Watling nominates for Wollondilly Shire Council

By: Greg Bush


Gloria Watling, wife of 1979 Razorback blockade participant Spencer Watling, will take on the local council at the September 8 elections

By Greg Bush |
August 16, 2012

Trucking industry veterans Spencer and Gloria Watling are turning to local politics in a bid to improve conditions for owner-drivers. Gloria is a candidate for the Wollondilly Shire Council in the New South Wales Local Government elections on September 8.

Spencer and Gloria have lived in the area for the past 25 years and are attempting to make a stand against council attitudes towards truck owners.

Gloria says she previously thre her hat into the ring 13 years ago. "I learnt a lot in those 13 years," she says.

For the 2012 elections, Gloria will be standing on behalf of the much-maligned Australia First Party. She says both herself and Spencer have been members of the party for the past five years and still maintain a strong affiliation with trucking.

"We’re still involved in the transport industry; we keep an eye on things all the time," Gloria says. "We only sold our truck in 2010 because the work situation was getting worse all the time."

Spencer was one of the main instigators of the Razorback blockade in 1979, brought on by the owner-drivers’ stand against the government’s road tax.

"Gloria has been my partner in this," Spencer says. "She looked after things when I was in jail; she did all the paperwork, and all the fighting."

Both Gloria and Spencer agree that the one of the problems with the industry is the failure of truckies to stick together. Another grip is the heavy-handed tactics of the police and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) officers, as well as the negative attitude of local councils towards truck owners.

"The councils are so against small business, and especially trucks," Spencer says.

"What are we going to do with the bloody things? Even out here where we are on an acreage you’re not supposed to have your truck. They want you to buy a factory unit.

"You can’t park them anywhere, you can’t work on them, you can’t drive them, you can’t do anything, but the freight has got to go through.

"That’s what we’re trying to get through to people. They’ve got to stand up and be counted at each election, and it starts at this one."

Spencer says Gloria has received support from other truck owners in the area, despite their Australian First Party membership.

"We’re getting a lot of publicity, but it’s a dirty election. We’re more or less getting threatened already because they reckon we’re racist," he says.

"But we’re going to try."

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