Robert Gosford —

Robert Gosford

Likes birds and people, not necessarily in that order.

Latest

The trouble with shit-hawks – the firespreading raptors of northern Australia

The trouble with shit-hawks – the firespreading raptors of northern Australia

June 15, 2018

A post that looks at our research into firespreading raptors in the Top End of Australia ... and beyond.

Jo Best on the public realm, an energy ponzi scheme and resilience at Resilient Darwin

Jo Best on the public realm, an energy ponzi scheme and resilience at Resilient Darwin

June 10, 2018 2

Cultural recognition & sensitivity, jobs, affordable housing (including during occupation), tourism opportunities, environmental protection, identity, community, and the much touted “liveable city”. We live in a town that is being moulded by traffic engineers instead of strategic thinkers like urban designers, demographers and economists.

Mark Basil Butler – A Life in Books. Book 8: My Family and Other Animus, by James Jeffrey

Mark Basil Butler – A Life in Books. Book 8: My Family and Other Animus, by James Jeffrey

May 3, 2018

For James Jeffrey, it is not about the politics, but the people, which is probably why he has managed to survive for so long in the toxic political environment at the Oz, stuffed as it is with Liberal Party operatives and conservative thinkers (forgive the oxymoron). He is genuinely (not, unlike many News Corpse writers, unintentionally) funny. Deeply funny. The kind of funny that leaves you in tears, but not always tears of laughter.

Uluru’s Field of Lights: Underwhelming and reminiscent of aisle 12 at Bunnings

Uluru’s Field of Lights: Underwhelming and reminiscent of aisle 12 at Bunnings

May 2, 2018 2

The field spreads out before us as a jacket of a tradie after a Saturday night at Monsoons nightclub in Darwin. We feel a level of regret akin to those Sunday mornings at having parted with 35 precious dollars to observe a wide scale recreation of the lightbulb section of Aisle 12 Bunnings.

Fracking in the NT: can cement provide more than a temporary “triumph of expertise over nature”?

Fracking in the NT: can cement provide more than a temporary “triumph of expertise over nature”?

April 30, 2018 2

The everyday materiality of cement raises everyday questions: what about the effects of corrosion, seismic activity, moisture, design flaws and age on cement’s presumed durability? Harkness writes that concrete’s “guileful ruse is to offer us a permanent fix, once and for all”. Cement’s claim of permanence is deceptive, particularly when compared with the resource that is to be extracted.

Goanna of the Week – arlewatyerre or aremaye?

Goanna of the Week – arlewatyerre or aremaye?

April 17, 2018

The generic gloss (non-Arandic & non-scientific) term for these brightly-coloured and drop-dead gorgeous (as food and on the eye) monitor lizards is Sand Goanna. Not very helpful when the landscape is dominated by rock and and lots ... biggest mobs in fact ... of red sand.

Doing the Darwin Shuffle Part Two. The Northern Territory as a tax haven: 1982 to 1986

Doing the Darwin Shuffle Part Two. The Northern Territory as a tax haven: 1982 to 1986

April 15, 2018 1

Senator WALSH — I was aware of the fact that the Northern Territory is heavily dependent upon Commonwealth revenue [and] I have noted from time to time that nobody has a more voracious appetite for Commonwealth money than the present Northern Territory Chief Minister, although incongruously nobody is a more vocal critic of the Commonwealth taxes which raise the revenue which he so voraciously consumes. Senator Peter Walsh, Hansard, May 1983.

Doing the Darwin Shuffle. The Northern Territory as a tax haven. Part One: 1971 to 1982

Doing the Darwin Shuffle. The Northern Territory as a tax haven. Part One: 1971 to 1982

April 15, 2018

Graeme Lewis was part éminence grise, part bagman and part trouble-maker—as often within as without—for the NT's Country Liberal Party for more than forty years. Lewis passed away in early April while speaking from the floor of the 2018 annual conference of his beloved CLP. For all his apparent successes and failings—I'll leave the hagiography and excoriation for others—Graeme Lewis never held publicly elected office but nonetheless deserves respect as the Northern Territory's long-term political player par excellence. Lewis was also a prominent player in the Darwin Shuffle, the avoidance scheme that operated in the NT from at least the early 1970s through to the 1980s.

“A species of contempt heretofore unknown to the law”: Registrar of the Supreme Court (NT) v Nationwide News and Craig Dunlop

“A species of contempt heretofore unknown to the law”: Registrar of the Supreme Court (NT) v Nationwide News and Craig Dunlop

April 3, 2018

The lessons for Court  administrators? If you are going to bring contempt charges against a journalist and their publisher then you must conduct a proper investigation of the circumstances of publication, in particular who published what, when and on whose authority. While it is unstated in Chief Justice Grant's reasons for judgment—for fairly obvious reasons—the real problems in this case lie with the conduct of the Registrar's case and the apparent lack of any investigation sufficiently thorough enough to gather evidence to meet the standard of proof required by the Court.

Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

March 15, 2018

This is a re-post of an article first published in the February 2018 edition of Land Rights News (Northern Edition) by the Northern Land Council. Birds are closely connected to Wardaman culture. Many Wardaman dances have been adapted from bird movements and much Wardaman rock art depicts birds.

