Newsletter – June 2024

Greetings Friends,

This monthly newsletter (No. 40) includes; NT Election 2024, DHA is failing community, arrestees update, quiz, plants and wildlife.


1.0 NT Election 2024 and government planning

There are two months left to the NT general election.

Fig 1. Independent candidate Graeme Sawyer launched his election campaign for Wanguri on 24 June 2024

There are four independents and one Green candidate in the northern suburbs supporting “Save Lee Point”. You can find out which candidates support “Save Lee Point” in the Darwin-Palmerston-Rural Area. A summary is:

  • Labor – “NO RESPONSE”; none of the potential candidates responded.
  • CLP – “NO”; the CLP Opposition Leader on behalf of the Opposition Team indicated in a letter to FLP that the Lee Point development should proceed.
  • Greens – “YES”; all potential candidates responded YES.
  • Independents – most responded “YES”, with the remainder “UNDECIDED”.

If you would like to assist a candidate who supports Save Lee Point please contact the candidate directly or let us know:

For future events check Friends of Lee Point Facebook and major events latest POSTS (website).


Government planning

NT Planning Commission is consulting on a Strategic Directions Planning Policy document. This important document is intended to refine the objectives of the NT Planning Act – Have your say closes 31 July 2024.

Lee Point peninsula – Casuarina Coastal Reserve is set to become a national park with the exclusion of the Lee Point development land, refer ABC News article.


2.0 Defence Housing Australia (DHA) is failing community

Works have been halted on Stage 2 and 3 following allegations of illegal clearing by DHA. A formal complaint was lodged 16 May 2024 by Friends of Lee Point to the NT Government – Development Assessment Services (DAS) on behalf of the Lee Point community. DAS are currently seeking further information from DHA.

Fig 2. Lee Point peninsula, red outline shows extent of housing with Stage 1, 2 and 3 cleared.

Whats not right:

 Some examples are:

    • Housing the taxpayer is underwriting a $400M “luxury style” housing development by DHA on Lee Point peninsula at a time when Darwin has a housing affordability crisis  – read housing report
    • Lee Point Area Plan –the developer (DHA) created this Area Plan for its project, a clear conflict of interest – read Planning for Lee Point.

    • Loss of critical habitat – DHA plans to clear the majority of old-growth trees on the Lee Point peninsula, representing a significant loss from Darwin Wildlife Corridor – read corridor report

    • Fire/Gamba Grass – Gamba Grass outbreaks on DHA land pose a fire threat to a significant number of old-growth trees on the Lee Point peninsula – read Gamba Grass report

Fig 3. Gamba Grass in a DHA conservation area intended to be handed to NT.

    • Erosion – significant erosion is happening on DHA land (west of Stage 3) and the sediment is impacting CCR – read erosion report

Fig 4. Erosion gully (note adult in background) in a DHA conservation area intended to be handed to NT.

Planning for Lee Point has further information on this ill-conceived project.


Take Action

The Lee Point housing project has been plagued by appalling planning from the start, and never should have been allowed to get this far. It is well past time for an investigation into DHA.  Take Action:

    • Send a letter to Senator Grogan asking for Australia’s Extinction Crisis to be reopened. Lee Point is a classic example of what should not happen.

    • Please sign this PETITION that calls for an inquiry into DHA.


3.0 Arrestees update

Many people campaigned to stop the senseless destruction of old-growth forest at Lee Point by DHA. Of the (19) campaigners arrested for taking peaceful, non-violent, direct action;

  • one received a $2000 fine for “locking on” to prevent removal from site.
  • 13 pleaded guilty to trespassing and received a fine of $150 with no criminal convictions.
  • five have had their cases adjourned to a later date.

One woman has made an official complaint to police of being assaulted by security guards – case still to be heard.  There were approx. 80 security guards, 12 police and 4 mounted police at Lee Point when most of the arrests happened.

Fig 5. Darwin Local Court, 30 May 2024

Watch their interview with ABC News Darwin.

Thank you so much to those who have donated to the Save Lee Point campaign over the last year. Please consider a donation, go to the bottom of the page – add the comment “legal costs” to help pay for fines.


4.0  Quiz

How many species of kingfisher have been recorded on Lee Point peninsula. Can you name them and what is the largest?

Fig 6. Forest Kingfishers at Lee Point Dam – Photo by Simone Martin June 2024


5.0 Plants and Wildlife

Wilderness Walks have been running each week 5pm Sunday and sometimes on Saturday morning 7am – see FLP Facebook for latest info. They have been identifying 30-45 bird species, see ebird for latest sightings.

Many plants on the Lee Point peninsula are flowering now.

Fig 7. Turkey Bush – crushed leaves can provide some protection from biting insects.

Fig 8. Scarlet Gum (Eucalyptus phoenicia)

Fig 9. Kapok Bush (Cochlospermum fraseri) – the petals are edible.

Fig 10. Red-flowered Kurrajong (Brachychiton megaphyllus) – floral emblem of City of Darwin.

Fig 11. How many Tawny Frogmouths are here?

These frogmouths can be seen on the way to Lee Point Dam but their camouflage makes them difficult to spot.


Enjoy the Dry Season


Answers to Quiz

Answer Q1 – Lee Point peninsula has recorded 7 kingfishers; Forest, Azure, Sacred, Collared, Red-backed, Little and Blue-winged Kookaburra (largest kingfisher).

The Laughing Kookaburra is the world’s largest kingfisher. It lives in the southwest and east coast of Australia.