A weekly wrap of what’s been happening across the Top End news-wise, which might be handy for former residents who really miss reading about this sort of thing. May contain cane toads and/or crocodiles.
Darwin military police are hunting for a serial flasher who is terrorising underwear salespeople. The supposedly well-endowed flasher, who wears army fatigues, has been nicknamed “Donkey Dong” by some city retailers. Several clothing and sporting retail outlets in the Mitchell Centre have been targeted over the past six months by the unidentified pervert, who calls shop assistants into the change room to see if his tight underwear “fits”.
BOOZE NEWS 1
Almost half the road accident deaths in the Territory last year were caused by alcohol, the NT Road Safety Council says. There were 55 fatalities on NT roads compared with 35 over the previous 12 months. Alcohol was involved in 44 per cent of the crashes.
Meanwhile, in response to NT government plans to introduce ‘alcohol courts’ to combat anti-social behaviour the CLP opposition, obviously longing for the good old days, launched a policy that would re-criminalise drunkenness. As debate was proceeding in the Territory parliament police were clearing city streets of itinerants because a luxury cruise ship full of rich people was in port.
Source: NT News
Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman will team up with director Baz Luhrmann for a ‘sweeping historical saga’ to be filmed partly in the NT. The as yet untitled epic begins in the mid-1930s and concludes with its major set-piece, the 1942-43 Japanese bombing of Darwin and the exodus south. Luhrmann, who has researched the film for 10 years, said the tale will be a “mythological telling” drawn from books and historical material. “Russell, Nicole and I have been wanting to do a large Australian piece for a very long time,” the director said.
BOOZE NEWS 2
A Territory town has been declared ‘dry’ for five days after an alcohol-fuelled riot earlier in the week. Northern Territory police are expecting to make a number of arrests over the riot in Borroloola. Police say the trouble started when a group of local residents were forced to barricade themselves in a bathroom after being attacked by 50 or 60 people. The house was extensively damaged. Police were able to break up the angry mob, but fighting later resumed on a road near the local primary school.
In other developments, ‘Thirsty Thursdays’ in Tennant Creek have been abandoned by the Territory’s Licensing Commission. Takeaway alcohol sales and front bar trading in pubs were restricted on ‘pay days’ in an effort to curb the town’s harmful levels of consumption. Didn’t work, apparently.
Source: ABC News Online/NT News
Almost $25m was invested in Territory mining during the 2005 September quarter, the sector’s strongest quarterly performance in ten years. All up, 751 exploration licences were granted last year compared to just 270 in 2000. Whether the explorers will actually get to dig anything up is not known.
Meanwhile, Swiss-based Xstrata has threatened to shut down the McArthur River mine if they are prevented from switching to open-cut. The company’s expansion proposal includes plans to divert almost 6km of the river, something deemed too risky by the NT government.
Source: NT News
NO LIZARD LUNCHES
Federal member for the Darwin seat of Solomon Dave Tollner – of whack-a-toad-with-a-golf-club fame – has called for a croc-proof pool to be built at Twin Falls in Kakadu. “Visitors should be able to swim without the worry of becoming lunch for large lizards,” Tollner said. He was speaking after the launch of Kakadu’s new draft management plan, which doesn’t include plans for any croc-free swimming enclosures.
Source: NT News
ONE LINERS– The Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce says major increases to zonal tax rebates proposed by Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce would encourage more people to move to the Territory.
– The Federal Government has pledged that none of the weapons the US Air Force drops on Territory training ranges will contain depleted uranium. Good-oh.
– The annual crocodile egg harvesting season in the Top End is under way with up to 20,000 eggs to be collected in the name of crocodile conservation.