Garma 2013

Aboriginal child protection laws being ‘broken’

Aboriginal child protection laws being ‘broken’ by NT Government: Member for Nhulunbuy


Mark Guyula claims Yolngu kids “stolen away” by NT Government

YOLNGU children are being removed from their families and their homes in North East Arnhem Land, according to independent Member for Nhulunbuy Yingiya Mark Guyula.

Mr Guyula said he was aware of eight children who had been “stolen away to Darwin by the NT Government”.

“Without a treaty and without our consent, what makes the NT Government think they can take our citizens from our lands, especially the most vulnerable of our society – our children?” Mr Guyula said in a statement.

read more


Tourism Expected to Increase This Wet Season

THE Top End is looking forward to a bumper Wet Season. with tourist numbers expected to be higher than in previous years.

Cruise ships alone will bring in almost 37,000 throughout the Wet, more than half of the total passengers during the 2015/2016 financial year in five months.

Last financial year, almost 62,500 people travelled to the Top End on cruises.

“2015-16 was the busiest ever cruise season for the NT with 45 ship visits to Darwin plus five visits to remote Aboriginal communities at Yirrkala, and on Elcho and the Tiwi Islands,” Tourism NT’s annual report stated.

read more


Concern about NDIS in remote areas as fewer than half of NT participants receive support payments

Fewer than half of Northern Territorians eligible for funded support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme have had payments made against their plan, prompting renewed questions about the scheme’s workings in remote areas.

The NDIS is now fully operational in the Territory’s Barkly region and will roll out in east Arnhem Land, as well as for people in supported accommodation in Darwin, from January 1.

Under the scheme, eligible participants are given a plan that entitles them to funding to spend on their choice of “reasonable and necessary supports” to help them lead a more ordinary life.

Out of the Territory’s 155 participants who have approved plans, only 42 per cent have had payments made against them.

read more

rio tinto gove refinery

Rio Tinto’s Gove plant never delivered on indigenous hopes

Rio Tinto will close its Gove smelting plant, which is not necessarily a bad outcome for the Yolngu people. ANU professor Jon Altman says employment opportunities are better sought elsewhere.

On November 29 (2013), Rio Tinto announced that it would suspend production of alumina at its Gove refinery. It was hardly a surprise; the smelting plant was reputed to be losing Rio Tinto $20 million to $30 million per month and closure was based on the company’s commercial accountability to its shareholders. It had become increasingly clear that even with access to cheap gas to offset the burden of dependence on heavy fuel oil the Gove operation was commercially unsustainable.

It is ironic that suspension was announced soon after the 50th anniversary of the Yirrkala bark petitions made to the Australian Parliament in 1963. The anniversary was a timely reminder of iconic Yolngu opposition to mining on their traditional lands, an opposition unjustly dismissed by Justice Richard Blackburn in the NT Supreme Court in 1971. The legal principle of terra nullius on which Blackburn relied was later judged wrong in the High Court Mabo judgment of 1992.

The special Mining (Gove Peninsula Nabalco Agreement) Ordinance of 1968 that issued special mineral leases for a period of 42 years, renewable for a further 42 years, was set in legal concrete. This special ordinance was a special deal. The Commonwealth, keen to see the development of the north as part of a nationalist project, would only issue mining leases if a major bauxite treatment plant were constructed. This required a significant area on the Gove Peninsula to be revoked from the Arnhem Land Reserve. And it meant a sweetheart deal on royalties, with a rate struck well below the usual standard.

The Yolngu suffered a double injustice: not only did they see their traditional lands alienated for a minimum 84 years, they were also required to effectively subsidise the national economy and a multinational corporation by receiving less compensation. I first discovered this double jeopardy when researching for a book Aborigines and Mining Royalties in the Northern Territory in 1983.

read more


It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than FREE Pizza on Christmas Day!

Two awesome local businesses have combined to spread some culinary festive cheer; this from Leigh and Blue:


We will be at the corner of WHITEWOOD & SINCLAIR from around 5ish on Christmas Day.

Roaming Flames and Arafura Meats have made a present 🎁 for everyone in Gove, we’ve joined forces to bring you the ultimate Christmas dinner! Slow cooked rotisserie Christmas meats infused with woodfired pizza love. So make sure you save some room, because dinner is on us!

That’s right FREE PIZZA !!

It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting our local business . So thank you Gove your (sic) a beautiful town and we will see you for dinner on Christmas night.


