Ken O'Dowd is holding a low key party at his office on the night of the 2019 federal election surrounded by some of his volunteers and supporters.
Ken O'Dowd is holding a low key party at his office on the night of the 2019 federal election surrounded by some of his volunteers and supporters.

The big stories that made headlines in Gladstone in 2019

FROM a federal election, to the beginning of new projects to being named the "sexiest" town in Australia, there have been plenty of ups and downs for the Port City in 2019. Here are some of the highlights from the year that's been.

 

'Quite pleasing': O'Dowd speaks out on surprise lead

TIPPED as a key seat in the federal election, Flynn was expected to have a cliffhanger result, but within two hours of counting it was clear how the electorate had voted. Incumbent Nationals MP Ken O'Dowd retained his seat for a fourth term, with support falling for second-time Labor candidate Zac Beers.

 

Worker who put Shorten on spot suspended

In April a Gladstone Ports worker who tripped up Bill Shorten on Labor's tax plan for high-income earners in his trip to Gladstone in May was suspended and forced to find another job.

The 49-year-old was told he was in breach for speaking to the media when filmed questioning Mr Shorten at the Queensland Government-owned Gladstone Ports Corporation, saying "it would be good to see higher wage earners given a tax break".

 

Sa fety overhaul recommended after Dianne, Cassandra inquest

 

Ruben McDornan speaks to media outside Gladstone Magistrates Court, where an inquest is taking place into the Dianne and Cassandra maritime tragedies.
Ruben McDornan speaks to media outside Gladstone Magistrates Court, where an inquest is taking place into the Dianne and Cassandra maritime tragedies.

FAMILIES of the eight men who met their untimely deaths while working at sea were handed the findings from a five-day inquest into two maritime tragedies in August.

Central Coroner David O'Connell made nine recommendations in his findings from the inquest into the sinkings of fishing vessels Dianne, which sank off the coast of Seventeen Seventy in 2017, and Cassandra.

 

Vacancy rates fall, rents increase as confidence returns

INTERSTATE investors are returning to the region as demand outweighs supply in a thriving rental market, while more people are also looking to buy a home.

The year's final Herron Todd White Month In Review property report found Gladstone's vacancy rate had fallen to 1.8 per cent, the lowest since 2012.

 

Mayor accepts 5000 signatures for rate freeze

 

Mayor Matt Burnett receives a petition for a rates reduction and freeze from Jo-Ann Cuthbertson.
Mayor Matt Burnett receives a petition for a rates reduction and freeze from Jo-Ann Cuthbertson.

A PETITION seeking a five-year freeze on rates and a reduction was accepted by Gladstone Regional Council on November 5 after resident Jo-Ann Cuthbertson launched the Change.org petition in September and collected 5000 signatures.

 

C ar chase ends in crash, escapee tasered by police

 

An incident occurred on the corner of Dawson Highway and Aerodrome Road at around midday after an escaped prisoner allegedly attempted to flee from police.
An incident occurred on the corner of Dawson Highway and Aerodrome Road at around midday after an escaped prisoner allegedly attempted to flee from police.

 

AN EIGHT-day cat and mouse game between a Rockhampton prison escapee and police came to a dramatic end when he crashed into many cars before being tasered and arrested by police.

Criminal Lui "Dylan" Tiaaleaiga, 26, escaped Corrective Services officers' custody while at Rockhampton Hospital on July 27 and was captured in Gladstone on August 3.

 

Gladstone region headed for a 'health crisis'

GLADSTONE could be headed for a "health crisis" because general practices will struggle to hire doctors under a new area classification.

As of July 1, Gladstone medical practices must hire Australian doctors who have passed their Australian GP exam or doctors who have worked in Australia for 10 years. Some practices have had to turn patients away due to a shortage of GPs they are unable to replace.

 

Former ports CEO speaks out over sacking

Peter O'Sullivan has challenged his former employer Gladstone Ports Corporation's actions after he was accused of misconduct and sacked as chief executive officer.

The former Ports boss of three years was suspended with pay in December last year and GPC confirmed Mr O'Sullivan had been dismissed after a "thorough and extensive" investigation.

 

Gladstone Mater offers under consideration

THE Gladstone Mater Hospital in February reduced its opening hours from 24/7 to a five-day-a-week surgical service.

In March Mercy Health and Aged Care confirmed it had put the hospital on the market.

Expressions of interest for the sale of the hospital closed in September with real estate agency Cushman and Wakefield and Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland confirming bids were currently under consideration.

 

SEXY AND WE KNOW IT: Gladstone makes national list

 

Picture: Shuttlestock
Picture: Shuttlestock

Gladstone was recently named Australia's sexiest town - based on the sales of sex toys on the Lovehoney website from the past year.

Yes, your dildo, butt plug and/or vibrator purchases have not gone unnoticed.

 

Locals will 'dig' East Shores Stage 1B

 

Gladstone Ports Corporation chair Peter Corones, Hutchinson Builders director Russell Fryer, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher and GPC acting CEO Craig Walker at the turning of the sod to mark the start of construction for the $29.5m East Shores Stage 1b project. Pictured in the background is cruise ship Carnival Spirit.
Gladstone Ports Corporation chair Peter Corones, Hutchinson Builders director Russell Fryer, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher and GPC acting CEO Craig Walker at the turning of the sod to mark the start of construction for the $29.5m East Shores Stage 1b project. Pictured in the background is cruise ship Carnival Spirit.

GLADSTONE Ports Corporation chairman Peter Corones summed it up best when describing a completed East Shores Stage 1B as the "cappuccino-isation and chardonnay-isation of Gladstone" when the first sod was turned at the site yesterday.

Work on the $29.5 million East Shores expansion is under way, with the finished project to feature a waterfront cafe, improved cruise passenger interface, amphitheatre and further landscaping works.



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