IN DEPTH

Here's what you need to know today, May 19, 2020

ACM, the publisher of this website, has journalists in every state and territory in Australia and below we bring you the best of our content from across our network today.

We hope it can help you find your path during this strangest period in our lives.

Here are some quick links to the key content today:

Gold Coast whale rescuer facing $26,000 fine

A man in a boat has rescued a whale calf trapped in nets off the Gold Coast.

A man in a boat has rescued a whale calf trapped in nets off the Gold Coast.

A man in a tinny could be fined more than $26,000 for rescuing a whale calf trapped in nets off the Gold Coast before authorities could reach the scene.

The man rescued the stricken animal on Tuesday morning as officials took more than two hours to respond.

"I saw the whale and I thought, 'That is pretty cool'. Then I saw he was in the net and I thought, 'That is not cool'," the rescuer, who asked not to be named, told reporters.

He took off his shirt and donned swimming fins before diving into waters off Burleigh Heads, using his knife to free the baby whale's pectoral fin from the net which was cutting into its flesh.

"He was about eight to nine metres deep. Because of the adrenalin my heart was just pumping," he said, describing his repeated resurfacing.

Raiders call Campbelltown Stadium home as NRL season resumes

Jarrod Croker and the Raiders will call Campbelltown home.

Jarrod Croker and the Raiders will call Campbelltown home.

The Canberra Raiders will call Campbelltown Stadium home until at least round nine of the revamped NRL season.

Six venues - Western Sydney Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium, Central Coast Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, Townsville Stadium and Melbourne - will be used during phase one of the season.

The Melbourne Storm have been cleared to play home games at their regular venue, meaning Canberra's campaign will resume behind enemy lines on May 30.

The venues were selected on a range of factors including those best equipped to meet the NRL's strict biosecurity protocols.

Newcastle coal activists to face sentencing on 'unprecedented' charge

A GROUP of anti-coal activists that protest organisers have dubbed the "Newcastle 19" are due to face court on Tuesday.

Frontline Action on Coal said the protesters, who were part of a blockade of the city's port in September 2018, would face sentencing on Tuesday morning.

"Back in September 2018, the group affiliated with Frontline Action on Coal shut down both the NCIG port and Port Warratah for six hours in a bold and peaceful action to send a clear message: end coal," the group said in a statement.

The Newcastle Herald reported at the time that the protesters due to face court on Tuesday were part of larger climate-change action across the city.

Hazelwood fined $1.56m over Victorian mine fire

The fire at Hazelwood's open cut coal mine blanketed the nearby town of Morwell with smoke and ash.

The fire at Hazelwood's open cut coal mine blanketed the nearby town of Morwell with smoke and ash.

The operator of a defunct Victorian power station must fork out more than $1.5 million after a bushfire spread to its coal mine and burned for 45 days.

Hazelwood Power Corporation was convicted of putting employees and nearby residents at risk by failing to prepare for the February 2014 fire in the state's Latrobe Valley.

It was fined $1.56 million in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Tuesday.

The company wasn't responsible for the blaze that started near the mine during extreme weather. But a jury found Hazelwood guilty of 10 out of 12 occupational health and safety breaches.

Aussie barley farmers cop China tax whack

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says Australia is 'deeply disappointed' by China's barley tariffs.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says Australia is 'deeply disappointed' by China's barley tariffs.

Gutted Australian barley growers have warned of a bitter blow to the nation's economy after China slapped a whopping 80 per cent tariff on imports.

China has imposed harsh taxes on Australian barley with separate tariffs of 73.6 per cent for dumping allegations and 6.9 per cent over supposed government subsidies.

Both claims have been emphatically denied by the government and farmers.

Diplomatic tensions between Canberra and Beijing have soared after Australia pushed for an inquiry into the origins of coronavirus.

More than 110 nations including China backed the inquiry at the World Health Assembly on Monday night.

Police collect evidence after seventh Portland drug house raid

Busted: Crophouse No. 7.

Busted: Crophouse No. 7.

Police officers on Tuesday dismantled the third cannabis grow house found in Portland during the past couple of weeks, containing another 300 plants.

Detective Sergeant Jason von Tunk, of the Portland police crime investigation unit, said Portland and Hamilton detectives and Portland uniform officers raided an address in Must Street at 5.15am Tuesday.

A 40-year-old Vietnamese national was arrested and charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis.

He was remanded in custody and will appear in Warrnambool Magistrates Court at a later date.

It is the seventh cannabis south-west crop house busted in the past few weeks - with three in Portland, two in Hamilton and one each in Warrnambool and Horsham.

Tasmania hopes for July call on borders

Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein.

Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein.

Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein says it is far too early to set a date for reopening the island's border but he is hopeful of making a call in July.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has urged state and territories to look at opening their borders to domestic visitors if COVID-19 case numbers stay low.

But Mr Gutwein says it would not be common sense to name a date at this point.

"It is far too early to be setting a date, to be frank," he said on Tuesday.

"We don't want the devastating consequences associated with a second wave.

Two die in 24 hours in Tasmanian hospital after testing COVID-19 positive

Two people in their 60s have died at the North West Regional Hospital in the space of 24 hours.

A man died on Sunday morning and a woman died early on Monday; they had both previously tested positive for coronavirus.

However, Acting Public Health Director Scott McKeown said neither of the deaths will be counted as coronavirus-related until the coroner finalised further testing.

Both people also had serious pre-existing health conditions when they died.

This story Here's what you need to know this Tuesday first appeared on The Canberra Times.