Nhulunbuy

Nhulunbuy (/ˈnʊlənbɔɪ/) is a township that is the sixth largest population centre in the Northern Territory of Australia. Nhulunbuy was created on the Gove Peninsula in north-east Arnhem Land when a bauxite mine and a deep water port were established in the late 1960s, followed by an alumina refinery.[2]

Nhulunbuy
Northern Territory
Nhulunbuy
Coordinates12°10′57″S 136°46′55″E
Population3,240 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density455.1/km2 (1,178.6/sq mi)
Postcode(s)0881, 0880
Elevation20 m (66 ft)
Area7.12 km2 (2.7 sq mi)
Location
LGA(s)Unincorporated area
Territory electorate(s)Mulka
Federal division(s)Lingiari
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
30.8 °C
87 °F
23.3 °C
74 °F
1,305.3 mm
51.4 in
Alumina plant at Nhulunbuy, June 2000
The old airport terminal at Gove Airport.

The alumina refinery closed in May 2014,[3] and Nhulunbuy was reduced by 700 to 3,240 by the time of the 2016 Australian census. The median age in the town was 32 in the 2016 census.[4]

History

This area in Northeast Arnhem Land has been home to the Yolngu Aboriginal people for at least 40,000 years.

Matthew Flinders, in his circumnavigation of Australia in 1803, met the Macassan trading fleet near present-day Nhulunbuy, an encounter that led to the establishment of settlements on Melville Island and the Cobourg Peninsula. A beach close to the township is named Macassan Beach in honour of this encounter.

In 1963, an Australian Government decision excised part of the land for a bauxite mine and alumina refinery to be operated by the North Australian Bauxite and Alumina Company (Nabalco).[5] The Yolngu people at Yirrkala were strongly opposed, and forwarded a bark petition to the Australian House of Representatives, which attracted national and international attention, and which now hangs in Parliament House, Canberra.[6][5]

To serve the mine, the town of Nhulunbuy was established, housing the workers and their families employed by Nabalco, which became Alcan in 2002. In 2003, Alcan Gove issued a notice of intent to Government of the Northern Territory re third stage expansion of the alumina refinery.[7] During the 1970s, the population rose to approximately 3,500 with 1,000 students at the combined primary and high school. A new high school was opened in 1981. The mine was later owned by Rio Tinto, which acquired Alcan in 2007.

Permits are required to drive to Nhulunbuy — over 700 km (430 mi) of unsealed roads — so most supplies and visitors are brought by air to Gove Airport or by sea.

Nhulunbuy is only 20 km (12 mi) from the Indigenous community of Yirrkala, famous for its Aboriginal art.

The alumina refinery closed in May 2014, which resulted in 1,100 workers being redeployed or made redundant,[3] and reduced the Nhulunbuy population by 700 to 3,240 in the 2016 Australian census.[4]

For the purposes of granting tax rebates to residents of isolated areas as per Section 79A(3F) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, the census population of Nhulunbuy is taken to be less than 2,500,[8] although it was in fact 3,240 in the 2016 census.[1]

In 2019, the Arnhem Space Centre near Nhulunbuy, an equatorial satellite launch facility, was announced.[9] In June 2022, it was announced that NASA would launch three rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre. This is the first time NASA launched a rocket from a commercial launch site outside the United States.[10]

Education

Nhulunbuy includes three schools; Nhulunbuy Primary School, Nhulunbuy High School and Nhulunbuy Christian College. In 1999, the first classes of the Nhulunbuy Christian College (formerly known as Nhulunbuy Christian School) were held at the local TAFE centre, and in 2001 the first building of the new school was completed. In 2007 the NCC Middle School was opened and in 2008 the combined year 8/9 Class was first established. In 2017, Nhulunbuy High School opened a $20 million dollar boarding facility, which provides increased educational opportunities to remote students.[11]

