Gulkula Regional Training Centre Opens

An Indigenous owned mine training centre and bauxite mining operation has opened in the Northern Territory, set to deliver economic benefits for the local Yolgnu people.

The Gulkula Regional Training Centre and Gulkula bauxite mining operation were developed by Gumatj Corporation in Northeast Arnhem Land with support from Rio Tinto, and are 100 per cent owned by the Gumatj clan.

The mine and training centre opened at the Garma Festival on Saturday, where Rio Tinto committed to purchasing the bauxite produced at the mine at a signing ceremony attended by Gumatj clan leader Dr. Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM.

Feasibility Study on Recreation Facilities and Open Spaces

The Nhulunbuy Corporation has engaged Tredwell to undertake Master Plan and Feasibility Study for Recreation, Facilities and Open Spaces 2017-2027.

Tredwell team will be onsite in Nhulunbuy from 3 April to 8 April 2017 to meet with key stakeholders.

The Nhulunbuy Corporation recognises that the provision of recreation and sport services and facilities is important to improve and maintain health, social and economic well-being of its residents. Tredwell Management (a specialist Sport & Recreation Planning Firm) has been engaged to undertake a ten-year Masterplan and Feasibility Study for Recreation, Facilities and Open Space in Nhulunbuy.

To help us understand your recreation and sport needs and aspirations we invite you to click on the link provided and complete the survey, have your say!


Nhulunbuy Motorcycle Club Donation

Today the East Arnhem Blues Society donated a cheque for $1,000.00 to the Nhulunbuy Motorcycle Club to go towards their junior coaching programs.

The East Arnhem Blues Society would like to thank the community for supporting the Hog Shed 2016 Toy Run.


Hydraulic fracturing (also fracking, fraccing, hydrofracturing or hydrofracking) is a well stimulation technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurized liquid. The process involves the high-pressure injection of ‘fracking fluid’ (primarily water, containing sand or other proppants suspended with the aid of thickening agents) into a wellbore to create cracks in the deep-rock formations through which natural gas, petroleum, and brine will flow more freely. When the hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, small grains of hydraulic fracturing proppants (either sand or aluminium oxide) hold the fractures open.[1]

Hydraulic fracturing began as an experiment in 1947, and the first commercially successful application followed in 1950. As of 2012, 2.5 million “frac jobs” had been performed worldwide on oil and gas wells; over one million of those within the U.S.[2][3] Such treatment is generally necessary to achieve adequate flow rates in shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, and coal seam gas wells.[4] Some hydraulic fractures can form naturally in certain veins or dikes.[5]

Hydraulic fracturing is highly controversial in many countries. Its proponents advocate the economic benefits of more extensively accessible hydrocarbons.[6][7] Opponents argue that these are outweighed by the potential environmental impacts, which include risks of ground and surface water contamination, air and noise pollution, and the triggering of earthquakes, along with the consequential hazards to public health and the environment.[8][9]

Increases in seismic activity following hydraulic fracturing along dormant or previously unknown faults are sometimes caused by the deep-injection disposal of hydraulic fracturing flowback (a byproduct of hydraulically fractured wells),[10] and produced formation brine (a byproduct of both fractured and nonfractured oil and gas wells).[11] For these reasons, hydraulic fracturing is under international scrutiny, restricted in some countries, and banned altogether in others.[12][13][14] The European Union is drafting regulations that would permit the controlled application of hydraulic fracturing.[15]

Fracking Inquiry Public Meeting

Monday 20 March 7pm Walkabout Lodge

Community meeting

Community consultation in regional and remote locations aims to obtain the views of people living in or near these communities in the Inquiry’s information gathering process, including the views of Aboriginal people.

This meeting is an opportunity for individuals, organisations and stakeholders to meet the Inquiry Chair, find out more about hydraulic fracturing and provide feedback on the issues identified in the Inquiry’s Background and Issues Paper. (2.0 mb).

An interpreter service will be provided.

Feedback and information gathered during the meeting will be used by the Inquiry as evidence and will be included in an interim report. When it is released, the public will be invited to comment on the interim report.




This meeting is open to all members of the public and registration is not required. However, for planning purposes registration is strongly encouraged.


Inquiry Chair, Justice Rachel Pepper will facilitate the proceedings. This is a formal event and to get the most out of it for everyone, people are asked to behave respectfully.


Notes will be taken during the meeting and a summary will be made available on the Inquiry’s website. Video and audio recording will be available for any community members who wish to make an oral submission, instead of a written submission to the Inquiry.


Media may attend the meeting and take footage or photos as required, while not impeding the process of the meeting.

Media will also have an opportunity to ask questions of the Inquiry Chair before and/or after the meeting.



Date and Time

Monday 20 March 2017


Walkabout Lodge – Gulf Room

Off The Beaten Track with Lirrwi Tourism

You don’t hear the phrase “off the beaten track” so often these days but it’s the perfect description for Lonely Beach in East Arnhem Land. We get there by four-wheel drive from an equally remote beach called Bawaka, in the Port Bradshaw area, having reached that spot after a couple of hours over soft sand, also by four-wheel drive, from Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula. We got there by air from Darwin, and to Darwin by … Well, you get the picture. This is a long way from down south and, for our little group of Sydneysiders, it’s almost like another country.

East Arnhem Regional Council 2015-2016 Annual Report now available

East Arnhem Regional Council has prepared the Annual Report for financial year ended 30 June 2016.

The 2015/2016 Annual Report contains: report on Operations, Performance and Audited Financial Statements for Year Ended 30 June 2016.

Hard copies can be viewed at all East Arnhem Regional Council offices. To view or download a copy of the report, follow this link to the Publications & Resources Centre.

The Annual Report was discussed by Council on 23 November 2016 at the EARC Nhulunbuy Headquarters Council Chambers.

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.

Merry Christmas!

Considering the virtually silent launch of Gove Online, the traffic and interested has been encouraging and we hope this trend continues in 2017. We would like to encourage you all to get in touch with any news, articles, events and notices related to Nhulunbuy and the surrounding communities. We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!