Ru­mours rile Hall of Fame or­gan­iser

Na­tional Road Trans­port Hall of Fame chief ex­ec­u­tive Liz Martin is look­ing for new blood to take over the Alice Springs site’s op­er­a­tions

Owner Driver - - The Goods - – Cobey Bar­tels

IN MARCH 2018, Owner//Driver ran a story on the Shell Rim­ula-spon­sored Na­tional Road Trans­port Hall of Fame in Alice Springs af­ter the site’s man­agers threat­ened to re­lo­cate to Bro­ken Hill fol­low­ing a soft ap­proach to crime from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory Gov­ern­ment.

Liz Martin, Hall of Fame chief ex­ec­u­tive, es­ti­mated that $100,000 worth of dam­age was in­flicted over a two year pe­riod, and she claimed the gov­ern­ment was do­ing lit­tle to noth­ing to curb the crime.

How­ever, new ru­mours posted on so­cial me­dia sites have stirred the pot, cast­ing doubt on the fu­ture of the Alice Springs’ site.

Martin has dis­cred­ited the many claims made, adding that they are “just to­tally out of line and mis­in­formed”.

“There are a lot of out­right lies and it’s a small group of peo­ple be­ing neg­a­tive,” she says.

“There are some per­sonal is­sues there, and out of about 2,000 mem­bers Aus­tralia-wide, it’s about 20 that are caus­ing all the grief.

“These ru­mours hurt the Hall of Fame.”

Talk of trucks be­ing taken from the Hall of Fame and re­lo­cated is false ac­cord­ing to Martin, out­lin­ing to Owner//Driver that two trucks have re­cently left but they had fin­ished their tem­po­rary loan ten­ure, which hap­pens rou­tinely as the mu­seum ro­tates ve­hi­cles.

The ru­mours come at a time when Martin is ready to retire, want­ing to take a step back and hand over the day-to-day op­er­a­tions to a new chief ex­ec­u­tive.

She ex­plains that gos­sip about her mov­ing the Hall of Fame to an­other state would de­feat the pur­pose of her re­tir­ing.

“I no longer want to do the work that I’ve been do­ing for 20 years there, so ob­vi­ously I won’t be tak­ing it any­where else,” Martin says.

“The Hall of Fame will only be done for if Alice Springs doesn’t stand up. I think some­one will come for­ward for the role.”

Dif­fi­cul­ties find­ing a re­place­ment, Martin be­lieves, are in part due to the con­stant mis­in­for­ma­tion sur­round­ing the fu­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“I ac­tu­ally re­signed about 18 months ago but we haven’t found some­one to re­place me.

“While these ru­mours are cir­cu­lat­ing, they won’t find some­one be­cause of what’s be­ing said.”

As for the Hall of Fame Re­union, it’s a go-ahead for 2019 and the bumper 2020 event is also set to rock Alice Springs.

“The Hall of Fame Re­union is go­ing to hap­pen and we have about 400 peo­ple booked in for 2019, and about 5,000 booked for 2020. But, 2020 is the big re­union and we ex­pect those num­bers to triple.

“That 2020 re­union will tech­ni­cally be my last, but if I’m still fit and able I might give it a cou­ple more years!”

Martin urges any­one suit­able to take over the role to come for­ward and con­tact her, but says she’s still will­ing to put the re­union events to­gether.

“If any­one is in­ter­ested, con­tact me. We al­ready have a job de­scrip­tion and I have a good friend of mine who’s will­ing to go in for 12 months while we get a new crew in place.

“I’m happy to go back and do the re­unions in Alice Springs be­cause I re­ally en­joy do­ing it and en­joy the peo­ple,” Martin says.

“Who­ever takes it on, my team is happy to do that, but the day-to-day op­er­a­tions need to be taken over. I am ready to retire.”

“The Hall of Fame Re­union is go­ing to hap­pen and we have about 400 peo­ple booked in for 2019, and about 5,000 booked for 2020.”

Flash­back to Alice Springs 2015: Liz Martin re­ceives the in­au­gu­ral Spe­cial Recog­ni­tion Award along­side for­mer Na­tional Trans­port In­surance in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment re­la­tions man­ager Owen Driscoll and leg­endary truck im­porter Max Win­k­less, who were both Trans­port Icon Award re­cip­i­ents. Photo Greg Bush

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