Monday, November 27, 2006

City planning?

Darwin carpark

Hi ye all. Well it's no secret that Darwin in booming and there appears to be no limits as to what kind of construction is permitted within the CBD. High-rise apartment blocks rise like Phallices all over town a symbol of our virile economy and a monument to Darwins develop at all costs Government! Along with the apparently un-restricted erection of high-rise apartment blocks (each directly "blocking" the sea views of those before it) we are also the proud recipients of multi level fluorescent-light carparks!

Just to prove that we are a civilised city and to flaunt our blatant disregard for the environment this ugly monstrosity appears to be lit up all night! Surely now we will be granted statehood?

Night Heron

Just to balance this negative perspective with something a little less troubling. Last night when we left the Rapid Creek shops we came across this Nankeen Night Heron on the footpath. He must have ventured out of the mangroves looking for food. It is absolutely astounding how much wildlife seems to survive in the urban environment of Darwin

Friday, November 24, 2006

Cancer in Kakadu

ABC News online

Last Update: Thursday, November 23, 2006. 10:19am (AEDT)
Indigenous cancer rate 90pc higher in Kakadu region

An ABC news report yesterday indicated that the incidence of cancer among Indigenous people living in Kakadu is considerably higher than the national average and also much higher than other Aboriginal populations in the Northern Territory.
Questions are being directed toward a link between cancer and the peoples proximity to the Ranger Uranium Mine.
Although no evidence or proof of a connection was put forward that suggested the cancer stems from mining activities, it seems bizar the the NT Health Department would make a statement that appears to exhonorate the mine before any furhter investigation is conducted.
According to the ABC report:
"The NT Health Department says the high cancer rate is lifestyle related."

Now I wonder if they have conducted the research that will show a direct link between these peoples lifestyle and the cancer that appears to be prevelent in their community?
They must have some unique activities that they do not share with the rest of the population. What is so different about these peoples lifestyle? If the Health Department know so much about it they must have a program in place to deal with this apparent epidemic. I wonder what they are doing to help these people avoid their cancer causing activities?

I wonder if the lifestyle choices they are talking about include drinking contaminated water, breathing the same air that contains dust from the mine? Or maybe they have been deliberately eating the yellow cake.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Great Bowerbird

I don't know if it's been done but I am sure an ecological survey of the CDU campus grounds would reveal an incredible array of wildlife. I can't believe the variety of creatures I have seen while working there.

Bowerbird nest

I had noticed a Great Bowerbird hanging around for the past couple of months and wondered if it was going to become a permanent resident. Well yesterday it was pointed out to me that it (I haven't yet seen two together) had built a nest that could easily be seen from a window on the third floor of the library. I swear working in that place is like being at a wildlife diorama! There's always something interesting to see right outside the library window.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Significant Rock Art under threat

Dampier Petition
(image by R. G. Bednarik - thanks to Rock Art Research Association Inc. Victorial 3162)

This is an issue that has been ongoing for quite a while and these postcards occasionaly turn up so I thought I'd post it before the time for action has passed. As with many of our cultural and natural treasures out of sight out of mind. These petroglyphs are in a rather remote part of the country.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

shore debris

shore debris
Originally uploaded by davidfntau.
Beauty in the backwash
These globular treasures washed up on the shore of Casuarina beach recently and have been washed up the the edge of the cliffs. The collage of rock, sand, wood and other sea debris makes a beautiful image. No matter how close to town the coastline always manages to display it's untamed nature in odd and subtly wonderful ways.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Life by the sea


The entry to the dining area on Stokes Hill Warf

An idyllic view of Stokes Hill Warf at dusk; where people toss scraps of their deep fried dinner to a writhing throng of fish and the feathered rats called silver gulls that have infested our populated shore. The people are blissfully unaware that the scraps they throw are feeding a growing population of verminous birds.
When I arrived in Darwin I noticed the absence of Seagulls. There may have been one or two floating around at that time but I don't recall seing them.
Like the handfed pigeons that had infested our suburbs and carried an infectious disease to our native birds I believe the number of gulls has increased because of our ignorance.

Gulls on lamps

Silver Gulls on lamps

Beware the gulls; they are a winged scourge of the sea that invade rookeries and wipe out whole colonies of rare seabirds. These birds are one of the many animals that have benefited from human colonisation and have proliferated as a result of our wasteful ways. And the fools keep feeding them!
Ignorance must be bliss! It would be so nice to visit the coast and throw a chip to a bird with no comprehension of the disastrous repercussions of my benevolent act. But I can not un-know what is an obvious fact. Once aware of the truth there is no going back!
Suppose I could, like in the film ‘The Matrix’. Which pill would I take? The Red or the Green?

boy fish

Boy feeding fish

With the build-up settling in it’s a good time to get out of our hot flat and spend as much time as we can near the coast. It’s usually a bit cooler and there is sometimes a breeze.
Last week we took our daughter to the fish feeding in Doctors Gully they have built a gift shop and put up the price for visitors but the show was essentially the same as it has always been.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Message of the week

Church mesage

This week I've been in the Blogger doldrums. Searching for inspiration I found the Baptist Church in Casuarina. I suppose they're in the business and had just the message.
Carpe Deum baby!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

PM backs closing wetlands for drinking water supply
(ABC News online: Wednesday, November 8, 2006. 12:28pm)

What is it with this guy?
Does he have to smell the corpses rotting before he realises that our land has been plundered enough? How can our politicians be advocating unlimited development, population growth and the expansion of suburbia while the land is already unable to support our current needs? Will Mr Howard sell out every scrap of our environment to feed the shortfalls in his precious economy?

