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Melbourne Express: weather, breaking news, traffic, tweets and more

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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.

JB
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That's it for today: thanks for tuning in to the second week of our new live morning blog, see you tomorrow from 6am. Hope you have a great week. Meanwhile send your ideas, comments, feedback to aholland@theage.com.au

Weather update: a fine day ahead for Melbourne with a top of 25. Some early morning cloud clearing to a mainly sunny day. Currently 19 degrees. Full weather here

Traffic: a shocker day for the Ring Road – there are now two lanes blocked Altona-bound due to a collision near Pascoe Vale Road. 

How to be happy at work: before we leave you for the day, here’s some tips on how to make your work day more fun (or at least bearable). 
1. Organise a daily coffee run. 
2. Spring clean your desk.
3. Say thank you to someone.
4. Learn something new.
5. Have lunch or coffee with someone at work you don't know well.
More tips here…

Funny business: Gervais in a scene from the original <i>The Office</i>.

Funny business: Gervais in a scene from the original The Office.

Ouch! Melbourne is the fifth most expensive place to live in the world according to the Pew Research Center and the Economist Intelligence Unit. We'll come back with more details soon. 

A good news story this morning - a record number of Koori students completed high school in Victoria last year. Full story

Graduation ceremony. Photo by Jason South

Graduation ceremony. Photo by Jason South Photo: Jason South JPS

Traffic: there’s a lane blocked on the Ring Road outbound due to a breakdown just near the Craigieburn Bypass. Expect delays.

Politics: The first Fairfax/Nielsen poll shows the Abbott government has regained the lead over the Labor opposition with support for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten plummeting: bit.ly/1oDhbUg
- Michael Gordon and Peter Hartcher analyse the poll news: bit.ly/1mlZEkT and  bit.ly/1hnOxFP
- Coming up later today, Online political editor Chris Hammer will interview Labor MP Andrew Leigh and Liberal MP Andrew Laming as well as pollster John Stirton on the latest Fairfax/Nielsen poll. Streaming online from 10.30am.
- Asylum seekers have rioted on Manus Island with the Immigration Department confirming a disturbance: bit.ly/1dApBaI
- Employment Minister Eric Abetz and Labor finance spokesman Tony Burke will appear on ABC's Q&A tonight at 9.30pm.

Cate Blanchett has won the Best Actress BAFTA award for Blue Jasmine. More here

Cate Blanchett.

Cate Blanchett. Photo: Getty Images

And some more early-morning shots of the Queen Mary 2 at Station Pier. Wikipedia tells us that when the ship was launched in 2003 she was the longest, widest and tallest passenger ship ever built. There are some 2500 passengers on board today, possibly enjoying (deep breath) the 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, casino, theatre and planetarium. 

 

Letter of the day, from Chris Atmore, Federation of Community Legal Centres, Melbourne:

While community and media share grief over Luke Batty's killing, the complexities need unraveling by Victoria's Systemic Review of Family Violence Deaths before we draw conclusions about what went wrong.

Death reviews and related research tell us that family violence deaths are eminently preventable. The very system that failed Luke needs to come together and collaborate on working out what went wrong and how to fix it: full letter here

Cartoonist Bruce Petty's comment on the Australian car industry today...

By Bruce Petty

By Bruce Petty Photo: letters@theage.com.au

Today’s Odd Spot: A bill to legalise rubber duck races in the US state of Wisconsin has been approved by the state assembly. The bill comes after Wisconsin’s Justice Department warned the village of Mishicot that its annual rubber duck race amounted to illegal gambling. Charities commonly race the little plastic ducks, with numbers on the bottom, as fund-raisers.

Trains: Daniel Bowen reports via Twitter that there’s no power to the Myki reader at Huntingdale Station at Oakleigh – so you can’t touch on or off. What happens when you get to the other end? 

 

Weather: a fine day ahead for Melbourne with a top of 25. Some early morning cloud clearing to a mainly sunny day. Currently 17 degrees. Full weather here

In case you missed it, Matt Golding’s cartoon...

Cartoon by Matt Golding

Cartoon by Matt Golding Photo: Matt Golding

Traffic: a 19-year-old woman was trapped in her car Friday night (corrected)  in Williams Road, South Yarra, after it flipped over following a collision with a parked car. Police are appealing for witnesses. Full story

 

Traffic: there’s been an accident on Sunshine Avenue in Sunshine North. 

