Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (22 August 1985)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (22 August 1985)


Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 22 August 1985 station by adding many water sources - both by boring and building earth dams - and erecting many miles of fencing. Bennett Webb controlled the building up of the cattle breeds and he was one of the first to import Santa Gertrudis cattle into central Australia. Mount Riddock cattle always brought top prices at the Adelaide sales. On a number of occasions, Bennett sent beasts to the Southern Beef Carcass Competition and was always successful in beating competition in the south. He had a great knowledge of cattle and horses and very often passed on this knowledge and his experience to others in central Australia. Bennett and his 2 brothers, Kil and Quentin, expanded the Mount Riddock holdings to take in Huckitta and Alcoota Stations, both of which adjoin Mount Riddock. They also bought Argadargada and Napperby Stations. On many occasions, Bennett Webb helped other people in central Australia get started in the pastoral industry by supplying stock and giving financial help. A handshake was all the security that he asked for. He was a very well-read person who could hold his own when debating business matters, sports, politics and general knowledge. He had a very good memory. Bennett was also a very keen conservationist. He hated to see any form of wildlife destroyed. Bennett, his 2 brothers and the local policeman at Harts Range founded the Harts Range Racing Club in 1946 on Mount Riddock Station and it is one of the most popular and oldest bush racing clubs still in existence in the Northern Territory. Over the past few years, the family have suffered many sad losses. Firstly, Bennett's brother Quentin was murdered on Huckitta Station and, last year, his son Bennett junior was accidentally killed when a vehicle overturned while he and Bennett were bull catching. Bennett senior was injured in this accident and it ~s obvious that this accident hastened his death. Old Bennett was known by the old timers as 'Big Bullock'. The younger generation referred to him as 'Old Bennett' in an attempt to distinguish between him and his late son. He was a strong supporter of the need to construct and seal the Plenty Highway. It is ironical and sad that this road was just a few kilometres short of the gateway to the Riddock Homestead when he died last year. I would like to pay tribute to the work that Bennett did over many years in central Australia for the pastoral industry and extend my sympathy to his widow, Rhonda, and the surviving members of his family. Mr Deputy Speaker, I would also like to pay tribute to the late Mary Irene Ballagh who died in Alice Springs on 26 June this year. Born Mary Irene Passfield at Mount Nessing near Chelmsford, Essex, England, she emigrated to Perth, Australia, in 1955 after the death of her first husband, Geo Archer. She had been a youth employment officer in Chelmsford. From 1955 to 1956 she was employed in Perth as a welfare officer in a branch of the Red Cross. She applied for and was appointed to.Alice Springs as the first woman welfare officer with the then Department of Native Affairs. Her office was headed by Mr Bill McCoy who still lives in the Old Timers' Home in central Australia. Rene, as she was known, married Richard Ballagh in Alice Springs on 12 September 1959. Rene was a quiet but positive worker who was wholly dedicated to her work and put in very long hours to get to know the people with whom she dealt and their needs. She held this position from 1956 until she retired in 1977. Then she started to raise chickens south of Alice Springs in what was formerly the electorate of MacDonnell and is now 1247

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