MV Tom Brennan memorial
|Builder||South Australian Harbors Board|
|Out of service||1960 or 1963|
|Fate||Withdrawn from service due to replacement by larger vessel|
|Status||Established as a memorial at Etadunna in 1986|
|Length||4.9 metres (16 ft)|
|Beam||1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in)|
|Draught||0.76 metres (2 ft 6 in)|
|Sail plan||not rigged|
Tom Brennan (also known as MV Tom Brennan) was a barge built in the Australian state of South Australia in 1949 for use as a ferry at the crossing of the Birdsville Track over Cooper Creek when the creek was in flood in what is now the state’s Far North region. It was withdrawn from service in either 1960 or 1963 and since 1986, it has served as a monument. One of its operators was the mail contractor, Tom Kruse.
Tom Brennan was built in early 1949 by the South Australian Harbors Board in response to a proposal by the stock agency, Dalgety & Co. Ltd for a ferry to move people and goods across Cooper Creek at the Kopperamana Crossing on the Birdsville Track when creek was in flood.
It is described as being “a steel punt with airtight tanks, powered by a 4 horse power outboard motor.”The vessel was named after Mr. T. R. Brennan, the Livestock Manager with Dalgety & Co. Ltd, who is attributed as having the idea to provide a ferry service.
It was finished in May 1949 and was delivered by Dalgety & Co. Ltd by rail to Marree where it was collected by Tom Kruse who was the mail contractor for the area between Marree and Birdsville. The barge was reported as being in constant use for the first three years of service; in particular, the “Copper Crossing was impassable for six months” in 1949.
The barge was featured in The Back of Beyond , the 1954 documentary produced by John Heyer, being used by Tom Kruse and a passenger to move goods across a flooded creek.
In either 1960 or 1963, it was replaced with a larger vessel capable of transporting both stock and vehicles operated by either one of the following South Australian government departments - the Engineering and Water Supply Department or the Highways Department.
As of 2016, Tom Brennan is located on the west side of the Birdsville Track to the south of the Cooper Creek in the gazetted locality of Etadunna within what is reported as being a camping ground.
It was restored in 1986 by the South Australian Highways Department as part of celebrations of South Australia’s 150th anniversary and was dedicated as a monument later in 1986 along with the installation of a plaque which is inscribed with the following:
M. V. Tom Brennan
This barge was presented to the settlers north of Cooper Creek by Dalgety and Company Ltd, in 1949 to ferry people, supplies and mail across flood waters and to assist drovers with the crossing of cattle on route to the Adelaide Market. Restored by the Highways Department of South Australia to commemorate the State's 150 Jubilee
Hon. G. R. Keneally, M. P. Minister of Transport South Australia
Mr. N. D. O'Brien, General Manager Dalgety Bennetts Farmers
Tom Brennan has been listed as a shipwreck under the South Australian Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981.
The Birdsville Track is a notable outback road in Australia. The 517-kilometre (321 mi) track runs between Birdsville in south-western Queensland and Marree, a small town in the north-eastern part of South Australia. It traverses three deserts along the route, the Strzelecki Desert, Sturt Stony Desert and Tirari Desert.
Birdsville is a rural town and locality in the Shire of Diamantina, Queensland, Australia. It is situated 10 kilometres (6 mi) north of the border of South Australia and Queensland. In the 2021 census, the locality of Birdsville had a population of 110 people. It is a popular tourist destination with many people using it as a starting point across the Simpson Desert.
Marree is a small town located in the north of South Australia. It lies 589 kilometres (366 mi) North of Adelaide at the junction of the Oodnadatta Track and the Birdsville Track, 49 metres (161 ft) above sea level. Marree is an important service centre for the large sheep and cattle stations in northeast South Australia as well as a stopover destination for tourists traveling along the Birdsville or Oodnadatta Tracks.
The Oodnadatta Track is an unsealed 614 km (382 mi) outback road in the Australian state of South Australia, connecting Marla in the north-west via Oodnadatta to Marree in the south-east. Along the way, the track passes the settlements of Oodnadatta and William Creek, the southern lake of the Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, and mound springs known as Freeling Springs, Strangways Springs, and The Bubbler and Blanche Cup.
