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BOB GOSFORD | August 23, 2015 | MUSIC | |

Spangeled Drongoes (sic) – Live at Bonehead’s. 05/09/15

If you need to ask you don’t deserve to know … or as NC says, “I’ve lived in this town for thirty years … and I put new bullets in my gun, chamber after chamber … oh, my God, oh, my God.”

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BOB GOSFORD | August 21, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 10 |

NT Health Minister John Elferink on death, dollars and dialysis

NT Health Minister John Elferink is one of those politicians who would have you believe that he is the smartest person in any room he’s in.

Sometimes his calls are crazy-brave, sometime they just seem more than a little crazy, or as NT News columnist Maria Billias said of his latest spray in The Daily Telegraph yesterday:

I am absolutely appalled that anyone–particularly the Health Minister of the Northern Territory–would think this is an acceptable thing to even think, let alone say. Unless of course they had a sociopathic personality disorder.

Billias was railing–in the very real-world context of her beloved 85-year-old grandfather’s battle with dementia–against Elferink’s comments made yesterday that because the elderly and chronically ill consume a disproportionate part of the NT health budget, particularly in the last years of their life, that that money would be better spent on the young.

Elferink used kidney disease as an example of where such savings might be made.

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BOB GOSFORD | August 20, 2015 | UNCATEGORIZED | |

Delia Lawrie and a “wilful disregard of the known facts”

It has long been said that the toughest job in Australian politics is that of Opposition leader in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly.

This was particularly true during the twenty-seven years that the NT Labor Party suffered while the Country Liberal Party ran the joint between 1974 and 2001, when Clare Martin finally led Labor out of the wilderness.

Labor did a tolerably good job of running the NT until it ran out of enthusiasm and skill and was smacked by a resurgent CLP under Terry Mills at the 2012 general election.

Delia Lawrie was elected as Labor opposition leader and by early this year was sitting pretty to win the next election in a canter, largely due to the manifest failures of the CLP under Chief Ministers Mills and, following an ugly coup in March 2013, current leader Adam Giles, who now leads a minority government. That election–if the CLP can run their full term–will be in late August 2016.

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BOB GOSFORD | August 19, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 2 |

“Journalist lunatics” – 1; Travel agent – 1 in NT Supreme Court suppression standoff

Not long ago Alexandra “Xana” Kamitsis might have been described in the media as a “glamorous socialite” or “highly respected businesswoman.”

Her profile at Ruby Connection describes her as a woman “recognised for her natural charm, elegant style and business savvy approach … Xana is extremely well connected within Darwin both politically and locally.”

Her current businesses ventures include Latitude Travel, a highly successful niche travel and event management company for high-end business and corporate executives with clients from all over the world.

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BOB GOSFORD | August 18, 2015 | ANIMALS | |

Not fair? UK rejects visa for Ugandan bird guide to attend Bird Fair 2015

Deep in my desk drawer I have a thick swatch of business cards given to me during a visit to South Africa in 2008 to attend at the 12th Pan-African Ornithological Congress at Rawsonville in the Western Cape. Most are from the usual academics and bird-conservation workers from across the African continent and beyond. Other cards came from a disparate group of bird-guides from a long list of countries–Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burundi and Uganda among others.

I was at the PAOC meeting to co-chair a day-long session on ethno-ornithology that spilled over into a round-table session and many long after-hours yarns with fellow presenters and congress participants. One of the cards in my drawer was given to me by Herbert Byaruhanga, a keen birder and expert wildlife guide from Uganda who was very interested in the added value that local bird knowledge could do to enhance his business and that of his fellow bird guides.

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BOB GOSFORD | August 16, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 1 |

Is the NT’s paperless arrest scheme a new “hallmark of tyranny”?

In October last year, Jonathon Hunyor, principal solicitor at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) made a prediction that he hoped would never be realised. He told CAAMA TV in Alice Springs that new NT government laws [the "paperless arrest" regime] effectively allowed police to impose a sentence of four hours without a charge even being laid, noting that the lessons of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody were being ignored.

Earlier this month Hunyor’s worst fears were realised. While appearing at a coronial inquest for the family of an Aboriginal man who earlier this year died while in police custody pursuant to that new law he reminded the NT Coroner, Greg Cavanagh, of the following words of Justice Deane in Donaldson v Broomby nearly thirty-five years ago.

Arrest is the deprivation of freedom. The ultimate instrument of arrest is force. The customary companions of arrest are ignominy and fear. The police power of arbitrary arrest is a negation of any true right to personal liberty. A police practice of arbitrary arrest is a hallmark of tyranny. Donaldson v Broomby (1981) A Crim R 160.

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BOB GOSFORD | August 14, 2015 | ABORIGINAL & ISLANDER ART | |

Vale Mr Illaga

THE Northern Land Council is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of another senior custodian of Aboriginal law and culture, Mr Illaga, who this week passed away at his home at Minyerri (Hodgson Downs).

Mr Illaga served on the Full Council of the Northern Land Council from 1995 to 2004. This time is but a small indicator of the long and valuable leadership that he provided to his family, his clan and language groups and to the Northern Land Council for much of his life.

Mr Illaga was born at Hodgson Downs Station in January 1938 and was a Bardi Bardi man through his father, Tommy Yananyinginu. His mother was Ruby Mekun, an Alawa woman.

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BOB GOSFORD | August 07, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 3 |

Vale Mr Wunungmurra. A true Yolngu hero

The Northern Land Council is saddened by the death of former chairman, Mr Wunungmurra

Media Release

Friday, 7 August, 2015

The Northern Land Council is deeply saddened by news of the death of its immediate past chairman, Mr Wunungmurra, who passed away this afternoon at Gove Hospital.

Mr Wunungmurra retired as NLC chairman in late 2013, having served two three-year terms.

His successor, Mr Samuel Bush-Blanasi, said Mr Wunungmurra was an Aboriginal leader of high degree, whose wise counsel was always respected.

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BOB GOSFORD | August 06, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 2 |

Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture 2015. “You can keep your gold. We just want our land back.”

Vincent Lingiari knew who he was and that this land held him close to its heart. “You can keep your gold. We just want our land back.”

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BOB GOSFORD | August 02, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | |

Dear New Matilda, it isn’t always about race …

There can be little doubt that Amy McQuire, as New Matilda proudly claimed when she joined their stable of scribblers a year ago, is “one of the nation’s most prominent young Aboriginal journalists.”

In a piece published in NM last week, McQuire, as is evident from the title–Imaginary Spear Outrages Australia. Slap On The Wrist For Hit And Run Death Of Black Child Doesn’t–sought to draw a connection between the treatment of Adam Goodes over the past few months and the terrible circumstances of the death of a young boy in a hit and run accident near to his home in the Darwin satellite city of Palmerston last November.

McQuire said that:

The fact that a man walks away with such a light sentence over the death of an Aboriginal child, and Australia stays largely silent about it, says a lot about the different laws in this country – one for black, and one for white. If this was a white kid in a different city, you can bet it would be on the front pages of newspapers around the country.

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