tip off


37 – the only number that matters at the Yuendumu Sports Weekend

When the Yuendumu Sports Weekend committee met this week the first item of business was “What can we do to show our support for Adam Goodes?



Is the wealth of the North a myth?

This is a guest post by Glenn Morrison that was first published 1 May 2015 by Rural Weekly NT

 Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles wants to unlock the North to boost Australia’s wealth (Rural Weekly NT April 17). As the member for the Central Australian electorate of Braitling well knows, this particular Myth of The North is an old one.

The story goes like this: The top half of Australia holds vast resources and unlimited potential wealth that must be developed at all costs. Central Australia lies on the southernmost fringe of the North, usually defined as everything above the Tropic of Capricorn.

Nevertheless, Centralians are as keen as any to be included in federal momentum for the North’s development, and any ‘wealth’ that might follow.

But they would do well to pause for breath. As a mythology, the North has roots deep in the nineteenth century. It was at least partly responsible for fuelling a race to the Top End between ill-fated explorers Burke and Wills and the intrepid party of John McDouall Stuart, the first European to cross Central Australia in 1860.

BOB GOSFORD | August 01, 2015 | UNCATEGORIZED | |

Un’altra dimostrazione di sostegno ad Adamo Goodes.

Chips Mackinolty, these past couple of years a happy expatriate in the wilds of inner-city Palermo, sent through a note last night on what he calls the weirdness of social media in the cross cultural universe, here in relation to the furore over the booing of Sydney Swans AFL footballer Adam Goodes.

Chips told of an Italian friend of his who saw the picture of the Pitjantjatjara mob expressing their joyous support for Goodes on Facebook and asked him what it was about … in between admiring the dresses the women were wearing … “tipica!

Chips related his tale in his admittedly lousy Italian.

Si! Le parole, alla lingua Pitjantjatjara, Nyuntu wati wiru dicono: “Tu sei un uomo buono“.

La dimostrazione di sostegno è di circa un uomo aborigeno, un calciatore molto importante, che viene abusato dai tifosi razzisti … simili in modi ad alcuni appassionati di calcio europei. Il suo nome è Adam Goodes, e in questa foto è sostenuto dagli aborigeni della regione centrale del deserto dell’Australia.

In English and Pitjantjatjara

Yes! The words, in the Pitjantjatjara language, Nyuntu Wati Wiru say: “You are a good man.”


Brandis’ new NT judge and the continuing trials of Labor MLA Delia Lawrie

This morning George Brandis’ most recent judicial selection will be formally appointed to the Federal Circuit Court in a ceremonial sitting in the NT Supreme Court in Darwin.

It has been a mixed few weeks for Darwin barrister Tony Young of William Forster Chambers. On 16 July 2015 Attorney-General George “Bookshelves” Brandis announced Young’s appointment–with the faintest of praise–as a judge of the Federal Circuit Court (previously known as the Federal Magistrates Court) based in Darwin. The Brandis presser did little more than rephrase the content of Young’s web-page at his chambers.

It is a curious appointment for several reasons, not least because Tony Young was, until recently at least, chair of the NT Environment Centre, which recently made a successful NT Supreme Court challenge, run by the local Environmental Defenders Office, to a series of decisions involving massive water allocations in the NT by the CLP government. As the NT Environment Centre media release noted at the time, the Federal Government has cut all funding to EDO’s across Australia, and the NT Government has cut all funding to the Environment Centre NT.

Six days after Brandis announced Young’s appointment Justice Stephen Southwood of the NT Supreme Court delivered his judgment in the matter of Lawrie & Wyvill v Lawler, the latest instalment in the NT Supreme Court action bought by former NT Labor Opposition leader Delia Lawrie against Commissioner John Lawler and his conduct of an inquiry into the proposed grant of a lease of Crown land to a local union group during the dying days of Labor’s administration in 2012.

Lawrie claimed that Lawler failed to accord her procedural fairness by not providing her with notice of any adverse findings made against her in his report. You can read my earlier pieces on this matter here, here and here.


Joe Hockey was right – Adam Giles’ push for NT Statehood is a joke

There isn’t much that I share with Joe Hockey–apart from a generous girth–but my response to the announcement earlier this week by NT Chief Minister Adam Giles that the COAG meeting had endorsed his bid for NT statehood by 2018 matched Joe’s.

Joe was standing before a pack of snappers and scribblers, laughing like a drain. When I heard the news on the ABC I laughed so hard that I nearly drove off the road into one.

Despite the hype following the Giles announcement, the COAG missive was a modest one-liner squeezed in at the fag end of the communiqué:

Leaders also supported the Northern Territory Chief Minister’s resolve for the NT to become Australia’s seventh state by 1 July 2018. The Chief Minister will report on progress at the next meeting of COAG.

