Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Notes from the Top end

John Robinson, temporarily absent from Kuranda, is in Darwin NT for a while (100 weeks to go!)


I left Darwin to move to Kuranda over seven years ago. Due to work necessity, I am back in Darwin for the next 2 years. In driving around this weekend, checking out the old spots – it is as if I had left yesterday.

Ten years ago Aboriginal people setting up in town camps was frowned upon. They were shunted on; we were told that they were a disgrace to the sophisticated tropical city image that Darwin was trying to project.
In 2009 there is still a problem with itinerants camping around toilet and shower blocks at popular recreational venues. Take Lake Alexander (East Point) for instance. As the sun sets across beautiful Fannie Bay, they appear. The wine casks are out; the cards are out, the music plays loudly, people call out over the din in languages that are unintelligible to the English speaker. Get too close and there is that musky smell of unwashed bodies.

Soon the bins overflow and rubbish piles up and is scattered by dogs and the wind. Venture if you dare into the shower/toilet facilities. Friends have told me of shitty nappies just piled in the bins; toilets blocked and showers left running.
Clothes are “washed” in the same facilities and left on the fences to dry. The occasional couple surreptitiously “hump” to the amusement of those around.
The free barbeques thoughtfully funded through the good graces of the Darwin ratepayer are left in a filthy condition and are spurned by the locals.

Their clapped out vehicles, looking as if they can go no further, fill the car parks. At the said Lake Alexander, there were 38 there at midday Sunday.

The culprits in this case are not Aboriginal or Islander, they are overseas backpackers; supposedly the fastest growing segment of a shrinking tourism industry. This is why they are seemingly treated with impunity.

I am sure that if they were Aboriginal, Darwin City Council inspectors or the NT Police would move them on. (These are the same Council inspectors that recently ticketed a dog for being in a no-parking zone!) Racial discrimination – you bet!

On another note, Darwin is smaller than Cairns; it has its own News Corp publication – engagingly called the “Northern Territory News”. This appears Monday through Saturday. Same high quality of journalism – the lead story yesterday was about a python in a dunny.

But what I find interesting is that Darwin also has a Sunday paper from the News Corp stable – the “Sunday Territorian”. It is designed as much more of a leisurely read over Sunday brunch. But for the life of me, I cannot see how Darwin can justify a Sunday paper whereas Cairns cannot? Population, advertisers etc Cairns has Darwin beat hands down.

What's the answer?

11 comments:

Media Burger said...

What a surprise, more News Corp bashing. This "blog" is fast becoming a forum for people who have absolutely no working knowledge of the modern news media, yet criticise it to the hilt.

1. No-one will buy a "good news" newspaper. Bad news happens, and we want to know about it. That's what we'll pay for. And that includes pythons in toilet bowls.

2. Cairns is already well-served by the Queensland-wide Sunday Mail, which negates the need for a local Sunday paper. People are also well-served 6 days a week by The Cairns Post.

This blog has made a name for Cairns Post bashing, and nothing more. It hasn't broken ANY news of its own, despite its claims to the contrary. ANY semi-literate (a description I use loosely when applied to this blog) human being with an internet connection can criticise (and censor, I might add) the way this blog does.

Today's cairnsblog is only good for lining tomorrow's Recycle Bin.

he_without_sin said...

I agree!! The only comments you get is when your attacking the paper or News Ltd.

When are you going to stop attacking the paper and take on the rest of the media outlets such as tv and radio too.

Your crusade is weak and predictable. Step it up or leave it alone.

Under the Radar said...

The biggest misconception is that news papers are there to report news - good or bad! Well any body with an intimate knowledge of media know they are there to make profit. Its funny Cairns Post does neither. I think that people are fed up and are wising up, hence reason printed publications are going down the loo. Cairns Post has a reputation for the "fear factor" and grubby stories. At least Cairns.blog allows people to voice opinion, and when it comes to the Post, the commmunity have a lot to say.......

CBD Warrior said...

This "story" is written in exactly the sensationalist style that the author then criticises.

Anyone that's been to Darwin knows the truth.

Bryan Law said...

"Anyone that's been to Darwin knows the truth".

I've been to Darwin. I spent 10 days in Berrimah Prison (86% Aboriginal, and a disgraceful dump of a place), a few days in the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeal in Darwin(some of it in the same secure dock they built for Bradley John Murdoch), and a few days hanging out in the CBD and scooting around the countryside.

So according to Mr Warrior I knows the truth.

Which is that racism there is very much the same as here. Murris get blamed and vilified for conditions brought about by unscrupulous alcohol pushers (think Tom Hedley). White backpackers get left alone. And the local paper is about the same standard as the Cairns Post, except they never treated me with the same contempt as the current Cairns crew.

"Familiarity" I hear you say. Well yes, and it runs in both directions.

Sometimes I dream of a local news organ that raises the quality of information and discussion instead of getting down in the gutter with second rate hustlers like TTNQ. Then I wake up to the awful reality.

Tony Hillier said...

Well, Mr Media Burger this is one media-savvy blog regular and former News Corp sub-editor (The Sun in London and the Tele in Sydney), who has had the temerity to criticise the Cairns Post on countless occasions. Contrary to what you assert, Cairns residents are poorly served by their daily organ on many counts.

Bryan Outlaw said...

Yo Bryan,

I guess by the Cairns Post treating you with "contempt", you must mean their report that despite your most recent conviction, you've decided to waste more court time and government resources by appealing your already too lenient sentence.

I guess 150 hours of community service sounds too much like "work" to you.

You of course realise that the court, annoyed at your time wasting, can INCREASE your sentence?

Bryan Law said...

"Power is the capacity to have others do what one wants them to do... Words are one of the means by which this may be achieved and, accordingly by which power may be exercised. Words may persuade...but more often...the power of the media...lies in its capacity to hurt."

from Mahoney JA in an extra-judicial discussion of defamation law. I believe Mahoney is a judge in the Supreme Court of NSW.

Serial killers, serial drunks and thugs, serial pests, stirrers, peace activists and protestors - but no serial politicians, serial boosters, or serial political flunkies. I guess one has to be careful in dealing with advertisers.

Yo yourself Mr Outlawski. Take a risk. Make a stand. Go on.

Bryan Outlaw said...

Your inability to speak to the issue (your continued abuse of the court and judicial process for your own selfish, ignorant needs) is noted, Bryan.

No one is fooled by your ability to quote others - as you've said or done nothing to distinguish yourself to the community. 150 hours of COMMUNITY SERVICE, the sentence you so object to, would be 150 hours of productive work more than you've done in much of your life.

Don't do the crime if you whinge about the time.

nocturnal congress said...

Presumeably the "shitty nappies" belong to babies and surely backpackers don't have babies with them???

Guido the Plumber said...

Hey Bryan Outlaw, I am sure Bryan Law does not need me or any one else to defend his honour.

Have known Bryan for a number of years. I admire his determination against ridicule, to uphold his principles whether popular or otherwise. His articulation is superb.

His actions are motivated from the stand point of equality and fairness and unlike you is prepared to challenge authorities when they abuse their position and take the public for granted.

Bryan Outlaw what have you done that people can point to and say well done!