19 January 2007

Does it go with the territory? Some unresolved matters from the NT

Another Australian piece reminds us of people other than Peter Falconio who've gone missing in the Northern Territory:

The father of Jamie Stephen Herdman, 26, who was last seen on November 30 at the small town of Daly Waters, flew into Darwin yesterday to talk to police about the case.Jamie Herdman, from Whakatane in New Zealand, had spent the previous 18 months working for a furniture-removal company at Broome in Western Australia, and was travelling to visit family friends at Roma, in Queensland, when he disappeared.Police discovered his abandoned van, containing his personal property, including mobile phone and cash, near the Highway Inn at Daly Waters, about 600km south of Darwin.

Stories such as these seem to be swept under the carpet until something horrendous happens. Much as I like the Territory for the friendliness of (most of) its people, the subtle changes in landscape on the Stuart Highway and the
Top End weather, I always try to travel sensibly, eg no night driving, stopping for large groups of people who seem to have broken down (I did this once last year and they only wanted a tow for 5km) or camping by main roads unless there are other people there.

There are also some positive stories like this one, which do something to redress the balance of perceptions.

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