Facilities

  • Walkabout Lodge & Tavern
  • Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation
  • Endeavour Square, a community shopping centre that includes the northernmost Woolworths supermarket, BWS liquor store and Westpac bank in Australia
  • Gove Country Golf Club; northernmost golf course in Australia
  • Gove District Hospital
  • Gove Boat Club

Refinery closure

On 29 November 2013, Rio Tinto announced the closure of the alumina refinery (but not the bauxite mine) by July 2014 with the loss of 1,100 jobs, or almost 25% of the town's population.[3][12] The refinery ceased production in May 2014.[13]

Nhulunbuy's population had already dropped by mid 2014, with some of the workforce retained to monitor the shutdown and survey holding ponds full of toxic compounds, but most will be gone by January 2015.[2] A range of measures were announced to support the town and its former workers through the closure and the following three years, but locals anticipate further cuts to services since the school, hospital, power plant and flights were backed by Rio Tinto.[14] The closure of the refinery also left flights on the Darwin-Nhulunbuy route to fall to around 50 to 60 per cent full, causing QantasLink to suspend flights on the route from 17 August 2014.[15]

Media

As a result of the refinery curtailment and subsequent loss of advertising revenue, Gove's only source of local news, the Arafura Times, published its final issue in mid-October 2016.[16]

Gove Online publishes news about Nhulunbuy and East Arnhem Land.[17]

In film

A feature film called The Boat With No Name, directed by local filmmaker Phil O'Brien (also an author, musician, and former crocodile farmer, who describes himself as a raconteur[18]), premiered at Gove Boat Club early in 2022. All of the actors are locals, with the lead role taken by O'Brien. Local businesses provided A$10,000 of funding to the low-budget film, which showcases the area and characters, "and captures the ethos of the East Arnhem region: Indigenous and non-Indigenous people (Yolngu and balanda) working together to create something new".[19]

Climate

Nhulunbuy has a tropical savannah climate (Aw). Temperatures are hot year round with very warm nights. The wet season lasts from December to May and experiences consistent and very heavy rainfall. Rainfall does occur during the dry season, but it usually is very uncommon and limited. Nhulunbuy has a very narrow temperature range like most tropical climates, with a temperature range of only 23.8 °C (42.8 °F).

Climate data for Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia (1975-1985 normals and extremes)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.7
(96.3)
35.6
(96.1)
35.7
(96.3)
35.6
(96.1)
34.0
(93.2)
32.3
(90.1)
31.2
(88.2)
33.4
(92.1)
34.6
(94.3)
37.8
(100.0)
37.3
(99.1)
35.3
(95.5)
37.8
(100.0)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 34.1
(93.4)
33.6
(92.5)
33.5
(92.3)
33.1
(91.6)
32.0
(89.6)
31.0
(87.8)
30.0
(86.0)
30.3
(86.5)
31.2
(88.2)
32.9
(91.2)
33.2
(91.8)
34.1
(93.4)
34.1
(93.4)
Average high °C (°F) 32.0
(89.6)
31.7
(89.1)
31.5
(88.7)
31.5
(88.7)
30.5
(86.9)
29.5
(85.1)
28.6
(83.5)
29.0
(84.2)
29.8
(85.6)
30.9
(87.6)
31.9
(89.4)
32.4
(90.3)
30.8
(87.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 28.8
(83.8)
28.5
(83.3)
28.2
(82.8)
27.8
(82.0)
26.9
(80.4)
25.5
(77.9)
24.6
(76.3)
24.5
(76.1)
25.5
(77.9)
26.9
(80.4)
28.5
(83.3)
29.2
(84.6)
27.1
(80.7)
Average low °C (°F) 25.5
(77.9)
25.2
(77.4)
24.9
(76.8)
24.0
(75.2)
23.2
(73.8)
21.5
(70.7)
20.5
(68.9)
19.9
(67.8)
21.1
(70.0)
22.9
(73.2)
25.1
(77.2)
25.9
(78.6)
23.3
(74.0)
Mean minimum °C (°F) 23.8
(74.8)
23.5
(74.3)
23.3
(73.9)
22.4
(72.3)
21.1
(70.0)
19.0
(66.2)
18.1
(64.6)
17.6
(63.7)
18.7
(65.7)
20.4
(68.7)
23.0
(73.4)
23.8
(74.8)
17.6
(63.7)
Record low °C (°F) 20.5
(68.9)
22.0
(71.6)
17.2
(63.0)
20.5
(68.9)
17.3
(63.1)
15.5
(59.9)
14.6
(58.3)
14.0
(57.2)
16.3
(61.3)
15.1
(59.2)
20.0
(68.0)
21.2
(70.2)
14.0
(57.2)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 235.9
(9.29)
229.1
(9.02)
269.0
(10.59)
232.3
(9.15)
78.6
(3.09)
20.0
(0.79)
12.7
(0.50)
4.3
(0.17)
5.0
(0.20)
10.0
(0.39)
29.8
(1.17)
186.4
(7.34)
1,313.1
(51.7)
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 11.8 11.5 12.2 9.3 6.3 4.5 2.4 1.2 0.5 1.0 2.4 7.2 70.3
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 72 73 73 68 65 61 61 61 61 62 66 69 66
Average dew point °C (°F) 24.6
(76.3)
24.7
(76.5)
24.4
(75.9)
23.2
(73.8)
21.9
(71.4)
19.7
(67.5)
18.9
(66.0)
19.4
(66.9)
20.4
(68.7)
21.8
(71.2)
23.7
(74.7)
24.5
(76.1)
22.3
(72.1)
Source: [20]