Book-burnings of our times. Clinton Walker’s Deadly Woman Blues gets pulped …

Book-burnings of our times. Clinton Walker’s Deadly Woman Blues gets pulped …

March 8, 2018 1

There are no winners in any of this—a group of women are (rightfully it seems) aggrieved by Walker's (admitted) failures in research and diligence, a respected author has suffered a terrible fall from grace and none of us (well, most of us) will get to read what is/was without doubt a valuable contribution to our shared musical history.

Essential documents from Aboriginal Australia: 7 – the 2008 Yuendumu Petition

Essential documents from Aboriginal Australia: 7 – the 2008 Yuendumu Petition

March 4, 2018

Supporti-ki karlipa wangkami, tala manu nyiya kanti-kanti yungungurlu ngalpa yinyi nyampurla ngurungka. Nyampurla Yurntumu-rla panu karlipa madarni nyiya-ningki-jarra ngula karliparla yulkami. Madarni karlipa jana Mt Theo program, kurdu kurdu kurlangu, Warlpiri-rli ngulpa karlipa jana tiji-mani, PAW, Mampumaninja-Kurlangu jarlu patu ku, WarlukurIangu arts centre, manu yangka ngula kalu jana mardarni wiri-wiri-rli kurdu-kurdu. Ngulalparlipa mangu pungkalayi, Yungurlu ngalpa nyanyi nguru kari wardingki-rli pirrdiji ngula karlipa mardarni.

10 more years of “beads and mirrors” – Yuendumu’s 2008 ‘Statement from the Heart’

10 more years of “beads and mirrors” – Yuendumu’s 2008 ‘Statement from the Heart’

March 4, 2018

Yapa-patu nganimpa, Yurnturnu wardingki karndu nyarra wangkami ny arnpu statemcnt purdanyajaku manu yungurnkurlu pina kanyi Federal manu N.T. Government kirra ... Nyurru ngurla juku!

First pics – Qantas VH-ZND Emily Kame Kngwarreye lands at Alice Springs.

First pics – Qantas VH-ZND Emily Kame Kngwarreye lands at Alice Springs.

March 2, 2018

I like pretty planes … and this is one of the prettiest I’ve seen in a long while … Here are the first pictures on the new Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landing just before dawn at Alice Springs airport after a direct flight from the Boeing base in Seattle, USA. Following text is from the Qantas […]

Chief Justice Michael Grant speaks on the controversy concerning the conduct of the youth justice jurisdiction in Alice Springs

Chief Justice Michael Grant speaks on the controversy concerning the conduct of the youth justice jurisdiction in Alice Springs

February 4, 2018

From time to time there may be instances of inappropriate judicial conduct falling short of misconduct warranting removal. Sometimes these are matters which may be addressed and remedied by way of appeal. In such cases the appellate court will generally make comment designed to prevent, so far as possible, any repetition of the inappropriate conduct.

“We’re all eccentrics here!” Andrew McMillan on getting shickered in Larrimah, NT

“We’re all eccentrics here!” Andrew McMillan on getting shickered in Larrimah, NT

February 2, 2018 1

But, hey, this is Larrimah. One expects things to go twirly. A decade ago, the blokes behind the "Highest bar in the Territory" were Graham Doyle and Syd Worrell. Syd had a French girlfriend, Jacquie, who liked a drink, cooked when she damned well felt like it and had such an aversion to the heat she'd shower fully clothed and return to the bar wringing wet. She and Syd were married at the pub in a ceremony the celebrant will never forget. The bride wore black and had to be assisted down the aisle. The best man, Mad Mick from Maryfield, was so shickered he couldn't find the ring.

Firehawks: avian pyromaniacs may have used fire before humans

January 31, 2018

This has major ramifications for land use and conservation across Australia's northern savannahs and potentially beyond. Changed fire regimes by Europeans from those practiced for millennia by Aboriginal people wrought dramatic changes on the Australian landscape, a factor which imperilled (and continues to imperil) the existence of many native species. How do we account for birds as another potential fire vector?

Lawyers, beer and busted boats – Stewart O’Connell remembers the Katherine floods of 1998

Lawyers, beer and busted boats – Stewart O’Connell remembers the Katherine floods of 1998

January 28, 2018

A tinnie, chockas with evacuees, stalled in Giles street in the flow of the fourth street river. The force of the river smashed it into a light pole. The light fell just missing the occupants. When the dinghy flipped and everyone went under the festive mood immediately evaporated.

“Free of the hell that the Australian government made for us on Manus … We all need freedom”

“Free of the hell that the Australian government made for us on Manus … We all need freedom”

January 23, 2018 1

I am very happy to be free of the hell that the Australian government made for us on Manus. But we are sad for those who are still waiting so long. We can't stop thinking of everyone who are still on Manus. We all need freedom. 

“Donald Trump never fit in here” – Richard Stark on Trump,  Mar-a-Lago and Palm Beach

“Donald Trump never fit in here” – Richard Stark on Trump, Mar-a-Lago and Palm Beach

December 28, 2017

'Donald Trump never fit in here' ... 'I should be pleased Mr Trump took over Mar-a-Lago,' Lesley said, 'I think we should all be pleased, because we didn't want it to turn into Miss Havisham's wedding cake out there, but to be honest with you, I think a place must be just a little déclassé if Donald Trump has even heard of it.'