Divisions in the Northern Territory Labor Party were on show on May 12 as the party’s annual conference voted to ban fracking across the territory, weeks after Chief Minister Michael Gunner lifted a moratorium on the practice. The vote was a vindication for the more than 200 protesters who gathered outside.
More than 600 activists rallied here on April 22 to condemn Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s announcement that fracking would go ahead in the NT despite his election promise of a 5-year moratorium.
The Gunner Labor government was elected in 2016, partly on the promise to hold back on fracking which would open 51% of the NT to the controversial process of mining gas via hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”.
A report on the impact of youth programs in remote central Australia found that, with enough effort, they provided significant support to children, their families and communities, as well as the broader health, education and justice systems.
They also actively reduced rates of crime and drug and alcohol abuse among young people.
The report, released on May 16, examined three youth programs in Utopia, Hermannsburg, and Yuendumu.
Some 50 people rallied outside the Northern Territory Labor Party conference on March 25 to demand NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner keep his promise to ban fracking in the territory.
The Labor government came into power in the NT in a landslide on August 27. Among the many promises Labor made was a commitment to a moratorium on hydraulic fracking until the process is proven to be safe.
Conan Zamolo, a former youth justice officer at Don Dale youth detention centre, has admitted he filmed himself bursting into a cell and repeatedly asking the boys in their beds to give him oral sex.
He was giving evidence to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
Zomolo said he was "goofing around" in the videos and had a "good relationship with the kids".
Zamolo also admitted to the hearing he had filmed children being forced to eat bird faeces and posted the footage on social media site Snapchat.
New laws to legalise abortions were passed by the Northern Territory parliament on March 21. The bill passed by 20 votes to four after a lengthy and emotional debate.
The new laws mean the NT joins the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania in decriminalising abortion and stands in stark contrast to NSW and Queensland, which have Australia’s most restrictive abortion legislation.
The West Papuan Friendship Mural in the Darwin CBD, which has become a poignant symbol of solidarity between the people of West Papua and Australia, was half painted over on March 4 after strong pressure from the Indonesian Consulate.
The mural was painted in June 2015 as part of a week of action in solidarity the West Papuan struggle for independence from Indonesia.
The Court of Disputed Returns has dismissed an application by the Northern Territory Electoral Commission to render void the election of Yingiya Guyula to the Northern Territory seat of Nhulumbuy.
Guyula is a Yolngu leader who ran on a platform of treaty and bicultural education for the Yolngu majority seat in the August 27 NT election. After preferences were distributed, Guyula toppled the sitting Labor member Lynne Walker by eight votes. Walker was the only Labor candidate to lose their seat in that election.
The deadline for submissions to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory has been extended by four months.
The royal commission was announced on July 26 by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to investigate allegations of abuse of minors in the NT’s child detention system.
It came on the back of a July 25 Four Corners episode that showed youth detainees being stripped, beaten and strapped into a chair in “Guantanamo-style” conditions.
The federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg has again approved the use of a marine supply base at Port Melville in the Tiwi Islands without an environmental impact assessment and with none of the environmental conditions that were previously imposed.
A spokesperson for Frydenberg said on December 15: “The department has decided the operation of a marine supply base at Port Melville is not likely to have a significant impact on the environment and can proceed without further assessment under national environment law.