Good n’ gammon XXIII: The tell ’em Fylesy sent ya tourism revival commemorative edition

by | Sep 25, 2020 | Opinion | 1 comment

Another week in the Territory and don’t they all just blend into each other. From the rain coming down in some parts, to a Tourism Minister quickly becoming more iconic than Crocodile Dundee to the Police Commissioner extending the Chief Minister’s violation of the free press. This is all that is good and that is gammon this week.

Flashing your massive arts in the Centre

The Alice Springs Desert Festival is on, with ten days of music, theatre, film and art, with an all-Territory program. It’s also celebrating it’s 20th year. It is great to be be able to show off the great parts of Alice Springs.

It is a good celebration of culture in Alice.

Some people feel the rain, others just get wet

It’s rained. It has definitely rained in parts of the Top End with about 80mm having fallen in Darwin since Saturday, which the Bureau of Meterology says is the highest September falls since 1981. Not everyone is getting it but Dum-In-Mirrie Island north of Dundee copped about 80mm in the 24 hours up until Friday morning. But there is bugger all rain forecast for the next week so screw you BOM. However, it may produce the green shoots the ex Treasurer Nicole Manison was always talking about were coming.

Good rain is good.

Ride ’em non gender specific cowpeople

Two heads of industry lobby groups have found it harder to ride the electronic scooters in Darwin than bulls at the Noonamah Rodeo and bitten concrete to great effect after too much Devil bitter. To save them from grave shame we will not name them but one would know a bit about bulls and gave the excuse for injuries as a fall from a bike. While the other, we have on good authority, managed four hours of nightcaps after the attempted scooticide. And then much later, hospital. But anyway, they’re little orange scooters, not Rocksalt.

Scooters are good… but don’t be gammon on them.

You don’t have to be smart enough to spell cat to ride a bull.

The noise of bombs dropping

Last week Chief Minister Michael Gunner dropped an f-bomb on ABC radio and it exploded like it was 1942 again with him copping a lot of criticism. Not that we reckon the word or the act was that bad, it was his reaction when being asked not to swear that was strange. But one talk back host who didn’t sling too much mud on this massive issue was Katie Woolf on 104.9. MIX FM. Maybe that is because she accidently dropped the c-bomb once upon a time.

Not good nor gammon, just an observation.

The ABS’s laksa sales stats

Mr Gunners personal festival idea, the Laksa Festival is back with some bold claims. While reporting the government has just spent another $30,000 updating the app, the NT News quoted an unnamed spokeswoman – always hard to hold anyone to account when you do that – saying “foot traffic and sales of laksa at participating venues” were up by 41 per cent compared to the same period the year prior. Now this takes us to a whole level of laksa record keeping we did know existed in the laksa vendor world. But certainly unsourced stats from an un-named spokeswoman are good enough for us. It reminds us of the time the government said more than four times the number who came to the V8 Supercars at the event’s peak came to Darwin for the Tropical Light festival. So is Tropical Light, obviously one of the most successful events ever staged in the NT, coming back? We haven’t heard.

The lack of government transparency on ‘festival’ numbers is gammon.

Bouncing right back


That’s not a dumb idea, this is a dumb idea.

Natasha Fyles is not letting being disposed of as Attorney-General get to her and she is getting her name out there as the new Tourism Minister. And she has more than just her mad CPR skills to revive it. She’s come up with one of the most innovative tourism ideas we have ever heard of to get people to come to the Top End during the Build up. When talking about the new tourism vouchers she was on the tele news saying something like: “Yes it can be warm but people can plan their trips around air-conditioning”. Brilliant tourism strategy: come to the Territory and lock yourself inside where it’s cool. Out: Fishing, croc jumping, hiking, camping, swimming. In: Netflix. Travel 4,000km to come and do what you could do at home for free.

We can plan their itinerary now. Take in the majesty of the Post Office air-conditioning. Brave the wilds of the Build up on Cavanagh St for about a minute before plunging into the world class air conditioning of Woolworths. To save you dying in the Outback, catch a cab for the 450m to Darwin Central to take in one of the many (two) restaurants offering food from across the globe. Stay the night in the luxurious Rydges Darwin Central – no coronavirus in this one unless you bring it with you! – before trekking off at dawn to beat the heat for a day in the Mitchell Centre where you can take in the delights of Coles and the bottle-o. Drink a carton or two while getting your shoes repaired by old mate who never seems to leave. Then just on dusk, venture out with your tour guide for your glamping adventure in the doorway of Cotton On in the Smith St Mall, which was judged by a world leading team of experts – the Gunner Government cabinet – as the world’s coldest air-conditioning. Never have I ever…heard such rubbish.

The idea of the air-conditioner-led tourism market is gammon.

Yeah, we get it. You’re building a fucking police station

Police Minister Nicole Manison put out a press release late on Friday afternoon saying, yep they were still building the Nightcliff Police Station and added the vital news it was going to have a roof. While we are more fans of convertible police stations we are glad the government is taking us through this build brick-by-brick.

It’s the 12th time they have mentioned the police station in a press release in the past 18 months. What they didn’t mention in this press release is construction is behind schedule based on one of their previous announcements. Perhaps they could swap a spin doctor for a tradie and get it built quicker. Then they would also need to put out less press releases. Efficiency.

Press releases generally are gammon.

the Manunda Place building in Darwin

Manunda Place – where aesthetic dreams go to die.

Welcome back 1984, we’ve missed you. We need to give credit to Sandran, the company that has developed the new Fat Cat tower, Manunda Place in Cavenagh St in Darwin. They have made it look so 80s we expect to see ash trays built into the desks and beer fridges serving only green cans or red cans underneath them. And blokes in short sleeve shirts and ties with shorts and long socks. It is certainly a stunning architectural salute to a much, much fuglier time. We really need a CLP old boys government to properly match the vibe it is putting out.

Ugly new buildings are gammon.

In other police news – It’s buljit

We haven’t said much about this but NT Police force through their media department supremeo Rob Cross, presumably on the direction of Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker, does not recognise the NT Independent and so will not answer our questions. This means that if we are reporting on crime for Territorians, especially crime that other media outlets are not, such as the crime that led to moving and partial shut down of the Parrtjima Festival in Alice Springs, then the taxpayers miss out on vital information. This decision turns a supposedly and importantly apolitical organisation into a political one. The media union has already publicly denounced the decision by the Gunner Government not to talk to us and Media Watch called it “crazy”. Where does this leave the police force? According to a Police Association poll released in June, 86 per cent of those officers surveyed thought the Gunner Government interferes with police operational matters. Is that really a credible way for a police commissioner to operate? It just makes it look like he’s carrying out the dutiful and very dubious commands of a political overlord in Michael Gunner.  Anyway, all we can say is: You may take our access to official information but you’ll never take our freedom.

The Police Commissioner picking and choosing what media outlets he’ll talk to is buljit.

NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker and media manager Rob Cross. If you see them down the street give them a wave. If you are angry about them violating the freedom of the press email them a complaint at We are sure they will take your concerns seriously.

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