Just in case you might believe this tosh the NT will NOT be getting Statehood by 2018 or anytime soon after.



One year more! Environmental Defenders Office (NT) lives to fight on for another year.

This is the text of a media release issued earlier today by the Environmental Defenders Office (NT).

Regular readers may recall my report on the art auction mentioned in the media release below. 

One year more! Environmental Law Centre confirms it will continue to help the community protect the environment and ensure government accountability until at least the next Territory election.

Riding on the back of an enormous wave of public support, the Northern Territory’s only community legal centre specialising in environmental law, the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), has confirmed today it will continue to help members of the Territory community to protect the environment through law until at least the next Territory election.

An incredibly successful art auction and an emergency grant from the NT Law Society have ensured the EDO’s survival for the coming financial year.

“This is a sensational result for the many Territorians who value our near pristine environment; it is a great result for access to justice; and it’s a great result for people who value government and industry accountability,” said David Morris, the EDO’s Principal Lawyer.


Abbott’s white paper for the black tropics: Boon or boondoggle?

Boondoggle: (noun) an unnecessary, wasteful, or fraudulent project.

“The North” has always been a convenient target for massive social engineering by politicians from “The South.” If you live in the comfortable South, The North is a mythical far away land regarded with fear and loathing; a place that no sane person wants to live–or die in; a place to spend as little time in as is necessary and a place that you can muck around with at a comfortable remove and to your political pleasure. There are very good reasons why politicians, like so much of the workforce up here, fly-in and fly-out as quick as they can, and only in the Dry Season, when the humidity drops below 80% and the temperate below 34c.

The best reason for politicians to ignore The North is that it is a political terra nullius. Bugger-all people live up here and that means bugger-all votes. The NT sends just four politicians to Canberra–two each from the major parties to each Federal house–and it will be ever thus until the population climbs well above that of a middling-sized Shire council in The South. And few votes means there are no real reasons why they should send any more of your hard-earned readies to us lotus-eating northerners.

Except when it suits. Next year there will be elections for Canberra and in the NT and Western Australia will follow in 2017.



Robyn Lambley on the ‘politics of hate, discord and lies’ – the ‘dark, unpleasant, amoral cabal’ that rules the NT

As the sun set behind her and the Olive-backed Orioles chortled in the palm trees, Robyn Lambley stood alone and somewhat forlorn on the vast wasteland that is the forecourt of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. She was waiting to speak to the media–all four of us–about the explosive speech she has just delivered in the Assembly in which she announced her resignation from the ruling Country Liberal Party.

During that speech, notionally in support of Labor Opposition Leader Michael Gunner’s motion that an ICAC be established in the NT, Lambley launched a long-overdue spray at her own party, the CLP, Chief Minister Adam Giles and the “boys club” within the parliamentary wing of his party. You can read the transcript of her speech here.



Robyn Lambley: We stand at a crossroads for the Territory

This is an edited transcript* of Robyn Lambley’s speech made an hour ago  in which she announced her resignation from the Country Liberal Party.

She will continue as the member for Araluen in the NT Legislative Assembly.

Robyn Lambley – 17th June 2015


The Northern Territory Electoral Commission recommended the Electorate of Araluen be scrapped in the 2015 Electoral Redistribution, announced yesterday on Tuesday 16th June.

Although this is not the final decision, it would seem highly likely the Electorate of Araluen is history, and will be merged into the three surrounding Central Australian electorates of Braitling, Greatorex and the new electorate of Batterbee (formerly Stuart) from August 2016.

My Privilege

I would like to say at the outset that my time as the Member for Araluen has been an absolute privilege. It has been a dream come true, to represent a section of the Alice Springs population in the Northern Territory Parliament.

I am forever grateful to the people of Araluen for bestowing me this incredible honour and responsibility.

I am very proud of the work I have done in Araluen.


“I’m not English … I don’t feel Greek … I’m not a ‘Territorian’ … I am Darwin.”

This is a guest post (see previous here) from Tony Haritos.*

The book ‘I am Darwin’** was conceived with the intention of the Haritos and Harmanis families commemorating one hundred years since first setting foot on Darwin soil from their native Greece in 1915, writes editor Tony Haritos.

Eustratios Haritos arrived in Darwin in June 1915 followed by Eleni Harmanis and her brother Louis in 1917. Eustratios and Eleni married soon after.

Published on 5 June 2015, this story of migration and escape from conflict, persecution and hardship to a better world is a story applicable to many Australian families. Save for the indigenous people of this land, almost all new Australians families came by sea … our family to Darwin via the Suez Canal and Singapore

When Darwin-born George Haritos (in 1920) was once asked to describe his identity he said, “Well, I’m not English … I don’t feel Greek … I’m not a ‘Territorian’ … I am Darwin.

The much-admired quote summarises how his family who grew up in pre-WWII Darwin felt.


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