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "{{{name}}}". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  2. Milman, Oliver (11 August 2014). "Boom and dust: uncertain future for the mining town run by Rio Tinto". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  3. Perry, Juliet (21 October 2014). "Voices from Gove: Can a mining town survive a shutdown?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  4. "2016 Census QuickStats: Nhulunbuy". quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au. Archived from the original on 26 July 2020. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  5. "Novel Plea By Tribal Group". 15 August 1963. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  6. Stewart, Heather; Rawlinson, Clare (10 July 2013). "Yirrkala bark petitions: A turning point in recognition of Indigenous rights". ABC. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  7. "Alcan Gove Alumina Refinery Third Stage Expansion Notice of Intent" (PDF). Alcan. 1 March 2003. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 March 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  8. "INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT ACT 1936 - SECT 79A". Australian Government. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  9. "NASA's surprise Aussie pick for rocket launch". NewsComAu. 31 May 2019. Archived from the original on 21 June 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  10. https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/anthony-albanese-confirms-nasa-will-launch-rockets-from-australia/news-story/6b246d946721d4acd8dd9fe05b54eccb?amp Archived 9 June 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  11. Betts, Alyssa (24 May 2017). "Nhulunbuy High School's multi-million-dollar boarding complex for remote education opens". ABC News. Archived from the original on 23 April 2022. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  12. McGrath, Pat (29 November 2013). "About 1,100 jobs cut as Rio Tinto suspends production at Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory". ABC Online. Archived from the original on 6 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  13. "Rio Tinto delivers another strong quarterly production performance" (PDF). Rio Tinto. 15 October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  14. McGrath, Pat (29 November 2013). "Rio Tinto reveals rescue package for future of Nhulunbuy after alumina refinery closure". ABC Online. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  15. Tsang, Daniel (7 August 2014). "Qantas faces defining moment". Aspire Aviation. Archived from the original on 18 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  16. "East Arnhem Land newspaper 'Arafura Times' closes down". NITV. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  17. "Community News for Nhulunbuy and East Arnhem Land". Gove Online. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  18. "Home". Phil O'Brien.
  19. Garrick, Matt (13 August 2022). "Northern Territory filmmaker Phil O'Brien shoots big-hearted feature in Nhulunbuy". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  20. "Nhulunbuy". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.