For most of us in the deep north the first thing we check when we open the Terror is to read Bushranger, a weekly column of local scuttlebutt, snide intra-media commentary (most often at the expense of the comrades and luvvies at the ABC’s Darwin outpost) and any other weird shit that has cropped up during the week.
We also need to ensure that we didn’t get a name-check for something stupid we got caught out for or to see if that choice piece of gossip we dropped during the week made the cut.
The folks at the NT News & Sunday Terror aren’t immune from their own snafu’s and they are also prone to tripping over their own tales from time to time, no less in today’s Bushranger, from which the grab above was taken.
The “Berrimah Line” is defined by the Macquarie Dictionary as “The imaginary line separating Darwin from the rest of Territory” a bald and all-too-brief description that requires a little unpacking for our friends in the south.
In 2018 The ABC’s Emilie Gramenz had a longer and very useful look at the Berrimah Line, that she described as:
… the conceptual divide between the ‘haves’ in Darwin where Parliament sits, in the city half the NT’s population call home — and the ‘have-nots’, who live anywhere south of the southern Darwin suburb of Berrimah, on the city’s outskirts. The phrase, which when used, varies between the mildly bemused, the seriously aggrieved and everyone with an opinion in between, is unique to the Territory
Today’s Bushranger all-too-clever-by-half reference to the “Marion Dam” at Tennant Creek is the latest example of the Berrimah Line writ large by ignorance as much as failure by the writer and whoever passes as sub-editors at the NT News & Sunday Terror these days.
To set the record straight – there is no “Marion Dam” at Tennant Creek. There is however, a “Mary Ann Dam” (known as Tingkkarli to the Warumungu traditional owners and native title custodians) situated just through the gap north of the town. Construction commenced in 1979 and Mary Ann Dam was opened by local MLA (and later NT Chief Minister) Ian Tuxworth in 1981.
Maybe next time Bushranger name-checks a well-known landmark—even if it is 1,000 klicks south of the Berrimah Line—he or she might just do a quick factcheck before going to press.
And yes, you can spend a few hours getting in some great birdwatching at the Mary Ann Dam and some good coffee in Tennant Creek at the Top of The Town cafe.