Mining, transport, framing, art and culture – our future will depend on it. Editor ERWIN CHLANDA spoke with Deputy Opposition Leader Gerry McCarthy about Labor's view on diversification of our economy. PHOTO: Tennant Creek Clontarf Academy alumnus checks out Bootu Creek Mine. Will he join the FIFO workforce?
Sir,- We, the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, have questioned the Federal Government over its decision to shut down the Bureau of Meteorology in Tennant Creek and along with it, the weather radar.
The NT Fire and Rescue Service in their HAZMAT suits. Their role is to 'identify, isolate and contain'. Photo courtesy NTFRS.
The Alice Springs Town Council was challenged at last night's meeting to take action regarding the proposed radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, Aboriginal land 120 kms north of Tennant Creek.
The key issue put to councillors was that local emergency services do not have the capacity to respond to an accident involving radioactive waste material on Alice's road or rail networks. This was argued by a deputation from the NT branch of United Voice (a workers union), the Public Health Association and the Beyond Nuclear Initiative.
The Alice Springs News Online asked the NT Fire and Rescue Service to comment on this proposition. Their responsibility is to "identify the material, isolate and contain until such time as the lead agency takes over management", we were told. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
This Christmas, residents in Tennant Creek and its surrounds will benefit from more than $140,000 worth of community work undertaken by 44 Barkly Work Camp prisoners.
Correctional Services Minister Gerry McCarthy says since the $7 million work camp officially opened on September 8 under the new era of corrections, the prisoners had completed almost 10,000 hours of work across more than 30 projects.
Life-line to the tiny mining town of Tennant Creek, Dave Baldock was initially horrified when he first arrived there in search of work in 1934.
However, he couldn’t afford to leave and took a job carting for the general store. By 1937 he’d saved enough money to move to Alice Springs and start his own business.
With two single drive V8 Ford tray trucks Dave began carting freight from the railhead in Alice Springs along the Old Telegraph Line to Tennant Creek.
Times were tough so Dave drove both trucks himself. He would drive the first truck, laden with perishables, to Tennant Creek and then fly back to Alice Springs to drive the second (dry goods) truck to Tennant Creek. He would then return to Alice Springs with the second truck piggy backed on the first.
With the WWII upgrade of the road Dave introduced duel wheeled GMCs to his fleet to haul 23 ton payloads; a feat unheard of just five years previous.
After WWII Dave purchased two ex US Army 200 hp Diamond T 980s at the Army surplus sales.
These trucks were powerful enough to tow seven trailers loaded with around twelve tons each and made for a foreboding sight along the track. When laden, the truck had to be kept in low gear as it went downhill or the trailers would push the truck forward.
At the next upgrade you’d have to drive at full speed to keep ahead of the gaining momentum of the trailers.
Most of the trailers were made from American Army Bren Gun trailers.
Dave usually hauled general goods to Tennant Creek and carried copper ore back to Alice Springs. The average length of a Baldock roadtrain was 186 metres and they were, without doubt, the biggest in the world at the time.
In those days, the number of trailers was determined by the power of the truck, the condition of the road and the skill of the driver.
And, Dave Baldock certainly had the skill. His ingenuity with multi-trailer combinations helped pave the way for the development of the modern roadtrain.
Dave was a Foundation Member of the Road Transport Hall of Fame. He passed away in Adelaide in April 2000.
Story and photos courtesy of the Road Transport Hall of Fame.
While the Australian Government is extending the 'stick' approach in the field of education, tying welfare payments to school attendance, and alcohol, extending income management arrangements for people with alcohol related problems, there was no mention of the stick in relation to jobs. The announcements today, part of the Northern Territory Intervention Mark 2, are all 'carrots', sounding very like the carrots proffered in the past. This new bunch cost $19.1 million.
On the government's school attendance 'stick' Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion says: "Labor is all talk and no action with the re-announcement of welfare quarantining of Aboriginal parents who don’t get their children to school.
“This government can re-announce this policy until the cows come home but it is no good unless it is acted on and people are breached."
Headlining the government's new programs are 50 new ranger positions in the Working on Country program.
There's also emphasis on local filling local jobs, with traineeships to support up to 100 Aboriginal people to fill service delivery jobs in their communities.