Truck­ies fight for Ra­zor­back

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Kate Dodd kate.dodd@bi­grigs.com.au

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

IT’S GONE: Truckie Spencer Wat­tling (right) cel­e­brates the re­moval of the sign with the man who re­moved the sign.

PHOTO: FILE

Bunny Brown.

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