The Northern Territory wet season is deemed to be the period between October 1 from one year to April 30 off the next. The dry season is designated as the period from May 1 to September 30 each year. On paper, our wet season is seven months ling, with the dry being of five months duration.

There are lots of vagaries about seasons, particularly with seasons that are unseasonal. There are ‘dry wets’, and ‘wet dry’s’.

This column will relate to Darwin, so there will be wide, wide variations that happen, depending on where people are located. I will be drawing statistics from the NT News weather comments and from observations made at our home in suburban Darwin.

Where better to start than at the beginning of the new wet season.


The annual average rainfall for Darwin during the month of October is 71.1 mm.

We have started well for October this year, with 22 mm of rain recorded at the Darwin Airport on October 2.

In October 2019, Darwin recorded only 20.2 mm of rain which fell across three rain days. The rainfall pattern was different in 2020. Total rainfall for Darwin Airport was 162.0 mm, which is 229% of the long-term average (then 70.7 mm). Rain fell on 9 days at our place during that month.

It will be interesting to see what the month brings forward.



There were 250 full page ads in the NT News* in September. That did not count:

. Government announcements.

. Covid information.

. Racing information.

. Any folded lift out.

. Any magazine inclusions.

This was an increase in the number of full page advertisements in the paper over August, the ‘leanest’ for any month to date for full page advertisements this year.

The least number of pages (1) were printed on September 27.

The greatest number of advertising pages happened on September 11 (20).

This year (January – September) there have been 2868 full page advertisements in the paper.

I began a new observation; the number of stories each month that are about crime and criminal activity as it impacts on the NT. In April there were 125 stories on this subject in the paper. There were 110 crime stories relating to the NT in May, a total of 235 for the two months. Up until September 30 there have been 616 stories on crime in the NT. There were 84 stories relating to crime in the NT during September. The majority related to crimes committed by young people.

Crime stories do not include regular or daily updates on ongoing cases, for instance the Rolfe or Hoffman trials.

* Includes both the ‘NT News’ and ‘Sunday Territorian’.

Please note that I do not count half and quarter page advertisements in my analysis. It is full page advertisements only. Neither are lift-outs (JB Hi Fi and Good Guys for example) included, when they do not form part of the paginated pages in the paper.

. Any announcements of festivals, celebratory weeks and so on are generally not included.

Points to Ponder


NT Nursing and Midwifery Federation Secretary Cath Hatcher’s interview with Katie Woolf (Mix 104.9 15/9 and reported in the NT News 16/9) was/is impacting and deeply disturbing. Ms Hatcher has demonstrated that issues confronting our nursing fraternity are overwhelming with many staff close to breaking point. I hope what she had to say hits home with decision makers and leads the key issues she raised, being addressed.

Our Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Chief Medical Officer Hugh Heggie deserve high praise for the plan designed to maximise protection from Covid for all Northern Territorians. I am so glad they have not been swayed by the carping of those who would open us up for the sake of making money and in so doing, throwing health cautions to the wind. We are lucky to have the protective leadership of the Gunner/ Heggie duo.

There is talk about hotels housing those undertaking Covid quarantine being gradually returned to offering accomodation to travellers and tourists. I would be very reluctant to accomodate at one of these hotels because of the possibility of lingering virus that could be infectious.


Opposition leader Lia Finocchiaro did the perceptions held of her no favours by storming out of the Legislative Assembly on August 10 when things did not go her way. This behaviour was tantamount to throwing a tantrum, something not expected of leaders. She owes her party and the assembly an apology for this conduct.


An overfull and unstable waste bin recently confronted the driver of a JJ Richards truck who was doing weekly kerbside collections in our suburb. He could have driven past and left the bin. Instead he got out, manually moved excess rubbish from the bin into the truck’s hopper, climbed back into the truck, picked up and emptied the bin. This driver deserves recognition and thanks for his management of the situation.


It is worrying that people booking vaccinations have not been turning up for their appointments. This indicates a complacent attitude to protection against the virus and also raises the spectre of vaccines expiring because of non administration by their use by date. We need to be smart, not slack about vaccination.


Many years of living in our suburb have taught me the two rules applying to street sweeping by both the City of Darwin Council and the NT Government (responsible for a nearby major road.)

Street sweeping cannot commence before 11.00 pm.

The street sweeper must pass up and down over the same stretch of road at least four times.


I am very glad that the courts determined the amount to be paid out in the Don Dale class action should be revealed to the public. $35 million. It is an amount that will cause people to gasp with astonishment. It may well suggest that there is a silver lining for those convicted and detained for wrongdoing, if management of their sentences is deemed inappropriate.

