Home' Tennant and District Times : 2016-0401 TDT Contents 4 TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 1 APRIL 2016
TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 1 APRIL 2016 5
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Tennant & District
A CONTINGENT of Australian Defence
Force helicopters flew in to Tennant
Creek last Wednesday to refuel.
They had been undertaking military exercises
in the Top End and were on their way back to
the Puckapunyal Army Base in Victoria.
The four Boeing CH-47 Chinooks arrived
late morning for a quick turnaround and were
back in the air before 1pm, followed by two
Airbus Group Australia Pacific MRH90s land-
ing later in the afternoon with their flight crews
overnighting in Tennant Creek.
Local Fire Chief Nathan Ferguson, took
particular interest in the big birds and was
quick to point out their aviation pedigree to
“Before I was a firey, one of my previous
incarnations was to maintain these monsters,”
“The darker coloured one is the old D model
which is on its way to be decommissioned and
the other three are the new CH-47Fs, only a
few months old so the paint is barely dry on
“I’d say that the D has seen some action in
Iraq and probably Afghanistan over the last
few years and has earned its pension.”
Weighing in at a staggering 10 tonnes empty,
the massive twin-rotor Chinooks can lift more
than their own weight in cargo and have a
maximum air speed of 315 kilometres per
hour - faster than many contemporary utility
and attack helicopters.
Trading size for agility, the sleeker MRH90
are used for troop transport, search and res-
cue, special operations and counter-terrorism
During World War II the Tennant Creek Air-
port was utilised as a staging airfield between
South Australia and Darwin by the Royal
Australian Air Force.
Local Aerodrome Operator Ian Slade gets
up close to all makes of aircraft that visit the
region and has an impressive aviation history
of his own.
He holds a commercial pilot license and flew
for Chartair throughout the Barkly and Central
Australian region for several years during
the late 1980s and early 90s, delivering mail,
freight and passengers to remote locations.
“As the airport manager I am pretty much
the cop on the beat for the tarmac,” he said.
“When aircraft like the Chinooks and the
MRH90s visit, they occupy all of the apron
so light aircraft need to be redirected to an
“My role is to make sure everyone is in the
right place at the right time and everything
Apart from the spectacular display of engi-
neering they bring to the relatively endless
blue sky vista of the town, these monster
choppers sucked up about 20,000 litres of av-
gas, putting big bucks into the local economy
Military exercises its choppers in Tennant
DUST STORM: Above and below, the Chinooks refuelled in Tennant Creek.
SLEEPOVER: The MRH90s’ crew
spent the night in town.
Photo by IAN SLADE.
LOCAL dancers are leaping en l’air following
a visit from members of the Melbourne City
And they have so many reasons to be excited because it
is just the beginning of a new and exciting deal between
the big city and our small town.
Dancers Bella Gemmel-Morgan and Chris Ead spent
eight days in Tennant Creek last week working with the
TC Dance Crew as well as students from the Primary
Kirsty Eberl, who runs the TC Dance Crew, said Bella
and Chris taught locals new technical ballet disciplines.
“They also created a 10-minute performance piece that
we will present in Alice Springs next month,” she said.
“It really was a great opportunity and experience for
The visit to Tennant Creek was the first of five - part
of a two-year residency that will culminate in a locally-
based ballet production that will go on tour.
The deal between the Melbourne City Ballet and
Barkly Regional Arts will not only enrich the technical
dance skills of locals but will allow Kirsty and a couple
of talented students to undertake a professional develop-
ment mentorship with the prestigious ballet company.
During their visits to Tennant Creek, the Melbourne
dancers will attend culture sessions with local Indig-
enous and multicultural dancers, gaining skills and
information that they can incorporate into the local
Bella and Chris will be back in town in August to
help create a contemporary performance for the Desert
AN attack on an po-
lice officer working
at a Temporary Beat
Location has inspired
criticism of the Gov-
designed to curb al-
cohol sales to those
who intend to drink in
Clyde Bonney, 39, was
drunk when he allegedly
kicked an officer and tried
to fight him outside the
Tennant Creek Hotel re-
He appeared in the local
Magistrates Court last
week charged with as-
saulting a police officer.
The NT Police Asso-
ciation raised concerns
with Chief Minister Adam
Giles, claiming it would
only be a matter of time
until an officer was seri-
ously injured or killed on
Mr Giles dismissed con-
cerns, saying police of-
ficers were trained to deal
with dangerous people in
high risk situations.
He said the officer had
dealt with the situation
TERRITORY parks and wildlife workers will be
celebrated at the annual awards night soon
and community members are urged to nomi-
nate local rangers.
The awards are open to all rangers, frontline staff
and support staff at locations throughout the Territory.
Parks and Wildlife Minister Bess Price said the awards
seek to celebrate the amazing work these rangers do and
to recognise the value they provide to the community,
both now and in the future.
“This is tireless, thankless and challenging work based
on dedication, determination and passion,” she said.
“Our rangers work extremely hard in tough, hot, humid
and wet conditions and play a huge behind-the-scenes
role in helping our beautiful parks and reserves func-
tion and thrive.”
Nominations are now open until 31 May.
Nominate on line at www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au
or through Facebook.
Ranger awards open
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