Truckies fight for Razorback
THEY were loud and they were angry. But their voices were heard.
Truck drivers involved in the 1979 Razorback Blockade in protest of road taxes, and those who respected their actions which brought about the much-needed changes in the transport industry, were baffled at a decision by New South Wales’ Roads and Maritime Services to set up a truck inspection bay at the memorial site on Razorback Mountain.
“It’s not going to kill any of us, but it’s not in good taste for them to be setting up there,” said Bunny Brown, who participated in the blockade at Yass.
“It’s more or less laughing in our faces isn’t it?
“Up on top of the range where we were making a stand. That’s a pretty sacred (site) to the industry for the ones that stood their ground.
“There are plenty of other areas they can set up, just not where our memorial stands.”
In a statement to Big Rigs after the signs appeared, a RMS spokesperson said “Roads and Maritime compliance operations requested the installation of heavy vehicle inspection signs on the Old Hume Highway at Razorback, near Picton”.
“This site has not been used as a heavy vehicle inspection location and it will not be used as a regular fixed site.”
The signs were removed the day the statement was released.
The spokesperson said Roads and Maritime was “committed to improving road safety outcomes for the heavy vehicle industry and the wider community through effective regulatory programs and compliance enforcement actions”.
That victory was thanks to truckies like Bunny and fellow blockade participant Spencer Wattling, and Wollondilly Shire Councillor Simon Landow.
Protecting the memorial site became a priority for Cr Landow after he struck up a friendship with Spencer 15 years ago. Along with Ted ‘Greendog’ Stevens, Colin Bird, Harry Grimson and Jack Hibburt, Spencer was on the frontline of the protests, and helped inspire more than 2000 other owner-drivers to join their nationwide stand.
“I’ve got a great respect for Spencer and lately I’ve been lobbying to get some more improvements for the memorial site,” said Cr Landlow.
Cr Landow thanked the truckies for standing up.
“People power won again,” he said. “The truck drivers forced the issue. If no one cared they (the signs) would still be there.”
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey did not return a request for comment.
IT’S GONE: Truckie Spencer Wattling (right) celebrates the removal of the sign with the man who removed the sign.