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Year: 2007







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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2007.


Spencer Watling started driving in 1960 for his step-father, Foster and then for Keith Longhurst carting hay, produce and general freight. He drove a side-valve Ford and an old Chevrolet.

From there he went on interstate work hauling for Doug Longhurst in a 182 International Perkins and single-axle trailer carting coal from Burragorang Valley to Port Kembla. In 1968 he bought his first truck, a 10-series Dodge, 361 petrol motor and single-axle trailer in partnership with his wife Gloria. They still operate this business today.

Interstate proved a hard battle with road tax, price cutting, no set rates and many other problems within the industry. These unsettling times resulted in the forming of the group of 5 men who instigated the Razorback Blockade in 1979; Spencer, Ted Stevens, Barry Grimson, Colin Bird and Jack Hibbert.

This blockade was NOT a whimsical idea. The many meetings these men attended with Government and Union Officers were proving they could not reach any agreement on better working conditions for the transport industry. So Monday, 5pm, April 2nd, 1979 became the day quoted as being The biggest expression of civil disobedience since the Eureka stockade of 1854.

Spencer came off interstate in 1981 and operated a coal truck until the Clutha Mines closed in 1989. He contracted for local business companies till January 07 when he sold his tipper and fitted a 14,000 litre, aluminium water tank on his Kenworth T600. Spencer is regarded highly by all who know him and was respected on the road.

In 2000, his son, a contemporary artist, known simply as 'Wat', buried a truck on Razorback as a tribute to his dad and the four others who stood strong for better conditions in the transport industry. Spencer is one of this industry's unsung heros.


 


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