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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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That was 2018

As 2018 draws to a close we decided to revisit some of the stories affecting the region throughout the year, so we suggest you pour yourself your preferred tipple, grab a mince pie, crank up “Fairytale of New York” and journey through some of the stories and articles our volunteers gathered for you in 2018.

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Attacked Iraqi cab driver fears for life amid ongoing Outback Northern Territory taxi wars

A bitter, bizarre and increasingly heated Outback Northern Territory taxi cab rivalry is threatening the sanctuary of an otherwise tranquil town.

Two warring Nhulunbuy taxi companies have been hurling allegations at each other, from accusations of violent threats to petty insults about religion, with neither team willing to abate or forge peace.

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By Matt Garrick
for ABC News

Dole scheme in Aboriginal communities ‘like being a slave’

Disturbing new data reveals the impact Australia’s flagship remote employment program is having on Indigenous people across the country, prompting claims it is worsening poverty in communities.

Unemployed people in remote areas must take part in the troubled Community Development Program (CDP) to receive welfare payments and can be docked about $50 per day for missing activities.

Region-by-region penalty statistics show places with higher levels of Indigenous participants were issued with more penalties, prompting claims the $275-million-a-year scheme is “racist”.