Newsletter – late April 2024


Greetings Friends,

This monthly newsletter (No. 38) includes; Is government listening?, Planning for Lee Point, NT Election 2024, art and walks, quiz, grass fire.


 1.0 Is Government listening?

Fig 1. People at the main 2CRU gate asking the NT Government to stop clearing old-growth forest at Lee Point – 31 March 2024.
Fig 2. Stage 2 & 3 (approx 18ha) were cleared with bulldozers and chains during 30 Apr-2 May 2024.
Fig 3. Some of the old-growth forest in Stage 2 before it was cleared by DHA.

Stage 2 and 3 contained ~70 old-gowth trees (10% of Lee Point). This is more than the number found in CCR from the hospital to Buffalo Creek.

Approximately 15-20% of old-growth trees have now been lost from the Lee Point penisula. The DHA project will (if completed) clear over half the old-growth trees.

Fig 4 & 5. Neptune Security shoving a 70 year old woman into a paddy wagon on the morning 30 Apr 2024.

The woman was complaining about the lack of fauna spotters. No fauna spotters were observed when the trees were being felled . The ones that did appear later were not equipped to rescue animals. Local wildlife carers offered help to locate and care for hurt wildlife on the 2 May, however their offer was refused by DHA.

It was not possible to contact DHA during the tree clearing works because Neptune Security and the police said they did not know the identity of the site manager and there were no signs with a contact number. Signs appeared after the clearing works.

Fig 6. A bulldozer dangerously felling trees near a protester who took this photo on the afternoon of 30 Apr 2024. The protester is shown below.
Fig 7. This protestor remained in the tree all day despite many attempts to get the person down.
Fig 8. Last of the protesters being arrested on the 1 May.

Most of the arrests happened on the morning of 1 May. A group of approx 40 people gathered inside the fence, 18 ended up getting arrested with the remainder receiving trespass warnings.

During 30 Apr – 1 May there were up to 100 security and police plus 4 mounted police. Up to 150 protesters gathered on these days. On 2 May the number of mounted police had increased to 8.

So who were the 19 people arrested trying to protect Lee Point? They were in their early 20’s to late 70’s with half of them being over 50 years old. Most of them had lived in Darwin more than 10 years and had not been arrested before. Three quarters were women.

Is government listening?

In a letter to Minister Matt Thistlethwaite; a group of 9 clinicians that previously worked in the Top End have said the destruction of old-growth forests at Lee Point would make their return to Darwin less likely. Other people working at Royal Darwin Hospital have said similar things.

People have been visiting politicians to express their anger at the clearing and the DHA Lee Point project. In the past 4 years, no sitting MLA has been to Lee Point to meet and listen to peoples concern’s on the DHA project.

On a positive note NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy took the time to listen to (over 50) Save Lee Point campaigners at Tamarind Park, Mitchell St. This was appreciated by all. The senator said she had spoken with Matt Thistlethwaite (minister directly responsible for DHA) and would make inquiries.

Fig 9. Protesters at Tamarind Park on 3 May, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy in yellow.
Fig 10. The Sydney Defenders have been protesting regularly outside Tanya Plibersek’s office.

2.0  Planning for Lee Point

In essence, DHA created an Area Plan for its Lee Point project with inadequate community consultation and managed to get the government in 2014/15 to go along with it. That government suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government in the Territory’s history in 2016.

Having developers create Area Plans for the independent Development Consent Authority is not right. The question is, what is the current government going to do about it?

FLP were advised by Joel Bowden (Planning Minister) that revoking the Planning Permit (to stop clearing of old-growth forest at Lee Point) was a Labor policy decision and needed to be made by cabinet.

The current (8) cabinet members are:

  • Hon Eva Lawler MLA
  • Hon Chanston (Chansey) Paech MLA
  • Hon Joel Bowden MLA
  • Hon Selena Uibo MLA
  • Hon Kathryn (Kate) Worden MLA
  • Hon Ngaree Ah Kit MLA
  • Hon Brent Potter MLA
  • Hon Mark Monaghan MLA

Contact details can be found here: MLA list


3.0 NT Election 2024

Visits by potential candidates to Lee Point

This month, five potential candidates visited Lee Point/Binybara: Justine Glover (Karama Ind), Suki Dorras-Walker (Fannie Bay Greens), Justine Davis (Johnston Ind), @ Mililma May (Nightcliff Ind), @ Janey Davies (Port Darwin Ind).

Here’s hoping that we will see a sitting MLA visit before the 2024 NT Election.

Voices of the Top End

Voices of the Top End community engagement report 2024 was launched on 23 April at Darwin Railway Club. Most people believe they are not being adequately represented and want to see a representative that will listen, work with, and represent the community with honesty and integrity.


4.0 Lee Point Art and Walks

Fig 11. Justine at the Lee Point “Thin Green Line” art exhibition

The “Thin Green Line” art exhibition organised by Justine Glover, Carol Phayer and Gayle Laidlaw, closed this month but copies are now displayed at Lee Point. View entries by artists and listen to the Thin Green Line poem written by Adam Foster.

Justine is now busy running as an independent @Justine for Karama.

Fig 12. Sunday Art has been happening 4.30pm each Sunday, check Friends of Lee Point Facebook for details.

Wilderness Walks

Wilderness Walks have been running each week 5pm Sunday. The bird walks have been identifying 30-45 bird species, refer to ebird for latest sightings. An unusual visitor turned up at the dam this month.

Fig 13. Buff-banded Rail near dam – photo by James Lambert April 2024


Seabreeze Festival – FLP will be sharing a stall with Plan next Saturday at the Seabreeze Festival – Ripple Effect area. Expect art and singing plus a Save Lee Point talk at 6.30pm. Come and find out what you can do to save Lee Point.


5.0  Quiz

A baby bird in its nest, what is the name of the bird?

Fig. 14 Photo by Peter Brown


6.0 Grass Fire

The grass fire in 2CRU on the 25 April may have seemed serious but was in actual fact minor and promptly responded to by BushfiresNT. Bad fires occur at the end of the dry season. The destruction left by a bulldozer to habitat and wildlife is much, much worse.

Fig 15. Fire in 2CRU – photo by Jessica Black 25 April

Enjoy the coming Dry Season

Answers to Quiz

Fig 16. Lemon-bellied Flyrobin feeding young – photo by Peter Brown April 2024