Local News

Arnhem Land timber to help revitalise Darwin’s CBD, a big win for remote Indigenous saw mill

A remote saw mill in Arnhem Land has secured one of its most significant contracts, supplying timber to the Northern Territory Government’s revitalisation plan for Darwin’s city centre.

The team at the Gumatj saw mill near Nhulunbuy, have been busy cutting local stringy-bark logs for a $2.7 million canopy, which will cover parts of Darwin’s Cavenagh Street.

Gumatj Corporation Limited’s general manager, Allan Rungan, said it was a big deal for the organisation and its workers.

Community cooperation for peaceful Gove AFL Grand Final

The Gove AFL Grand Final was held in Yirrkala on Saturday, 1 September with an incredible turn out by the East Arnhem Community.

Following consultation with the Rirratjingu and Gumatj Aboriginal Corporations, the traditional owners requested licensees implement takeaway alcohol restrictions during the grand final weekend.

Officer in Charge of Nhulunbuy Police, Senior Sergeant Daniel Whitfield-Jones said the community wanted to maintain order and enhance community amenity, social harmony and wellbeing. As a harm reduction initiative, police, in collaboration with all licenced premises in Nhulunbuy, were able to negotiate a reduction in takeaway hours and supply amounts.

“The initiative was a tremendous success, with no domestic violence or other alcohol-related violence or antisocial behaviour being recorded over the weekend. We would like to thank the community for their support during this period,” he said.

“This is a great example of what our community can achieve when we all work together.”

Surf Club a finalist in the National Surf Life Saving Club of the Year Awards

The Gove Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club is proud to announce that we are a finalist in the 2017/18 National Surf Life Saving Club of the Year Awards.

The champion club will be announced in Sydney on Saturday 27th October at the SLSA Awards of Excellence 2018.

Despite some challenges with fires, multiple cyclones and a major employer in town closing, the GPSLSC has risen to the challenge and has grown year on year with 2017/18 being a stellar year.

The GPSLSC hosted the NT Titles and won the champion club trophy, built and opened a new club house, delivered multiple new club assets and facilities, donated a further $30,000 to local clubs and charities and successfully completed a $1,000,000 capital works program.

We have expanded lifesaving services which include remote beach patrols, coordinated beach clean-ups and expanded our membership base.

Importantly in 2017/18, GPSLSC established strategic partnerships to assist us in delivering our goals. Partnerships were established with the NT Government, Northern Land Council, Traditional Owner groups and Rio Tinto.

To top it all off, the GPSLSC is now a finalist in the National Surf Life Saving Club of the Year Awards.

Congratulations to all committee members, past and present and to all those active members and volunteers who over many decades have made this the great club that it is today.

If we manage to pull this off, this award will be for each and everyone of you.

Wish us luck.

Melville Bay Boat Ramp Update

The Nhulunbuy Regional Sports Fishing Club wishes to update residents regarding the Melville Bay Community Boat Ramp Project.

As reported earlier this month, unfortunately due to a mechanical breakdown, some of the low tide civil construction work was not able to be finished. Planning is now underway to complete these final major civil tasks between the 10th to 12th of September.

Following a recent site inspection, and in the best interest of public safety, the western ramp is to remain closed until Friday the 14.09.2018. Unfinished sea wall rock and concrete works are not yet completed and metal starter bars are exposed at the end of the new ramp slab. The single ramp will remain open other than the September exclusion period.

The photo attached to this update shows the formation of the new access channel that will allow zero tide access on the western ramp. This work will be completed in September. If boat operators using the single ramp wish to access the carpark beach, please keep 50 metres away from the rock sea wall in all directions.

The club will soon announce a public meeting to provide important information as to improvements at this facility, access channel work and markers and other details that will assist boat owners when the new ramp opens.

The following is an update for ramp access for August and September :

Single ramp : remains open until 6pm Sunday 09.09.2018.