More importantly: Why aren't we stopping this insanity? Who will pay for our greed? What will be left for our children? If you think the shares you are buying today will secure a comfortable future for your children you may find that all you are investing in is a hand full of ashes!
It does not take a visionary to know that what we are allowing to be done to our earth is suicidal, the evidence is writen throughout history and science is constantly revealing the effects of our actions. We can no longer say that we acted in ignorance, are innocent or did not understand; that time has passed well before most of us were born . We can not deny our part in this we have known the truth of it for too long now.

Although there is considerable doubt about the acuracy of Dr. Henry Smith's translation of the famous speach made by Chief Seattle in 1854, it is a beutiful piece of writing and carries a message of truth that speaks beyond fact. Please see the link below and maybe ask yourself; how much is enough?

Monday, November 06, 2006

High Tides Low Tides

There has been a lot of energy about this weekend. A full moon and extreme tidal movements have given us some very beautiful views of the foreshore.

Claystone cliff

The beautiful tricoloured claystone cliffs at Nightcliff beach

Ant on a Beach Hibiscus

Beach Hibiscus (Flourishing in the humid air)

Although the coming of the wet season can be uncomfortable it is a great time to be outdoors, especially by the sea. Some times the sea breeze is the only thing that can offer any relief from the build-up conditions, until the rains come.

Man fishing (optical illusion)

The overhanging cliff in this photo appears to be several meters high. However it is an optical illusion. The man fishing in the photo is actualy quite some distance away from the overhang, he is not standing on top of it. When I saw this photo I was supprized by how dramatic it appeared. If you look at the waves below they appear to be quite large but they are actualy only about knee high.

Casuarina beach low tide

At about midday on Sunday the tide had receded all the way to Dariba Nungalinya (Old Man Rock) but by the evening it was lapping at the cliffs in Dripstone park

High tide Cas beach

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Saturday November 4th was the International Action Day on Climate Change.

waw banner

walk against warming Darwin 11.06

A large group of people met at the Nightcliff Jetty at 5.00pm to Walk against Warming. The event coincided with similar action in cities around the country to raise awareness of community concerns about the issue of climate change.

walk against warming Darwin.  11.06

We made a short walk along the foreshore from the Nightcliff jetty to the park outside Nightcliff Pool. So many people attended that the leaders had almost arrived at their destination by the time the tail end of the walkers had left the jetty.

There was a great turnout with many cyclists and families joining the struggle for the reduction of carbon emissions. There was a strong push for the government to take climate change seriously and to make serious commitment to developing alternative power sources rather than resorting to nuclear energy. Those in atendance were unified in their commitment to do something to reduce carbon emmissions at a local and a national level. THe environment centre took on new conscripts, speaches were made and petitions were signed. We were unified in our desire to affect positive environmentaly responsible change in our world.

As we sat under the Casuarina trees on the Nightcliff forshore listening to warnings of global warming I couldn't help but notice the conflicting sounds of agressive drivers blasting along Casuarina Dve while Red-tailed Black Cockatoos squarked and lorikeets screeched in the trees above our heads and a high tide lapped at the white claystone cliffs. There we sat between two worlds. The haste and noise of suburbia just meters away and the relief of the natural environment, (however reduced to the barest fringes) amongst the trees that surrounded and the soil beneath our feet. If the question is asked "How are we to live?" Surely there must be a way for human beings to live comfortably without destroying the very things that make living possible!

Stamp out global warmingpetition

Signing the pettition

walk against warming

Marching in the street

Environment Centre NT spokesperson

Rallying the troops

Musical Family

A musical family

Solar not nuclear

The old debate fires up once again!

A representative from COOL MOB gave some great examples of how we could all make our homes much more energy efficient, reduce our carbon emissions and save money. I am sure there were several people on the day who signed up for a COOL MOB audit.

I have had a COOL MOB energy audit and would personally recommend it to anyone who is serious about tackling climate change at home.

heads in the sand

(Another great cartoon about the current state of political leadership in this country!)

Friday, November 03, 2006


While browsing bikeblog I was directed to a link to the 'World Changing' website and the book 'World Changing' (please click on the link and bump up their Amazon book view rating).
It looks like quite a positive aproach to dealing with the reality of social and environmental instability that are quickly defining the 21st century. Maybe its sites like this that will give direction to the growing discontent environmentaly concious people have with the political representation offered in this country. Hopefuly rather than increasing the levels of dispair in our society peoples attention will be directed to positive community building action.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

After the Victory
The NT News entertainment page features a film premiere tonigt of Max Stahl's 'After the Victory'.
A documentary film focusses on the Registration Process of Resistance Veterans and continued conflict between East Timorese, after independance.
This may be a good opportunity to get an independant presentation of the current situation in East Timor. The discontent of Resistance Veterans and the opposing viewpoints which are continuing to fuel disunity within the country.

The Theatrette
Museum and Art Gallery


The death of a journalist

The reality of the danger is unnavoidable.

Independant journalists take many chances to provide us a wider world view. The following link is a reminder that freedom can not be taken for granted and injustice and tyranny have powerful friends.

Check this story out on BikeBlog
BikeBlog: Rest in Peace Brad

Here's some other links to the story.