Newsletter – April 2022

Greetings Friends,

Lee Point Art Competition  “What you like about Lee Point”

FLP had a wonderful response from primary and middle school students with 172 artworks submitted, details at: https://saveleepoint.org.au/lee-point-art-competition/

Winners to be announced at the exhibition opening: 11am Saturday 7 May, Casuarina Library.

The closing date for the People’s Choice Award category has been extended to mid May and is open to all ages. You can vote on-line. All other categories have closed

Farewell Shorebirds – Nightcliff, Sunset Park, Saturday 2 April 2022

Birdlife TopEnd organised the shorebird event and FLP helped keep the young artists busy.

The migratory shorebirds are now flying to places like Siberia (approx. 10,00km away) to breed. We hope to see them back at Lee Point in August- September.

Election 2022 – ask your candidates about Lee Point

Lee Point is being lost due to a lack of democratic process and transparency. FLP are emailing all candidates in the NT Senate and Solomon elections asking; if elected,

Will you support a moratorium of the current DHA housing development at Lee Point until the Public Works Committee has completed a comprehensive report on its public benefit.

Results of the candidate survey will be on the Save Lee Point website after 8 May.

The Australian Government is bulldozing Lee Point to house thousands of people (30% service personnel when there are much better locations available. Prior to 2020, most people were unaware of the planned DHA development and today very few people support it. Government provided no discussion papers or reports on public benefit to the community and independent bodies (normally involved) were excluded from the process Read more

TAKE ACTION – The Australian Government wholly owns the land and the developer (DHA) in question. Ask your federal candidates: if elected, will you support an independent public benefit study on Lee Point?

FLP have been out and about talking to candidates.

Lee Point Development – Approval Status

NT Govt Approvals (as of 27 April 2022)Stage 1 North of Muirhead (97 lots)Stage 2 North of LyonsStage 3-5 North of LyonsStage 6-7 North of MuirheadStage 8 North of Lyons
PlanningYesYesYesYesYes
ConstructionYesNo*NoNoNo

*To date, DHA has not lodged an application with the NT Government for Stage 2 construction.

Lee Point Trivia

Q1. Healthy topsoil is an essential part of ecosystems. Typically, how long does it take to build up 10mm of topsoil? Answers at the end.

A. less than 2 years                 B. 10 years                  C. 50 years                  D. over 100 years

Soils

Reference is Wikipedia and Mathew Evans, Soil 2021. Images from Lee Point.

Bare earth creates the worst soil erosion problems. Increased runoff (and channeling) from bare areas wash away soils in nearby habitats further increasing erosion problems.

Intact open woodland

An intact open woodland has its canopy to slow rain, leaf litter and root network to slow runoff, and healthy soil to absorb and reduce runoff.

Native plants like Turkey Bush (image 2 above) and the Grevilleas (below) help slow erosion.

Carbon in soil

Soil (microbes, fungi and organic matter) contains more carbon than plants and the atmosphere combined (Ref. Wikipedia). Recent research indicates that fungi may play an important role in maintaining the carbon pool found in soil.

Fruiting body of fungi in open woodland soil

Typically intact habitats have good healthy soil (above image). It is spongy to walk on.

Bird Burrows at Lee Point

Some birds nest in burrows and the wet season is a good time to dig. This Azure Kingfisher may have been digging a burrow (note mud on bill).

Dry season flowers at Lee Point

This annual herb (Gomphrena canescens) is seen mostly between Apr-Aug. It grows on open areas of sandy or stoney ground. The red flower is less common than the other colours. Ref: Top End Native Plant Society.

Until next time, enjoy the coming dry season at Lee Point

Answer Q1. D over 100 years. Topsoil erosion is a serious global problem: https://www.fao.org/about/meetings/soil-erosion-symposium/key-messages/en/