tip off

BOB GOSFORD | November 18, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 6 |

Dear Madam Speaker, there has been a coup … oh, wait.

Kezia Purick has been–until early this morning at least–a popular and more-than-competent Speaker of the NT Legislative Assembly. But in a close-to-midnight move by the Leader of Government Business, John Elferink, the CLP tried to get Purick removed as Speaker for apparent non-compliance with the standards expected of the Speaker of an Australian Parliament.

BOB GOSFORD | November 17, 2015 | PHOTOGRAPHY | |

Halloween in Mojave, CA.

I’ve been to the small town of Mojave a few times over the last couple of years. I ran into these two characters on Halloween last month.

BOB GOSFORD | November 17, 2015 | UNCATEGORIZED | |

Felco No. 2 secateurs. My favourite thing no. 1,278.

Thirty years or so ago I walked into a hardware store in a small town in the NT after a pair of new secateurs. In that store was a few pairs of Felco pruning shears, for mine the Rolls Royce of hand-held cutters.

The price they were asking was, at the time at least, ridiculous. Some way or another a pair ended up in my pocket as I walked out of the store and they are one of the few things that I still have from that time.

BOB GOSFORD | November 12, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 1 |

NAAJA v NT in the High Court: a wider perspective

This is a guest post by Darwin-based legal academic Ken Parish.

You can read my earlier piece on the NT’s so-called “paperless arrest laws” here.

Further to my post on Tuesday, the result in yesterday’s High Court decision in NAAJA v NT [2015] HCA 41 will not have made either side completely happy. The Court upheld the validity of the NT government’s “paperless arrest” law by a 6:1 majority i.e. the NT government won.

However, all Justices determined the matter essentially by application of statutory interpretation principles, and all but two (Gageler and Keane JJ) declined to determine the question of whether Territorial legislatures and executives were constrained by the separation of powers doctrine that restricts the Commonwealth, essentially because it was unnecessary to answer it. They interpreted the legislation as not having a punitive operation, and therefore it would not infringe separation of powers principles even if they applied.

BOB GOSFORD | November 12, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 1 |

Ten reasons the NT’s “Daniel’s Law” will be bad for sexual assault victims

This is a guest post by Russell Goldflam, President of the Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory (CLANT).

You can see an earlier post by Russell Goldflam on this issue from December 2014 here

“Daniel’s Law” (the full title is the Sex Offender and Child Homicide Offender Public Website Bill 2015) is named after Daniel Morecombe, who was murdered in 2003 by a convicted sex offender on parole, and is modelled after “Megan’s Law” in the United States.

In the event that “Daniel’s Law” is implemented as proposed, members of the public will be able to access the names, images, physical description and regional location of sex offenders living in the Northern Territory. 

Consistent with the earlier view taken on this proposed legislation, CLANT “strongly opposes Daniel’s Law, which will do no good, and cause significant harm.”

BOB GOSFORD | November 11, 2015 | BIRD OF THE WEEK | |

Bird of the Week: Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis

I’m driving around the US between conferences. As I posted here, last week I was at the Raptor Research Foundation‘s meeting at Sacramento two hours east of San Francisco.

On my way back through Los Angeles en-route to southern Texas (don’t ask why I travelled via LA in peak hour traffic).

En-route back to Mojave from Sacramento last Sunday I stopped in at the Merced National Wildlife Reserve, one of a chain of wildlife reserves throughout the extensive agricultural region of the Central Valley.



Vale Helen Ester. 3 December 1944 to 31 October 2015

This is a guest post by Brenda L. Croft.

Helen Ester (Cunningham) was born in Sydney during the final year of the World War II to Dr William Davies Cunningham and Ella Margaret Lindsay Cunningham (née Hudson). Helen’s early life was spent in the privileged environs of Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, in Woollahra and Bronte.

Educated at Ascham in Edgecliff and at Frensham in the Southern Highlands, Helen described herself as always feeling somewhat of an outsider. Disinterested in climbing the establishment ladder, a requisite for many of her fellow students, she left before receiving her Leaving Certificate matriculation.

Like many young women, Helen trained as a typist but found the work stultifying. Enrolled in a writing and journalism correspondence course her first article – on scuba-diving with sharks – was published in Walkabout, an illustrated magazine covering cultural, geographic and scientific topics, with contributions by some of Australia’s best known authors and photographers of the day. Her chosen topic could be viewed as a prescient metaphor for her later stint with the Federal Press Gallery in Canberra.

BOB GOSFORD | November 08, 2015 | BIRDS AND PEOPLE | |

Ornithogenic Fire: Raptors as Propagators of Fire in the Australian Savanna

This is a presentation made earlier today at the Raptor Research Foundation meeting at Sacramento, CA.

Thanks to my co-author Mark Bonta of Penn State University for his invaluable assistance with this presentation.

Please note that this presentation is but a summary of our work which will emerge as a full-blown paper in the near future.


Birds are key taxa in the study of the impact of fire on Australian savanna woodlands – but most studies examine the impact upon birds, not the impact of birds in relation to fire;

Two commonly accepted sources of fire in Australia – anthropogenic and lightning. But we want to ask if there is a third cause?

Here we look at the evidence that two raptors – the endemic Brown Falcon Falco berigora and the globally-abundant Black Kite Milvus migrans – may be propagators of fire in the Australian savanna and perhaps elsewhere; and

BOB GOSFORD | October 13, 2015 | ANIMALS | 4 |

Do these raptors spread fire in the Australian savanna?

Black Kite, Milvus migrans

In a few weeks I’ll set off again for the US to present on my latest research project at two big international conferences.

The first will be the Raptor Research Foundation’s meeting at Sacramento in California in early November. You can read more about the meeting here and see the scientific program here (I’m in a session on the last day with eminent Gray Falcon researcher Jonny Schoenjahn).


BOB GOSFORD | October 05, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 2 |

The trouble with Delia … NT Labor dumps on a 14 year veteran MLA

This is a guest post by Darwin-based legal academic Ken Parish.

I can’t help commenting that I’m really sad about the way things are going for NT Labor MLA and former leader Delia Lawrie (see the local ABC report here).

I can certainly see why the current Parliamentary and administrative leadership want to draw the curtain on Delia’s political career to minimise electoral fallout from the forthcoming Court of Appeal civil hearing and any criminal matter that might emerge (a possibility that certainly can’t be ruled out).


Womens Agenda


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