years ago about a free black man sold in to slavery, whose memoir 12 Years a Slave was adapted into a film that won three Oscars. The paper wrote that the article on January 20, 1853 about Solomon Northup has misspelt his surname.
In town: Louise Bourgoin
Congrats to Melbourne duo Big Scary - Tom Iansek and Joanna Syme - who have won the most prestigious music award in Australia: FULL STORY
Big Scary, comprised of Tom Iansek and Joanna Syme, won the $30,000 prize for their second album Not Art. Photo: Supplied
A stunning autumn day ahead for Melbourne - not a cloud in the sky in the CBD now and a pleasant max of 22 degrees ahead. FULL DETAILS
Singer Melody Pool is playing at the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick tonight: FULL DETAILS
Melody Pool Photo: Angus Holland
Making news around the world, alongside Ukraine updates, the Guardian reports Israeli forces have seized rockets "destined for Gaza"; the New York Times has a senior UN envoy threatened at gunpoint in Crimea; the Spiegel reports on stress tests for Euro banks; the Japan Times has a US official making a gaffe; and the Daily Mail leads with a local council forcing a gypsy couple to demolish a mobile home because it was 18 inches too wide.
Another freeway crash this morning - this time INBOUND on the Eastern. Delays as traffic inches past the scene.
“It does not pay to underestimate the outer suburbs,” writes food critic Larissa Dubecki, who took a trip to Warrandyte to review Altair, scoring it a very reasonable 14/20. Try the tortellini stuffed with celeriac and basil: FULL REVIEW
Inside Altair. Photo: Eddie Jim
There’s building pressure for Schapelle Corby to be put back in jail: FULL STORY. In other main news this morning, Qantas staff have been given just weeks to accept terms: FULL STORY. The Oscar Pistorius trial continues: FULL STORY. There’s been a huge surge inChinese investment in Melbourne property FULL STORY. And here’s the latest from the Ukraine: FULL STORY
Last chance to enter for today’s FREE TICKETS to the opening night performance of Manon by the Australian Ballet, which is the curtain-raiser for the company’s 2014 season, on March 14 at 7.30pm. We have two double passes to give away: for your chance to win, please email@example.com. We’ll announce the lucky winners shortly.
Updating the earlier accident on the Cranbourne line when trains were delayed for more than an hour. Reported Deborah Gough tells us two meandering dogs wandered onto the tracks and were killed. The dogs were at the Greens Road, Lynbrook, level crossing when they were struck by a Dandenong-Cranbourne shuttle train at 5.20am on Thursday, a Metro Trains spokeswoman said. She said the owner appeared not to be with the dogs at the time. The dogs damaged the train’s mechanics at the front of the train and it needed to be repaired on site before it could be moved to Dandenong at about 5.40am. The incident caused a delay of 45 minutes before services returned at 6.45am, with ongoing delays flowing through.
A brand new Mercedes has been smashed on the Tullamarine Freeway INBOUND in an accident involving several vehicles. Delays back to the Ring Road. All vehicles are in the emergency lane but expect delays as traffic slows passing through to gawk.
Local cartoonist, artist and contributor to The Age Oslo Davis opens his first show in four years today. It includes large black and white cartoons, pieces from newspapers and magazines, and a wall of works that Oslo calls “Improvements on Australian Art”, including this homage to Melbourne artist Howard Arkley. FULL DETAILS
Oslo Davis's homage to Howard Arkley, part of the As If exhibition.
Reports of a big accident on the corner of Williams Road and High Street in Prahran.
Happy birthday to our favourite politician and Twitter enthusiast, planning minister Matthew Guy, who turns 40 today.
Now that's a good-looking cup of coffee - posted just now from Trunk cafe in the city. Share your photos with us using #MelbourneExpress...
RIP artist Juli Haas, who passed away on Sunday. Her gallery posted: “We have been honoured to show Juli's incredible work here at Flinders Lane Gallery for almost 25 years, and to know her as a beautiful and dear friend.” There will be a memorial service for Juli on Friday at 1:15pm at the the Boyd Chapel, 600 Princes Highway, Springvale.
Juli Haas (far right) at an exhibition opening in 2003.
More on the taxi crackdown at Melbourne airport - apparently undercover taxi commission officers are posing as backpackers to nab drivers picking up fares at the departure level...
RUMOUR CONFIRMED: Undercover 'backpackers' are nabbing taxi drivers at Melbourne Airport who cheat the system http://t.co/BdYeqY1WBh— 3AW Melbourne (@3AW693) March 5, 2014
Still pretty nasty on Banksia Street in Heidelberg/Eaglemont with lanes now blocked northbound and westbound at Lower Heidelberg Road. We'd avoid the area if possible...
Traffic alert - Banksia Road.
The well-connected French band Phoenix play Festival Hall tonight, supported by World’s End Press. Guitarist Laurent Brancowitz originally played with the founders of Daft Punk; lead singer Thomas Mars is married to Sophia Coppola, who used one of their songs in the Bill Murray/Scarlett Johanssen film Lost in Translation. FULL DETAILS
French alternative band Phoenix, at Festival Hall tonight.
