Latest news - keep coming back to check out the latest developments

 

October 2019

https://mailchi.mp/c8f5e7b10dde/october-update-backtothetrack2020

Help requested to set up new military vehicle museum display

Looking for military vehicle enthusiasts and volunteers who would be interested in travelling to Alice Springs in the months and weeks before the end of July 2020 to help put together a military vehicle museum precinct located at the Road Transport Hall of Fame, Alice Springs.

Free camp accommodation provided within the museum grounds.

Access to workshops for all the tools and equipment that might be required.

Scope of work brief: - Prepare display area within the original Ghan engine shed, suitable for public access.  Fill space with military vehicles relocated from current display locations around the museum site.  Restored Military vehicles displayed on ground in chevron pattern, and also loaded onto Ghan railway flat cars for display, un-restored damaged military vehicles displayed in workshop / parts salvage display space, military vehicles awaiting restoration, lined up on axle blocks for display outside the building.  Hang historical troop movement information inside the troop / passenger railway carriages.  Hang posters and banners.  Install displays and dioramas around vehicle displays ( Militaria, workshop tools, vehicle spares etc)

Contact RTHF Manager - Lester Hamilton  0409635091

September 2019

Participants have the opportunity to engage with the modern Australian Army.

Wednesday 29th July - Road Transport Hall of Fame

Vehicle display and 4 x 4 Challenge with Centre Squadron NorthForce fleet of Australian Army modern fighting vehicles.

Public display of modern defense technology used by NorthForce.

Road Transport Hall of Fame - Interim on-site manager appointed

Along with the new committee, Lester Hamilton has also been appointed as an interim on-site manager.

"He's going to be a wonderful help to me and to all the great volunteers and the two paid staff who are currently out working very hard keeping business as usual at the site," Ms Rosey Batt, who was appointed as the statutory manager for the historical society said.

"He has been involved in tourism and is keen to be involved in this organisation and to help us get some more processes and structures in place to ensure that it continues to be the wonderful place that it is."

Despite Liz Martin's resignation, she remains involved in a voluntary capacity with helping the committee organise this year's and 2020 Truckies' Reunion.

Ms Batt said Ms Martin has helped the reunion volunteers put together the budget.

"Of course, she knows how to run it after all these years in the past," she said.

"And there may be some [paid] work for her to do, in an independent consultant role that's via the committee."

Ms Batt said the historical society was not insolvent

As for the question around what will happen to the private collections on display at the precinct, Ms Batt was positive about keeping all exhibits on site.

"I've certainly had inquiries and people just ringing to make sure everything's fine," she said.

"Once they realise that everything is business as usual, I've had nobody seek to take anything away.

"In fact, I've had plenty of offers of more vehicles to come."

BTTT participants look forward to working with and supporting the 25 Year anniversary celebrations of the RTHF in August 2020

 

June 2019

Expressions of interest from meeting with Ben-Roberts Smith VC, MG in Alice Springs. Look forward to him asking for more information about the event and commemorations in Darwin.

Expressions of interest from Centre Squadron NORTHFORCE (Army Reserves in Alice Springs) to do something with the participants in Alice Springs, possibly 4WD run day.

If you haven't paid the entry fee by now you may forfeit your registration as numbers will be kept to maximum 140 official paid vehicle entrants. (Plus support vehicles)
Only 140 spaces are being catered for in so far as planning, reserved camp accommodation, souvenirs, official vehicle and commemorative events, commemorative number plates and passes etc.

Correspondence with Federal Government has reignited now the Federal election has passed, with some positive inquiries and requests for more information. More news soon.

Correspondence seeking support for our Searchlight Ladies (58th AA Searchlight Battery) veterans to attend commemorations in Alice Springs and Darwin is being sought through Veterans Affairs.
Preparations are well in hand to see a fully restored and  working WWII Searchlight travel with the convoy to light the night sky's along the track.

On the subject of traveling along the Stuart Highway in a structured convoy, the requirements are far removed from 25 years ago in 1995.
The cost of structured Event Management and Traffic Management can be upwards of $ 9000- per day when arriving as a convoy into towns. Quotes for Traffic Management ( as required by town councils) that have been obtained to date make this type of structured vehicle convoy cost prohibitive.

The itinerary will evolve to provide a list of destinations and events at times to arrive by, and you are free to depart at your own time and travel at your own paced and route to take in any desired side track / excursions,  to arrive at the next destination.

Common comment from authorities involved with planning is " Its not 1995"
We are seeking assistance with costs from local shires and councils for vehicle receptions / street parades.

 

May 2019

Subject:  Support for Back To The Track 2020 Community Event in July-August 2020

 

Requested Community Involvement

 

We would like to request your community’s involvement in commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Battle for Australia and the building of the North South road from Alice Springs to Darwin.

 

Background

Back To The Track 2020 will be a gathering of historic military vehicles (mostly WWII vintage) in the Northern Territory to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII and also the wartime history of the Stuart Highway and the Battle For Australia fought from the Territory in general.