Earthquake felt in Nhulunbuy

DARWIN and surrounds were rocked by an earthquake about 9.50 this morning.

The epicentre of the magnitude 6.9 quake was in the Banda Sea towards Indonesia at a depth of 180km, according to GeoScience Australia.

The quake was felt in Darwin, Humpty Doo, Yarrawonga and Berry Springs.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Chris Kent said the “significant” quake lasted several minutes.

“We’re on the third floor and it gave us a shake,” he said.

The joint Australian tsunami warning centre said there was no tsunami threat to the Australian coastline.

Did you feel the earthquake? Let us know in the comments.


Gove Surf Club & MEP Sign Training Agreement

MOU signed by the GPSLSC and MEP.

The Gove Peninsula Surf Lifesaving Club exists to serve our community. That’s what Surf Clubs do.

As well as patrolling every weekend during the dry season we also support local events, local fundraisers and open our club every Friday night to give the people of Gove another option for a family friendly budget night out.

We train and educate nippers about water and beach safety and provide Certificate 2 in Aquatic rescue training for our SRC and bronze trainees. We also provide ongoing training and certification for many other surf club awards. These include but are not limited to advanced first aid and resuscitation, IRB crew and driver, RWC driver, spinal management and the list goes on.

As most of you are aware the club is about to embark on a clubhouse redevelopment in early 2017 which will include a new kitchen facility. This will be ‘State of the art’ with commercial quality equipment.

So what are we planning to do with this fancy kitchen?? The kitchen will be used by the club and any individuals or groups who want to hire out the facility for functions.

And we have gone one step further. On Friday night after months of negotiations, the Gove Surf Club signed an MOU with Miwatj Employment and Participation (MEP) to use the new facility to train local job seekers in hospitality and basic kitchen management.

We are really proud of this new initiative and are again supporting the town that supports us.

Jeremy Kee, MEP CEO is very excited about having access to this new training facility and is confident it will be well utilised. This is a significant undertaking by the Gove Surf Club to support the people within our region, to assist them to develop new skills and hopefully the added prospect of future employment within the hospitality industry.

The signing of the MOU by Brett Parfitt (President GPSLSC) and Jeremy Kee (MEP CEO) is an historic event that has the capacity to make real change in our town and surrounding area.


Gove Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club update

The final Gove Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club update for 2016. We have some exciting news to share with our members and the wider community.

The new clubhouse redevelopment is now making rapid progress. We recently received the 100% architectural and engineering drawings and these are currently being reviewed to ensure nothing has been missed before going out to tender.

We have engaged the services of a local interior designer and have met with her several times regarding how the final product will look. Below are some very early conceptual ideas but as you can see the club will be clean, sleek and a little classy.

The next bit of great news is the surf club was recently successful in obtaining $100,000 from the NT Government Department of Tourism and Culture to assist with the construction of the clubhouse redevelopment and training facility. This grant is specifically for the construction of the building and not for the kitchen fit-out.

This is very exciting for our club and for our community and we thank the NT Government for their generosity.

At this stage, we are looking at tenders being awarded early February and demolition and rebuilding of the clubhouse to start shortly after that. After a year of planning there finally is light at the end of the tunnel and 2017 will be both busy and exciting for the GPSLSC.

There will be a ‘Demolition’ party held at the surfie closer to the time and it is hoped you can all join us for a drink and a trip down memory lane for the last time. The current clubhouse was opened in 1983. If only those walls could speak, what stories they could tell. That will be a day of mixed emotions, a bit of sadness and we hope a lot of excitement. The bar and BBQs will continue throughout the reconstruction, working from temporary digs. It will be fun coming down each week to keep an eye on progress.

As you may be aware last Friday was the final BBQ for 2016 and these will recommence on the 3rd February 2017, after the school holidays. If any clubs or not for profit organisations would like to host a BBQ next year please email and we will put you on the planner. These are fun nights and a great way to raise funds for your club.

A new round of SRC/ Bronze Medallion training will commence in early 2017. If you would like to get involved in a very social club and support your community send an email and we will get details to you.

And lastly, we would like to thank our many bar volunteers. It is because of these guys that we can function as a club. They give their time selflessly and are working while you are relaxing and enjoying our facilities. We appreciate your time and dedication and hope to see you all again helping in 2017.

Kind regards
Brett Parfitt