July, 2018

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R v Bayden Flash – rough justice in the deep north

, Jul 20, 2018

To ensure the adversarial system works as well as it can, the accused must have counsel at least on par with that of the Crown. Mismatches of lawyers at trial is the stuff of Deep South murder trials in the USA. There some accused, unable to afford sufficiently experienced lawyers in an environment of little or token legal aid, can be represented by law students or destitute lawyers willing to appear for all in fees of a thousand bucks to defend an alleged killer heading to the electric chair.    

Reforming Northern Territory self-government – Reconciling the Two Towers of Power – Part Two

, Jul 03, 2018

The mistake the politicians made (although Clare Martin was an honourable exception) was to conclude that this very long-standing “emergency” demanded that the white politicians and bureaucrats urgently devise and impose their own “expert” punitive, paternalistic policy solutions on those recalcitrant, irresponsible black fellas who wouldn’t even protect their own children from the thugs and paedophiles in their midst.
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Reforming Northern Territory self-government – Reconciling the Two Towers of Power – Part One

, Jul 03, 2018

The Territory government and land councils each have significant real world authority over the same land mass, and therefore real roles in important decisions made about land use, tenure and development on half of the Territory’s land, which in turn comprises twenty percent of Australia’s land mass.
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Jo Best on the public realm, an energy ponzi scheme and resilience at Resilient Darwin

, Jun 10, 2018

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

, May 03, 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.
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Fracking in the NT: can cement provide more than a temporary “triumph of expertise over nature”?

, Apr 30, 2018

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

, Apr 15, 2018

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

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

, Apr 03, 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.
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Book-burnings of our times. Clinton Walker’s Deadly Woman Blues gets pulped …

, Mar 08, 2018

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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.