Newsletter – March 2024


Greetings Friends,

This monthly newsletter (No. 36) includes; Lee Point events, art project 2024, Area Plan and old growth trees, Quiz, Plants and Wildlife.


 1.0 Lee Point events

All these events are on the Lee Point Calendar

Lee Point Street Party – Not to be missed. Thursday 28 March at Railway Club, Parap with lots of acts. Here’s Alice Cotton in – I Feel Fine.


Sundays at Lee Point and Wilderness Walks – Art has been a feature at Sundays at Lee Point and Wilderness Walks have been running each week 7am Saturday and 5pm Sunday. The walks have been identifying 30-45 bird species each week, refer to ebird for latest sightings.

Bar-breasted Honeyeaters are a common sight on the Wilderness Walks – image by Simone Martin

A “Farewell Shorebirds” event organised by Birdlife Top End attracted over 50 people on the 9 March 2024. Migratory shorebirds leave Lee Point for the Arctic Circle eg. Siberia in Mar/April and return in Aug/Sept. They are amazing flyers, hear how they prepare themselves for their long flight.

Loss of habitat and disturbance is a major threat for migratory shorebirds. Australia’s threatened species just got longer. For migratory shorebirds at Lee Point: 6 species became more threatened and 3 became less threatened. ABC footage from Lee Point explains why.

Eastern Curlews (Numenius madagascariensis) at Lee Point on 8 March 2024

The Eastern Curlew is Critically Endangered in Australia and Endangered worldwide. For Australia, it faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.


2.0 Lee Point Art Project 2024

Adam Foster has written a poem called the “Thin Green Line” about Lee Point with people putting art to the stanzas – entries closed 17 March 2024.

Stanza 3 – Grusha Leeman

View entries by artists and listen to the Thin Green Line by Merillee Mills, audio engineered by Ben Andrews.

An art exhibition is due to be held at the Art Warehouse 4-18 April, check the Lee Point Art Project page for updates.


3.0 Lee Point Area Plan and old growth trees

The present Lee Point Area Plan allows over half the old growth trees to be cleared from the Lee Point peninsula – a disaster for Lee Point.


Over 40 people met outside MLA Joel Bowden’s (Planning Minister) office from 7.30-8.30am for a Save Lee Point event “Bowden’s Breakfast.”

A letter was later delivered to his office that called for the NT Planning Minister to:

  • immediately revoke the planning permit for the DHA housing project to cease land clearing of old-growth forest,
  • have the independent NT Planning Commission complete a comprehensive Area Plan for the whole of the Lee Point peninsula that reflects the needs and wishes of the community.

Australian Government – Letters have been sent to Federal Minister for Environment and Water, Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Minister for Defence, recommending that the federal government;

  • immediately halt the clearing of land on the Lee Point peninsula, in particular old-growth trees, to allow the NT Government (using the independent NT Planning Commission) time to develop a comprehensive Area Plan for the whole of Lee Point peninsula; and
  • the DHA housing project be relocated to a suitable location with a mix of affordable housing to help address Darwin’s current housing affordability crisis.

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) has publicly stated that “The Lee Point development will provide much needed housing for Defence families and the broader Darwin community.”

An independent housing report by Catherine Holmes Consulting in March 2024 concluded that: “…the DHA development is highly unlikely to indirectly deliver affordable housing in the broader community for a growing number of households experiencing housing stress…”

This report was funded through the Save Lee Point campaign and sent directly to government.

Casuarina Coastal Reserve (CCR) as a national park – FLP believe that a new Area Plan is more urgent and a much higher priority than a national park for CCR…read more. ABC Darwin ran this story.

Submissions to NT Government close Monday 22 April 2024 – Have your say

34ha CCR extension (green), defence land (white line), old-growth trees/tree hollows (yellow)

Large old growth trees are vital for birds and their long branches and hollows cannot be replaced by saplings. Approximately 20% of birds and 40% of mammals rely on tree hollows.

Sulpher-crested Cockatoo

The lack of democratic process and transparency on the community/defence housing project at Lee Point has upset many Darwin residents. Bulldozing of Stage 2 could take place in early April 2024.  Take Action


4.0  Quiz

Some people have called this bird “Zoro”. Do you know its real name? Answers at the end.


5.0 Plants and Wildlife

Butterflies, fruiting fungi and flowering grevilleas were a part of the Lee Point Corridor this month.

Lime Berry (Micromelum minutum)


Fuscous Swallowtail (Papilio fuscus) laying eggs on a Lime Berry, a host plant for its larvae.

These large butterflies feed on citrus plants and can be seen in Darwin’s home gardens.

Fungi are the great recyclers, without fungi forests would not exist. Some of the more common fungi in Darwin are shown here

Fruit of Chantharellus fungi


Grevillea dryandri have been flowering this month, seen here with a Brown Honeyeater.

Dusky Honeyeater

Clothes Peg Tree (Grevillea decurrens) with Brown Honeyeater


Enjoy the last of the wet season


Answers to Quiz

White-bellied Cuckooshrike (Coracina papuensis). It is a common resident of the Darwin region.

A similar bird, a Black-faced Cuckooshrike, visits in the dry season (from interstate) but doesn’t have a “Zoro” mask.