June, 2018

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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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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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Locum nullius: what’s in a name?

, Aug 29, 2017

This is a guest post by Chips Mackinolty, an artist and journalist based in Palermo and Darwin.  On 9 August 1974, eight years almost to the day after the famous Wave Hill Walk Off, a group of largely Mangarrayi speaking families walked off Elsey Station. Yes, the place of the colonialist pastoral fantasy of We […]
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What future the arts in the Top End?

, Jun 22, 2017

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The Darwin Festival has failed local visual artists. Spending money on a roving class of interstate creatives and acts is capital that gets drained out of the local culture making economy. There is no substantial quota for local engagement, there is no compulsion that local creatives get engaged and employed. The current festival model fails to connect with and engage the local culture makers. Even the influx of DF production crew in August are like carnies - here for the month then off again to fleece another community with their generic arts festival business model.
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Essential documents from Aboriginal Australia: 4 – the 1998 Kalkaringi Statement

, Jun 04, 2017

In addition to Aboriginal resistance, key reasons given for voting ‘No’ at the 1998 referendum included ... inadequate information and understanding about statehood, inadequate consultation, concerns about the Constitutional Convention process, a lack of trust in those responsible for the statehood processes of 1998, and antagonism towards the Chief Minister and politicians.
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“Follow the money, bruss!” A short history of electoral funding in the NT

, May 23, 2017

I'll be in Darwin next week for the first phase of my research, focussing on documentary research and getting a few interviews. Drop me a line and we can catch up ...
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Day 1 – Northern Territory governance summit – Introductory Remarks

, Feb 23, 2017

The political instability, division and in some cases poor ethical behaviour  that have been evident especially over the last 4 years but to an extent over the last decade indicate that there is a need for stronger governance safeguards ensuring greater levels of accountability and transparency from our politicians.

The kill-or-be-killed world of NT politics, 2012 to 2016

, Nov 29, 2016

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Giles’s mood had changed from denial, to anger, to bargaining. He first denied any knowledge of an unfolding coup. Later he raged about the stupidity of it. And in our last conversation, just after midnight, before the phone was hurled from the balcony, he seemed to think there was a way to fight on.
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Crocs in the Cabinet: The CLP, politics as farce and farce as politics

, Nov 27, 2016

This book is about the fall of an empire – about the power struggles and missteps and flawed characters that took the CLP from the Northern Territory’s dominant political force to near extinction, from an election win in 2012 to holding just two seats in Parliament four years later: Ben Smee and Christopher Walsh.
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The NT electoral system is a joke. But can Hare-Clark fix it?

, Sep 22, 2016

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Welcome to politics as farce. There is little doubt that the NT electoral system is broken. The bigger question is how we fix it. Discuss.
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The CLP got Gunnered …

, Aug 28, 2016

On Saturday night, as gracious as Giles' speech was, so Gunner's was shambolic. "Tonight is extraordinary" he said three times while the baying crowd called for blood and more beer.
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Alison Anderson – a political force of nature hangs up her spurs

, Aug 04, 2016

We have to have faith in the future with young people like Chansey [Paech, Labor candidate for Namatjira]. The future is theirs. Our time has to come to an end at some stage at some stage and young people have to take over ... the same with Scotty [McConnell, Labor candidate] in Stuart – they are two very, very tough candidates and they are good human beings and yes, I support both of them. Alison Anderson, 3 August 2016.

The battle for Cox Peninsula – the Kenbi Land Claim 1975 – 2016

, Jun 20, 2016

In December 1978, just a few short months after the grant of (limited) self-government for the NT, the conservative CLP government promulgated the Town Planning Regulations, subsequently held to be invalid as made for an improper purpose, under the Town Planning Act (TPA) These regulations stated that large areas of land (including submerged lands in Darwin Harbour) surrounding Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek, and Alice Springs were to be treated as if part of a town.
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Action and inaction, transparency and secrecy in the NT

, Apr 19, 2016

Are the people of Darwin - and the institutions that should protect them - prepared for and protected from the environmental risks associated with an escalation of military traffic and construction of new military infrastructure, including new ammunition handling facilities to support the US Air Forces Air Force Global Strike Command?
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“Not fit for humans” – the remote housing crisis in the NT

, Apr 12, 2016

NT housing minister Bess Price admitted that Aboriginal housing was unacceptable. “I’ve visited communities, where the houses have been built in the eighties, and it’s not fit for humans.”

The CLP’s ‘treacherous bastards’ face the prospect of electoral oblivion

, Mar 07, 2016

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This past weekend's CLP Central Council meeting was an underwhelming success that brings the internal turmoil and political future of key party members into closer focus. Bob Gosford reports from Alice Springs.
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Willem Rudolf Westra van Holthe: the accidental Deputy

, Feb 14, 2016

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The reason ministers are supposed to abide by strict standards is not just because they are senior members of the government, but because of the power, juicy information and influence they wield ... If you're on holidays as a minister, it simply means you'll either continue to take work calls anyway and your paperwork builds up in your inbox: Judith Ireland, SMH.
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‘Nigger Hunts’ in the never never. The battles for land and water on the Roper River, 1870-1945.

, Jan 13, 2016

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"Until the long arm of the law interfered, white men killed the black fellow because they were hungry with a hunger that must be fed with gold, having been trained in a school that for generations has acknowledged 'Thou shalt not kill' among its commandments." Jeannie Gunn, We of the Never Never, 1908.
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Strider: How the environment centres came to be

, Dec 17, 2015

In the Northern Territory in 1973 there was an organisation called The Environment Council of the Northern Territory. It was a forum for discussion among organisations with an interest in ecology and nature conservation matters. Member bodies included the Chamber of Commerce and the National Trust as well as the Darwin Conservation Society. Membership was not open to individuals. Secretariat services were provided to the Council by the Keep Australia Beautiful Council, which had a paid Executive Officer and an office in the Town Hall.
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The travel agent, the Minister’s office and an unravelling travel scandal in the NT

, Dec 16, 2015

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Justice Dean Mildren: "Prior to September 2013 you provided no travel services for the Honourable Bess Price. In the period between 12 September 2013 and 21 November 2014 you obtained the opportunity to provide in excess of $325,000 in travel bookings for the Honourable member and her staff. You obtained the opportunity to provide travel bookings for other government departments as a consequence of recommendations by Mossman."