Police and firefighters had to help a man get down from a tree this morning in Box Hill, 3AW has reported. It happened around 4.30am and apparently "the man was intoxicated". No, really?
There are ongoing delays on the Werribee line due to a train that's been removed from service. Expect a 10-minute glitch - enough time to grab a coffee perhaps.
Another reminder - SMOKING IS NOW BANNED on train platforms. Has been since March 1.
Has anybody been fined for it yet? Let us know with #MelbourneExpress or firstname.lastname@example.org
@metrotrains Just walked past someone smoking on the platform at Belgrave. How is the no smoking being publicized and enforced?— Marshmallows (@bandit_hat_) March 5, 2014
There's a crackdown at the airport on taxi drivers picking up fares at the departures level (thereby jumping the hours-long queue for the rank at the arrivals level). The issue - 3AW reports passengers saying it's the only way they can get a fare to a nearby destination like Essendon.
There's also heavy traffic at the city end of the Monash up to the Domain tunnel following an earlier breakdown that blocked two lanes...
We're loving your photos of Melbourne life via Instagram - like this one taken at - where else? - Stalactites. Share with #MelbourneExpress...
There's a traffic accident in Heidelberg on Banksia Street INBOUND at Lower Heidelberg Road. Reports it's a four-car collision with ling delays expected.
Updating the weather, it will be a mostly sunny day ahead with an expected top of 22 degrees. The weekend is looking good with 27 on Saturday and 30 on Sunday. It's currently 15. FULL DETAILS
The satellite image from 5.30am
Today’s FREE TICKETS are to the opening night performance of Manon by the Australian Ballet, which is the curtain-raiser for the company’s 2014 season, on March 14 at 7.30pm. We have two double passes to give away: for your chance to win, please email email@example.com. We’ll announce the lucky winners shortly.
Manon by the Australian Ballet
There’s building pressure for Schapelle Corby to be put back in jail: FULL STORY. In other main news this morning, Qantas staff have been given just weeks to accept terms: FULL STORY. The Oscar Pistorius trial continues: FULL STORY. There’s been a huge surge in Chinese investment in Melbourne property FULL STORY. And here’s the latest from the Ukraine: FULL STORY
Schapelle Corby poses with her nephew Wyan after her release from prison. Photo: Seven Network
Where's Willy? Tweet of the day so far in response to our story about the "offensive" pirates (see earlier post)...
Good to see the Cultural Police are back. Where were they when Jack Thompson did THAT Cleo centerfold in the '70s? #melbourneexpress— Travis M. Sellers (@travyola72) March 5, 2014
A lovely café to try this morning if you’re bayside: the Little French Deli in Bonbeach. FULL STORY
Yum: the Little French Deli in Bonbeach.
Victoria’s environment commissioner has quit and hit out at the Napthine government’s attitude to climate change. Professor Kate Auty said the government's lack of leadership on the issue was illustrated by the phrase ''climate variability'' often being used when climate change was meant. FULL STORY
Kate Auty, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability. Photo: Eddie Jim
Delays are continuing on the Cranbourne line after a train hit two dogs near Greens Road. While services have resumed the 6:26 from Dandenong and the 6:47 from Cranbourne have been cancelled. Trains should be back to normal by 7am though.
Legislation to amend the Qantas Sale Act - changing the rules about foreign ownership - is expected to be tabled in Parliament today. Qantas management is also expected to front a Senate inquiry today. And airline staff are being given until the end of the month to accept a redundancy offer, according to the union: FULL STORY
Qantas: under scrutiny again today. Photo: Getty Images
Interested to hear your view - do you find the pirate artwork (see earlier post) offensive? We're not going to publish the uncensored image here for obvious reasons, but you'll find a link to the original image HERE. If you're not easily offended check it out and let us know what you think via the comments on this page or Tweet us with @theage or #MelbourneExpress and we'll publish a selection of comments.
Police are investigating an obscenity complaint about an artwork featuring a pirate with his pants down at the Dog's Bar in St Kilda. Police visited the Acland Street bar to examine the photographic composite image, by artist Harry Rekas, which displays two penises. The bar’s owner posted on Facebook: "I have been visited by the police to inform me we had a complaint about this piece of art and I may be taken to court and prosecuted for displaying obscene images in public!" FULL STORY
Artist Harry Rekas with his work (digitally altered to obscure the offending members). Photo: Meredith O'Shea
Trains have resumed between Cranbourne and Dandenong after that earlier suspension following an accident involving two dogs.
It will be a mostly sunny day ahead with an expected top of 22 degrees. The weekend is looking good with 27 on Saturday and 30 on Sunday. It's currently 15. FULL DETAILS
A train has hit two dogs on the Cranbourne line near Greens Road. As a result it is now currently suspended between Cranbourne and Dandenong. Metro says bus companies will provide replacement services but they may take time to arrive if they have not already.
Good morning Melbourne. I'll be blogging live here until around 9am with commute information, breaking news, weather and what's happening around town later in the day and on the weekend. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter to @Angus_Holland or @theage.