Monday afternoon's news in less than 5 minutes.

Police Commissioner Ken Lay will stand down to support his ill wife. Image via ABC News.

1. Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay resigns

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has announced he is standing down, three years after taking on the role.

Mr Lay made the decision to stand down to support his wife, who is facing an illness that requires treatment over the next 12 months.

“Being Chief Commissioner is an exhaustive job. It requires absolute focus, commitment and energy for 365 days a year,” he said at a press conference this morning.


“I simply cannot invest that energy at the moment.”

Mr Lay said he had been considering his decision for the past six months.

“My decision has not been made lightly but I believe it has been made for all the right reasons,” he said.

After coming to the top job in June 2011, Mr Lay developed a blueprint to change the strategic direction of policing in Victoria.

“The 50s and 60s were wonderful decades, but if we think we can use the same geographical model of policing 65 years on, we are putting our heads in the sand and we will do the community harm in the process,” he said.

“This change may well be uncomfortable for governments, the community and our organisation at first but I believe it is the right thing to do.”

Mr Lay said his proudest achievement was helping to drive a change in community attitudes towards violence against women and children.

It prompted the State Government to announce a royal commission into family violence.

“These complex, yet cowardly crimes wreak untold havoc on our society,” Mr Lay said.

“They ruin lives and they are overwhelming our justice system.”

A version of this post originally appeared on the ABC website and has been republished with full permission.


2. Indonesian authorities concede ‘missing plane is most likely at the bottom of the sea’.

The AirAsia plane QZ8501, which went missing with 162 passengers on board, is likely “at the bottom of the sea” according to the chief of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, SBS News reports.

Bambang Soelisto told a press conference that based on their estimation of the plane’s crash position “the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea.”

Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini grieves with relatives of missing AirAsia flight passengers at  Juanda International Airport Surabaya. Image via Getty.

He said that Indonesia is reaching out to countries with the necessary ‘tools’ to retrieve the plane from the seabed, such as submersible vehicles.

These include the UK, France and the US, who have offered their assistance to the Indonesian government.

Read our full coverage here.

3. George Brandis enjoys $1100 dinner on the public purse.

Attorney General George Brandis spent $1100 of taxpayer money on a  meal for himself and three guests while visiting London earlier this year.

Senator Brandis and a group of senior British arts representatives dined at the Corinthia Hotel’s fine-dining Massimo Restaurant on April 4, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

A freedom of information request lodged by the Labor Party revealed the dinner cost at £627, including £228 alcohol charges.

Senator Brandis wooed the reps with an Australian drop; the group enjoyed three bottles of 2010 vintage Tyrrell’s Semillon-Sauvignon, a bottle of upmarket Italian Vin Santo del Chianti Bonacchi dessert wine, and several glasses of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.


Attorney General George Brandis.

A spokesman for Senator Brandis defended the dinner as within the bounds of “usual practice”.

“It’s usual practice for senior cabinet ministers to host dinners for important stakeholders within their portfolios,” the spokesman said.

“On this occasion the Attorney-General and Minister for Arts hosted key UK senior arts representatives.”

Labor’s Waste Watch spokesman Pat Conroy described the expenses as “obscene”.

“To spend over $400 of taxpayers’ money on wine is unpardonable, especially at the same time as the government is making people pay more at the doctors and petrol pump,” he said.

4. Body of missing six-year-old found in the Murray River

The body of a six-year-old boy has been found in the Murray River, two days after he was swept downstream from near a campsite in Victoria.

New South Wales Police said they recovered the body about 7.5 kilometres north of the campsite on Gunbower Island in Koondrook, at about 2:00pm.

Police, SES and volunteers had been searching for the missing boy since Saturday. Image via ABC News.


Rescue crews had been searching the area on the border of New South Wales and Victoria, since the boy vanished on Saturday.

The boy had been swimming with six other children when they began to drift downstream.

A version of this post originally appeared on the ABC website and has been republished with full permission.

5. Funeral date set for victims of Cairns stabbing

A funeral service for the eight children found dead in a Cairns home two weeks ago, will be held in early January.

ABC News reports that the service for the four girls and four boys, aged two to 14, will take place on Saturday January 10.

Mersane Warria, the mother of seven of the children and aunt of one, has been charged with their murder and will appear in court in early 2015.

Her surviving daughter Norena Warria, 23, said she would stand by her mother and posted a series of messages in support of her mother on her Facebook wall, The Daily Mail reports.

Norena Warria with her mother (right) and stepfather Gavin Willie. Image via Facebook.

“I love my mum & 7 siblings so much. No matter what, I am my mother’s child,” Ms Warria wrote.

“I miss her. ‘My Mummy'”.

6. Bushfire warnings issued for Lake Charm, Mystic Park and Kangaroo Lake in north-west Victoria.

Victoria’s emergency services have issued an emergency warning for those living near Lake Charm, Mystic Park and Kangaroo Lake in the state’s north-west.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) said a fast-moving, out-of-control grassfire was burning eight kilometres west of Lake Charm.


The fire is travelling east towards Kangaroo Lake.

The CFA has warned that people in those areas are in danger and must take shelter immediately.

James Todd from the State Control Centre said the fire may have started from a lightning strike.

He said strong winds were fanning the flames.

“Grassfires of that nature can travel up to 20 to 25 kilometres per hour so they are very fast moving,” he said.

“We’re saying to people don’t get on the road, take shelter now.

“Don’t be driving, there’ll be lots of smoke and lots of emergency vehicles. The best thing to do is take shelter and wait for the fire to pass.”

A total fire ban remains in place for the state’s north east district.

A version of this post originally appeared on the ABC website and has been republished with full permission.

Catch up on more headlines in this 90-second news update from the ABC:


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