At present some 120 historic WW2 vehicles are booked to attend, together with at least a couple of dozen support vehicles (mostly post WW2 ex-military vehicles). This is a major national event supported by motoring enthusiast clubs from across the country. Only a handful of the attendees are from within the Territory. Hence it will also be a significant tourism event, likely to inject over $1m into the Territorian economy.

The vehicles and participants will be camped in Alice Springs for a week before we travel up the Stuart Highway over two weeks and participate in a number of community and commemorative events along the way. 

An itinerary is attached, together with a list of participants and their vehicles which range in size from motorcycles to 6 x 6 wheel-drive trucks.

 

Back To The Track 2020 builds on a very successful Back To The Track 1995 held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII.  I am the convenor of the event and am based in Alice Springs. To assist with the organisation and planning of the event, a group of interested citizens has formed Back To The Track 2020 Inc, an incorporated association. Members include Dr Tom Lewis OAM (military historian), Jarod Archibald (curator at Museums and Art Galleries NT). Daryl Manzie AM (former member of parliament and Territory FM announcer) and Peter Ingman (author and publisher). Mike Reed (also a former member of parliament) is a resident of Katherine and will assist with the event in that area.

 

Back To The Track 2020 Inc has been financially supported by the NT Government’s Community Benefit Fund, which has funded two planning meetings and we envisage further support for the event in 2020. The Darwin City Council military history committee has been briefed on the event and is supportive.  It is likely that in Darwin the event will involve the Aviation Historical Society of the NT (Darwin Aviation Museum) and the Darwin Military Museum.  Mr Norm Cramp, Director of the Darwin Military Museum, will shortly convene a meeting with Territory Major Events and also the DCC Major Events Officer.

 

Requested ADF Involvement

We have requested ADF involvement in the event that mirrors that provided in 1995.  This request consisted of an Army low loader / Prime Mover and an Army ambulance, which accompanied the event for two weeks as it moved towards Darwin. Note the event will be managed via established car clubs in respect to health and safety, insurance and general organisation. Also, the owners are very self-sufficient and well prepared. Hence the ADF support is really for a worst-case scenario. In practical terms we’d want any broken-down vehicles moved to the next camp each day to ensure nobody is on the highway at night.  In 1995 this capability was utilised on a couple of occasions, but on every occasion the historic military vehicles were able to resume the journey under their own power the next day.

 

Note we also met with W/O Mick Marshall at RAAF Tindal on 16 April who said the RAAF may be in a position to assist to some extent, including via their mechanical workshops.

 

ADF involvement is also very welcome in respect to the addition of serving defence personnel and the atmosphere that is provided.  These personnel will also be invited to participate in various memorial services in the itinerary.  In Darwin, we have discussed the possibility of having a WWII-type vehicle camp on the vacant land next to the Darwin Military Museum.  This will be marketed as a public event / open-day, in collaboration with the museum and the ADF may wish to showcase some vehicles there, especially armoured vehicles etc.

 

How can your community get involved?

 

We would welcome suggestions how your local community would like to engage the convoy.

Street parade followed by school visits.

Community fund raising event / Dinner / Dance

Commemorative event at your local memorials / cenotaph

Remembrance Event, honour their service.

 

 

Please get back to me at any time with any questions.

 

With best regards,

 

Doug Draeger

Convenor

Back To The Track 2020 Inc

PO Box 8607

Alice Springs, NT, 0870

0428676741

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2019

Great meeting everybody at 40th Annual Corowa Swim-In & Military Vehicle gathering.

 

 

October 2019

Entries numbers are no longer limited.

Entries will still be accepted as long as they conform the the entry conditions.

On the movement of vehicles in the convoy, participants will now be expected to make their own way between the designated starting point / assembly areas and the designated destinations, and travel at their own pace, arriving by the designated time for the planned convoy /  community events.

Reason: Convoy too large and too slow to travel in a single convoy formation.

Reason: Gives participants the opportunity to decide which and how many stops, how long to stay, and if any diversions to take.

Reason: Some members wish to travel in their own convoy groups of friends / by individual clubs / individual groups.

Safety Advice – Ignore at Your Own Peril

Whilst you’ll be driving on the Stuart Highway – an excellent and mainly straight road, you’re driving in the Australian outback for most of this journey, you’ll need to do a few simple things to stay safe:

  • Rest Frequently. Stop and get out of your car every 2 hours. Rest for at least 15 minutes before you start driving again. Take some photos. Have a loo break. Find a geocache

  • Beware of animals on the road – kangaroos, camels, emus and cattle. You will see them on this drive. Take note: the most common cause of tourist fatalities after heat exhaustion in the outback is hitting large animals.

  • Be VERY cautious when over taking road trains. These guys are sometimes 55 meters long. You will need a lot of room to overtake safely.

  • Water. Carry a minimum of 10 liters per person per day.

  • Do not drive at night. EVER. There are too many animals on these roads.

You will encounter may types of road users traveling at different speeds and under different conditions whilst driving through the NT.

 

Drivers need to plan their trips.

 

 

Driving safely in the NT

https://nt.gov.au/driving/safety/driving-safety-checklist

Driving tips for visitors to the NT

Visitors should also read the

driving in the NT guide (1.5 mb)

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