This is a weird bugger (I suspect it's in the insect order Neuroptera, thus being related to lacewings) also spotted on my desert trip. An owlfly perhaps?
Edit 24-08-06: Got an ID from Dr David Britton at the Australian Museum:
"It is an antlion, probably Heoclisis fulva, which is a large common and widespread species across Australia. It is a very hairy species which comes freely to light.