Ramp exclusion : 6pm Sunday 09.09.18 to 9am Thursday 13.09.2018 (all ramps and access roadway)
Single ramp : reopen 9am Thursday 13.09.18
Double ramp : reopen 6pm Friday 14.09.18
Pontoon : reopen 6pm Friday 14.09.18

For your own safety the general public is asked to follow instructions of authorised site contractors, all project signage, and traffic/work site bollards that have been deployed.

We apologise for any inconvenience. Please call 0417 879 031 for all enquiries.

Baby Boy Born in Ambulance

Only days after Australia’s population hit 25 million people, a baby boy has become the latest addition to the country’s population, when he was born just before 3am this morning in the back of an ambulance in remote East Arnhem Land.

When going into labour, the 18-year-old mother was talked through her contractions by a St John Ambulance Emergency Dispatcher via phone, while paramedics were en-route to the community of Yirrkala.

With the help of the paramedics the young woman gave birth to a baby boy in the back of the ambulance.

Both mum and baby were taken to Gove District Hospital.

Higher-than-anticipated birth rates and mass migration have seen the country’s population increase to 25 million earlier this week – 33 years earlier than predicted two decades ago.

Wanuwuy Closure

We would like to inform residents and visitors that Wanuwuy (Cape Arnhem) will be closed for a period of six weeks between the 8th of August and the 17th of September. This decision has been made by the Traditional Owners for that country.

We are entering a period of peak turtle nesting activity, and would like to give the turtles and hatchlings the best chance of survival. Wanuwuy is a key nesting area for Green Turtles in particular, but this region is inhabited by six of the world’s seven species and all of these are listed nationally as vulnerable or endangered. An individual female Green Turtle nests approximately every 3 years, and lays 1-6 clutches of between 70 and 110 eggs. Only one in one thousand hatchlings survives to maturity, so we need to give them a helping hand.

We appreciate the inconvenience this may cause, and thank everybody for their patience during this time. Bookings for Wanuwuy can be made for after this closure period. Key Traditional Owners will continue to have access to this area during the closure period, but everyone else will be excluded.

Flanagan issues clear warning at Garma

Australian novelist Richard Flanagan says the Turnbull government wrote itself out of history and wasted a chance at reconciliation when it rejected last year’s Uluru Statement which recommended giving Aboriginal people a voice in parliament.

Mr Flanagan said most Australians didn’t know about and would be horrified at the full extent of massacres and “wars of extermination” that had never ended for Aboriginal people to this day.

“My warning is this: if we here in Australia do not re-imagine ourselves we will be undone,” he said.

Garma festival: Indigenous sovereignty would be a ‘gift for all Australians’

The annual Garma festival in northeast Arnhem Land opened for the 20th year on Friday with attendees told that Indigenous sovereignty would be a “gift for all the Australian people”.

At a ceremonial welcome at the Gulkula grounds on Gumatj country, senior Gumatj ceremony man, Djunga Djunga Yunupingu, said a year ago they had been speaking with hope about the Uluru statement and its three proposals for constitutional reform.

Yunupingu calls out government over land

The colonisation of Australia was wrong and illegal and more land should be handed back to traditional owners, says activist Galarrwuy Yunupingu.

Aboriginal leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has told the federal government it must face up to the fact the colonisation of Australia was wrong and illegal and more land should be handed back to traditional owners.

Dr Yunupingu, a 70-year-old land rights activist and leader of the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu people, opened the 20th Garma Festival in East Arnhem Land, where he made the remarks, on Friday.

Marine debris on north Australian beaches doubles in a decade; foreign fishers may be to blame, researchers say

Trash from the sea washing up on Arnhem Land’s once-pristine beaches has doubled in the last decade.

Researchers say there is up to three tonnes of marine debris per kilometre along 11 monitored beaches in northern Australia, and that much of it is related to increasing foreign fishing activity, some of it illegal.

In June, the ABC spoke with residents of Cape Arnhem, near Nhulunbuy, who detailed the level of rubbish that was washing up on local beaches.