The Channel Country is a region of outback Australia mostly in the state of Queensland but also in parts of South Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales. The name comes from the numerous intertwined rivulets that cross the region, which cover 150,000 km². The Channel Country is over the Cooper and Eromanga geological basins and the Lake Eyre Basin drainage basin. Further to the east is the less arid Maranoa district.
The former Central Australia Railway, which was built between 1878 and 1929 and closed in 1980, was a 1,241 km (771 mi) 1067 mm narrow gauge railway between Port Augusta and Alice Springs. A standard gauge line duplicated the southern section from Port Augusta to Maree in 1957 on a new nearby alignment. The entire Central Australia Railway was superseded in 1980 after the standard gauge Tarcoola–Alice Springs Railway was opened, using a new route up to 200 km to the west. A small southern section of the original line between Port Augusta and Quorn has been preserved as the Pichi Richi Tourist Railway.
Innamincka, formerly Hopetoun, is a township and locality in north-east South Australia with a population of 44 people as of the 2016 census. By air it is 820 kilometres north-east of the state capital, Adelaide, and 365 kilometres north-east of the closest town, Lyndhurst. It is 66 kilometres north-east of the Moomba Gas Refinery. The town lies within the Innamincka Regional Reserve and is surrounded by the Strzelecki Desert to the south and the Sturt Stony Desert to the north. It is linked by road to Lyndhurst via the Strzelecki Track, to the Birdsville Developmental Road via Cordillo Downs Road and Arrabury Road, and the Walkers Crossing Track to the Birdsville Track. The Walkers Crossing Track is closed in summer and only traversable in dry weather. The township is situated along the Cooper Creek, a part of the Lake Eyre basin.
The Back of Beyond (1954) is a feature-length award-winning Australian documentary film produced and directed by John Heyer for the Shell Film Unit. In terms of breadth of distribution, awards garnered, and critical response, it is Heyer's most successful film. It is also, arguably, Australia's most successful documentary: in 2006 it was included in a book titled 100 Greatest Films of Australian Cinema, with Bill Caske writing that it is "perhaps our [Australia's] national cinema's most well known best kept secret".
Thomas or Tom Brennan may refer to:
The Tirari Desert is a 15,250 square kilometres (5,888 sq mi) desert in the eastern part of the Far North region of South Australia. It stretches 212 km from north to south and 153 km from east to west.
Esmond Gerald "Tom" Kruse MBE was a mail carrier on the Birdsville Track in the border area between South Australia and Queensland. He became known nationally as the result of John Heyer's 1954 film The Back of Beyond. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1955 New Year Honours, "for services to the community in the outback".
The Lake Ngapakaldi to Lake Palankarinna Fossil Area is a group of fossil sites located in the Australian state of South Australia within the Tirari Desert in the north-eastern part of the state's Far North region. The group has an overall area of 35 square kilometres (14 sq mi) and is located about 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of Lake Eyre and about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north-north-east of Marree, off the Birdsville Track near Etadunna Station.
Cordillo Downs or Cordillo Downs Station is both a pastoral lease currently operating as a cattle station and a formal bounded locality in South Australia. It is located about 116 kilometres (72 mi) north of Innamincka and 155 kilometres (96 mi) south east of Birdsville. The name and boundaries of the locality were created on 26 April 2013 for the long established local name.
Glengyle Station most commonly known as Glengyle is a pastoral lease that operates as a cattle station in central west Queensland.
Nappa Merrie Station, most commonly known as Nappa Merrie, is a pastoral lease that operates as a cattle station in central west Queensland, Australia.
Mulka Station is a pastoral lease that operates as a cattle station in the far north of South Australia. The land occupying the extent of the Mulka Station pastoral lease was gazetted as a locality by the Government of South Australia on 26 April 2013 under the name "Mulka".
Clifton Hills Station is a pastoral lease that operates as a cattle station in the far north of South Australia.
Dulkaninna Station is a pastoral lease that once operated as a sheep station but now operates as a cattle station in outback South Australia.
The Marree railway line is located in the Australian state of South Australia.
Etadunna is a locality in the Australian state of South Australia located about 684 kilometres north of the capital city of Adelaide and about 108 kilometres north-east of the town of Marree.