Arnhem Land

How can the NT spend money allocated for remote Indigenous disadvantage elsewhere?

On a warm tropical Friday morning just before Christmas, the Northern Territory Government laid bare what many had suspected for years: the NT was dead broke and borrowing $4 million a day just to meet operational expenses, including public servants’ salaries.

The debt — long raised by the previous Country Liberals government as a political bogeyman — is now projected to blow out from $3 billion to an eye-watering $35 billion over the next 10 years.

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Throw a sea cucumber on the barbie: Australia’s trade history really is something to celebrate

There is evidence fishermen from Makassar, on what is now the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, were visiting the coast of what is now Arnhem Land to collect sea cucumbers as early as the mid-1600s to sell to Chinese merchants. The fishermen camped on the beach to boil and dry their caught trepang, and exchanged goods with the local Indigenous tribes.

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America’s 51st state: North Australia

Australia’s celebrated Arnhem Land aerospace project, rather than being dedicatedly civilian as the nation was media-led to believe, will have a US military component. Can the town of Nhulunbuy be permitted to survive? Probably not. Rio Tinto’s bauxite mine will soon close and the only other functions of the town are as a servicing hub for local Aboriginal communities and as a staging post for tourism. Obviously, both roles will end. And the Indigenous population? Without access to Songline sites, morale will collapse, and Arnhem Aboriginal culture will go into terminal decline.

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