Religion in schools: the debate continues about the principals who are defying the law and refusing to teach religion in primary schools. Join in on Twitter with @theage

 

Trains: expect delays of up to 20 minutes on the Craigieburn line due to an ill passenger. Ambulance on the way.

 

Don’t forget: Saturday night is White Night again in Melbourne, bigger and better than ever (well, bigger than the first one, last year). Here’s a preview

 

Flinders Station illuminated for White Night.

Flinders Station illuminated for White Night. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

Weather update: still a fine day ahead for Melbourne with a top of 25. Some early morning cloud clearing to a mainly sunny day. Currently 17 degrees. Full weather here

Here's a tip to using apostrophes: if you're not sure, don't put one in. The odds are better that way.

Finance update: The Australian sharemarket is set to open strongly this morning after US and European markets finished last week in positive territory. 

At 7.20am SPI 200 indicated the S&P/ASX 200 would open up 44 points at 5352.

The Australian dollar remains above US90c, trading at US90.52c at 7.20am. Full details

 

Rosie Batty, the mother of murdered 11-year-old Luke Batty has spoken on radio this morning, saying “I will have to do something positive with this, otherwise it would have been senseless”. 

 

Queen Mary 2: Alastair and Jean Eddie wait at the dock to welcome their daughter, Sheena Wilson and her husband Derrick, home after 13 years. "She's coming home for good, that's what she says," Alastair said. Lovely shot by Penny Stephens. 

Queen Mary 2 arrives in Melbourne. Pic by Penny Stephens

Queen Mary 2 arrives in Melbourne. Pic by Penny Stephens Photo: Angus Holland

She’s here: the Queen Mary 2 is at Station Pier. Stand by for large numbers of puzzled-looking people wandering around Collins Street after catching the Port Melbourne tram into town…

 

Remember Dumb Ways to Die? The rail safety campaign has been shortlisted by the London Design Museum for a major award - which would add to the several it has already earned. Here’s the original video – which has now had over 70 million views

 

Dumb ways to die...  The original clip has amassed millions of views on YouTube.

Dumb ways to die... The original clip has amassed millions of views on YouTube.

Traffic: still looks bad on the Tullamarine going to the airport - hope you're not catching a flight in the next half-hour. There's a breakdown causing tailbacks to Bell Street.

Breakdown on the Tullamarine Freeway outbound.

Breakdown on the Tullamarine Freeway outbound.

Weather: a fine day ahead for Melbourne with a top of 25. Some early morning cloud clearing to a mainly sunny day. Currently 16 degrees. Full weather here

An opinion piece in The Age this morning from Stephen Hawking (yes, that Stephen Hawking). He writes about the horror of modern weapons technology where it meets a civilian population in Syria

Maestro: Stephen Hawking.

Maestro: Stephen Hawking.

Lindsay Fox and THAT almost-free piece of beach: 3AW have planning minister Matthew Guy in the studio now discussing the issue

Don't miss: It’s the last week of the James Bond exhibition at Melbourne Museum and it’s well worth a look if you have even a passing interest in the series (for us the highlight was matching up the real outfits on display in cases (including Madonna’s ridiculous bustier thingo) with clips showing them appearing in the films). 

bond

bond

Talking point: a hot topic this morning with the news that hundreds of Melbourne primary school teachers are defying the law and refusing to teach religion. Principal Joe Kelly (pictured) says "it's not education, it is rubbish - hollow and empty rhetoric". Konrad Marshall reports

 

Joe Kelly, Principal of Cranbourne South Primary School has had Special Religious Instruction dropped from his school program.

Joe Kelly, Principal of Cranbourne South Primary School has had Special Religious Instruction dropped from his school program. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

Today's top story: Asylum seekers at Manus Island's detention centre have reportedly set fire to a compound, torn down fences and destroyed tents after being told they would not be resettled in Papua New Guinea. Full story here

The desolate Manus Island detainee facility.

The desolate Manus Island detainee facility.

Traffic: if you're going to the airport this morning be aware there’s still a breakdown OUTBOUND on the Tullamarine near Essendon Airport – traffic is now backed up as far as Bell Street. 

 

City living: did you see this story about Melbourne’s increasingly tiny apartments? They’re affordable – but so small you might need a fold-up bed. Story here

 

Weather: a fine day ahead for Melbourne with a top of 25. Some early morning cloud clearing to a mainly sunny day. Currently 17 degrees. Full weather here

Another shot of the Queen Mary 2 making her way into Melbourne this morning - this was as she passed through the heads at Point Lonsdale.