All the best to new CEO of Danila Dilba Rob McPhee as he takes up the management reins of this key organisation. He succeeds Olga Havnen who has done an outstanding job in overseeing the key health service provisions of Danila Dilba for the past eight years.

Jabiru’s hybrid power station (NT News 2/8) with both diesel and solar components will be a real fillip for the community. A similar plant is needed for the town of Nhulunbuy. This town and community of 3,000 people experience regular power outages and disruptions that negatively impact on businesses and residents. Irregularity of power supply has plagued the community for many years.

The supposed ignorance in Sydney by people over Covid issues, in my opinion, has nothing to do with language. It has much more to do with cultural preferences and background.

If I was in a foreign country and did not understand the language, visual clues and pictorial content on TV, posters and billboards would be sufficient to tell me about how to keep myself safe and how to become vaccinated.

Many Australians with their origins from overseas won’t vaccine, won’t keep away from large family groupings and will not take the precautions or follow the recommendations of health authorities and government.

Thanks to this attitude, the way out of Covid, especially in locked down Sydney, will be a slow burn.


To date, 27 people without Covid infection, have become Covid positive while in hotel quarantine. They in turn have infected others, in some cases many, many others. Hotel quarantine is responsible for a lot of our ongoing issues with the virus. We will have problems with Covid for as long as hotel quarantine is the go to method of quarantine management.

There are too many ‘if’s’, ‘but’s’, ‘maybe’s’ and exceptions about the way in which the NSW Government has handled the Sydney lockdown. The process lacks consistency and the outcome is that there are increasing numbers of community transmissions with the end of lockdown maybe months away.


It is to be hoped the Indo Pacific Marine attraction and educational exhibit can be housed at the museum (Sun Terr 25/7) or elsewhere. To dismantle this fine exhibition would be a travesty. The attraction is iconic and has brought marine understanding to hundreds of thousands of people, local and visitors alike. It must not be consigned to the realms of extinction.


The QR code can be used to give actual times is shops, businesses and shopping centres if it is engaged on phones as people enter and exit places. Deduction of the first from the second time stamp gives the exit and actual times spent on premises. This could have future use if places are later designated as hotspots because of access by infected persons.


Those who engage in anti vaccination and lockdown protests deserve severe chastisement. For breachers, that should include cancellation of unemployment benefits and all welfare assistance for a designated period of time. Those not prepared to respect community needs and government/health department directions do not deserve support.


Covid vaccine optionality is dangerous and will prolong community uncertainty about the inroads of this disease by weeks and months. It is this optionality that is continuing the dangerous inroads of the coronavirus in the UK and USA where the community is supposedly reaching full vaccination. That cannot be the case when 30% to 40% are refusing to be vaccinated. The same outcome could happen in Australia.


I wonder why signage asking motorists to desist stopping on sections of thoroughfares designated as entry points for traffic from the left are written in a way that reverses the message to approaching drivers. The message should be “KEEP CLEAR “

but is stencilled across the width of the left hand side lane(s) as “CLEAR KEEP”



Surely teachers and other essential workers who will return when Covid lockdowns In southern states are lifted, should be quarantined at Howard Springs at government cost. For them to be confronted with significant quarantine bills seems unfair. As NT Government employees, they are victims of circumstances not of their making.


I hope the Rolfe trial, for the sake of everyone connected with this matter, can proceed without undue delays caused by interstate Covid lockdowns.


There are many ambulance movements up and down Vanderlin Drive every day, always with sirens blaring, in what seems to be a constant connection between the two hospitals. Every time one passes, the thought “there goes another $500”, springs to mind.


It was very decent andf unselfish of NSW to step back and allow Queensland the luxury of a close win in the third State of Origin game. With the trophy won, the Blues did the right thing in retiring a little in order that the Maroons could salvage some pride. Theirs was a compassionate attitude toward a game that could never dampen their prowess and superiority.

Sometimes there is too much probing, prodding and pushing into the world of the unknown when it comes to scientific curiosity about viruses. There is every chance that Covid 19 came from this exploration, with a monstrous and evil virus being unleashed on the world. Sadly with coronavirus, curiosity has killed more than the cat.


I am disappointed in those construction and furbishment companies that are so enthused about big money associated with new work, they forget about or are not interested in maintenance of earlier work or installations. It is particularly galling when maintenance needs of long term, loyal customers are dismissed.