Here's what you need to know today: May 20

GOOD morning everyone. Here's what you need to know in Gladstone today.

WEATHER

Gladstone can expect a cloudy day with scattered showers developing during the morning, becoming less likely in the late afternoon. Winds will be E/SE and light.

A top of 25 is forecast after a low of 18. 

Tides: High 3.98m at 1.06am and 3.27m at 1.46pm; low 1.04m at 7.42am and 1.31m at 7.37pm.

Click here for more local weather information.

ROADS

The Gladstone marina bridge will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, as well as boats needing the bridge to be opened, for three days from Monday to Wednesday.

The bridge will be closed from 7am-5pm, and will operate as usual outside those hours. The closure is necessary while noise-reduction works are undertaken.

Alternative access for vehicles will be via Alf O'Rourke Dr. Marine vessels will need to make alternative arrangements during the closure times. 

Blackgate Road in Wooderson is closed.

The Burnett Highway is closed to all traffic between Bouldercombe and Mount Morgan due to a rock slide on the Mount Morgan range. Take an alternate route to Mt Morgan via Burnett Highway, Poison Creek Rd and Razorback Rd.

Sandy Creek on Turkey Beach Road is down to a single lane on weekdays from 6am to 6pm, then two lanes after 6pm, because of roadworks.

WHAT'S ON

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will visit Gladstone today to discuss the future of meat exports from Gladstone harbour and the fire ant eradication program. More here.

Gladstone Regional Council will have a general meeting today from 9am, at the council chambers at 101 Goondoon St, Gladstone. More here.

A Tendering for Government Business workshop is on at 33 Goondoon St, Gladstone from 8am to 1pm.

The workshop will help suppliers maximise their chances of winning government work. It is also applicable to the private sector, including major projects.

Cost is $50. More details are available here.

Day and evening tai chi classes are held at the Uniting Church Hall, Dixon Drive. For more details and enrolment phone 4972 9552 or email admin @gata.org.au.

Beginner belly dance classes are on from 6.20pm at the QCWA Hall in Oaka Lane. Great for fun and fitness for women of all ages, sizes and fitness levels.

For more information phone Melanie on 4975 0815 or 0413 004 580.  

Just Rock Gladstone will hold beginner rockabilly classes weekly until June 17 at the Gladstone Bowls Club in Ferris St. The 40-minute classes will start at 7pm. Cost is $5 per person.

To register, contact Lyn on 0409 620 052 after 3pm.

Toadbusters is on from 7pm for those keen on keeping this threat to native wildlife under control. Phone Tracey Fenech  on 4972 4969 for the location.

QUEENSLAND NEWS

Weak coal prices are bleeding multinational miners dry and drawing smaller and more nimble firms out of the shadows, ready to prey on an operation going cheap. More here.

Queensland's Housing Minister Tim Mander will next week push for a new affordable housing category in the wake of Federal Government's decision to axe the National Rental Affordability Scheme. More here.

Police have seized $175,000 of suspected stolen property and 50,000 cannabis seeds as part of a drug operation in Queensland's north. More here.

NATIONAL NEWS

Prime Minister Tony Abbott seems to be pursuing a divide-and-conquer strategy to negotiate with the states over $80 billion of budget cuts. More here.

A senior Coalition MP has called for the GST to apply to fresh food as rattled colleagues questioned the government's pre-budget political strategy and admitted they have been hit by a wave of voter anger over the broken promises, new taxes and cuts in federal Treasurer Joe Hockey's first budget. More here.

A new study on the effects of the NAPLAN tests has found the nationwide school testing is not achieving what it set out to do, and is having unintended negative consequences. More here.

WORLD NEWS

The US Department of Justice has charged five individuals in China's People's Liberation Army in connection with stealing trade secrets from some of the largest US companies, including Westinghouse, United States Steel and Alcoa. More here.

Bosnia says more than a quarter of its population has been affected by the worst floods to hit the Balkans in living memory, comparing the "terrifying" destruction to that of the country's 1992-95 war. More here.

Iraq's prime minister Nuri al-Maliki has won the most seats in the national election but fallen short of a majority. More here.

SPORT

Queensland coach Mal Meninga says that State of Origin organisers should apologise to fans for the high price of tickets this year. More here.

Aidan Guerra is the only new face in Queensland's 17-man squad for next week's State of Origin I. More here.

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka has pulled out of the French Open as she struggles to recover from a foot injury. More here.

Queensland Reds lock Ed O'Donoghue has been cleared of the stain of eye gouging after being exonerated at a judicial hearing on Monday evening. More here.

HISTORY

  • 1506 - In Spain, Christopher Columbus died in poverty.
  • 1674 - John Sobieski became Poland's first King.
  • 1784 - The Peace of Versailles ended a war between France, England, and Holland.
  • 1830 - The fountain pen was patented by H.D. Hyde.
  • 1867 - Copper is first discovered in Queensland, sparking the founding of the town of Cloncurry.
  • 1899 - Jacob German of New York City became the first driver to be arrested for speeding. The posted speed limit was reportedly 12 miles per hour.
  • 1961 - A white mob attacked the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama. The event prompted the federal government to send US marshals.
  • 1993 - The final episode of "Cheers" was aired on NBC-TV.


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