The Queen Mary 2 at Point Lonsdale

The Queen Mary 2 at Point Lonsdale

Two views of a hidden Melbourne gem, Kororoit Creek, which runs through Melbourne's west from Sunbury to Altona, via @misguidedjenni. 

 

The Queen Mary 2 – one of the largest ships to visit Melbourne - is on its way into Station Pier this morning – photo courtesy @RMSQueenMary2. 

 

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2

Trains: another cancellation – this time on the Sandringham line – there’s no 6:56 service inbound now.

Finance: local stocks are expected to open higher with global investors optimistic. The Australian dollar is at 90.46 US cents. The full morning finance wrap is here

Weather: a fine day ahead for Melbourne with a top of 25. Some early morning cloud clearing to a mainly sunny day, currently nothing to worry about on the radar. Currently 14 degrees. Full weather here

Melbourne radar - 6.28am

Melbourne radar - 6.28am

A question about lifts ... why were all the lifts resting on the top floor of our building when we arrived this morning? Wouldn't it make more sense to have them all on the ground floor waiting for workers? Maybe another early riser can give us the answer - @theage or aholland@theage.com.au 

Oh - and good morning! Hope you have a great week. Share your thoughts, tips and feedback in the comments, ping us on Twitter with @theage #melbourneexpress or email me direct to aholland@theage.com.au

Trains: two cancellations – outbound on the Frankston line and inbound on the Pakenham line. Expect a 10-minute wait for the next one.

 

Last night’s TV: did you watch INX: Never Tear us Apart? What did you think? Let us know with @theage. Meanwhile here’s reviewer Peter Vincent’s verdict

 

INXS during the Michael Hutchence era.

INXS during the Michael Hutchence era.

Traffic: reports of a breakdown OUTBOUND on the Tullamarine Freeway near Essendon Airport, blocking a lane. Expect heavy going.

Fears about fluoride in the water after news high levels could damage children’s IQ - Victorian health authorities says the levels here are safe. Is it something you worry about? Contact us in the comments or ping us on Twitter with @theage  

 

News: Billionaire Lindsay Fox looks like losing the 2400 square metres of prime Portsea beach (pictured) he was given on Christmas Eve by the titles office - the state government is set to rush through retrospective laws preventing public beaches falling into private hands. Why did he get the beach in the first place? The full story is here and here's some of the responses from Twitter when the original story broke yesterday...

 

Aerial photo of Lindsay Fox property at Portsea.

Aerial photo of Lindsay Fox property at Portsea. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

Weather: a fine day ahead for Melbourne with a top of 25. Some early morning cloud clearing to a mainly sunny day. Currently 14 degrees. Full weather here

Sort comments by:
  • Like it!!

    Commenter
    Brian
    Date and time
    February 17, 2014, 10:05AM
  • Good on you, primary school principals and teachers. You have recognised correctly what a waste of time having that sort of religious education in your schools has been.

    Commenter
    EM
    Location
    Date and time
    February 17, 2014, 8:02AM
  • A response to another article in today’s comments section --
    Perhaps Amanda Vanstone should contemplate a deeper idea. If the poor women of the third world were to be educated, they would produce fewer children, they would use their newfound wealth of knowledge and resultant employment for the benefit of everybody in their society. Eventually as these countries manage to raise the standard of living, they will no longer be a source of cheap labour for multinational companies.

    Commenter
    EM
    Location
    Date and time
    February 17, 2014, 7:43AM
  • A compelling article in the comment section that everybody should read although not mentioned by Angus, is ‘Why are teachers left on the second tier’ by Ann Rennie, a highly educated high school teacher. Her report and conclusions are correct in every aspect and should lead to urgent community discussion.

    Commenter
    EM
    Location
    Date and time
    February 17, 2014, 7:31AM
  • The United Nations tells us that 200 species are made extinct annually. Why are millions and zillions of dollars being spent to help only the Orangatangs? The WWF is owned by the same people as SHELL. Plz do a story on this.

    Commenter
    Mary
    Location
    Footscray
    Date and time
    February 17, 2014, 6:47AM
  • Check out the elevator paradox 6:26am

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator_paradox

    Commenter
    adrian
    Date and time
    February 17, 2014, 6:45AM

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