The caption for the photo: “Dense infestation buffalo grass in …

Comment on Invasive buffel grass soon part of international focus by Alex Nelson.

The caption for the photo: “Dense infestation buffalo grass in land near the Alice Springs airport” brings back some memories. During my years at school in the 1970s, invariably when I spoke about buffel grass everyone thought I meant buffalo grass, a common variety of garden lawn. [ED– the autocorrect of ‘buffalo’ for ‘buffel’ has now been corrected, thanks Alex.]
As my home was at AZRI and then the new CSIRO field station next door, I was completely familiar with buffel grass during the time when its systematic introduction for dust control (especially for the Alice Springs Airport) and improved pasture was fully underway.
However, this was still the time when buffel grass was not yet dominant in the landscape so most people were unfamiliar with it.

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

The good and the bad of spending money we don’t have
Ah yes, that lovely deep underground car park for public servants next to the NT Legislative Assembly, on which I henceforth bestow the title of “Labor’s long-drop”.
All that’s required to top off this most worthy project is a ceiling and very large fan.


Thieves ram cars out of compound
This is the same building the NT Government has vacated as its former departmental offices but (I am informed) continues to pay rent for the empty space.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of Gregory Terrace and a short distance up is the public “asset” of the former Visitors Information Centre that has been abandoned, trashed and boarded up.
It’s all symptomatic of something seriously wrong with a Labor Government that three short years ago was elected overwhelmingly on the promise of being more honest and accountable.
The whole situation stinks to high hell.


Lame duck MLA, says Katherine voter
Bruce, you are a member of a vanishingly small vanguard of defenders of democracy. Keep up the good fight, you’re the rare sort of person that makes a genuinely positive difference.
We deserve a far better standard of representative government across the board but only if there is enough of us willing to take a stand.


Pine Gap: The link Alice has to Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds
I cannot help wondering if history is turning full circle – certainly too many of us in the West seem to be forgetful of the fundamental principles that are foundational to democratic societies.
As far as the United States is concerned, the preamble of The Declaration of Independence (probably the most influential document in history) is well worth contemplating: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
These words drafted by Thomas Jefferson nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago seem to resonate powerfully for our times.


Boyer Lectures aim to reignite recognition debate
It’s interesting to note Rachel Perkins’s Boyer Lecture series will occur in the same year of the passing of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who in turn gave the Boyer Lectures 40 years ago (1979) when he was still the president of the ACTU.
Amongst several topics covered by the theme The Resolution of Conflict, Hawke advocated for the abolition of states and territories in Australia, describing them as a “dangerous anachronism” that “is hurting Australians every day of every week”.
He also pointed out that Australia is “the most over-governed country in the world”.
That view certainly wasn’t shared in the Northern Territory at the time, one year after gaining “responsible self-government” under the leadership of Chief Minister Paul Everingham.
Yet one decade ago, on the occasion of Territory Day in 2009, Paul Everingham himself “came out” declaring the states and territories should be abolished.
The call for a First Nations voice in (Federal) Parliament comes at a time when surely there is cause to consider the whole structure of governance and administration in Australia.
There must surely be a better way than the current model.


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