Former Town Council CEO to run Road Transport Hall of Fame

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By ERWIN CHLANDA

Rex Mooney (pictured), the former Alice Springs Town Council CEO, is taking over as the NT Government’s statutory manager of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.

Known as a safe pair of hands, Mr Mooney was in the town’s top local government position for 16 years.

His predecessor, Rosey Batt and Associates, soon after taking over, was involved in conflict with the people running the national icon for decades with outstanding success although middle level managers were doing battle with some of the nation’s transport magnates making up the group.

It is not known what position Ms Batt now holds.

Meanwhile, the hall’s successor is open for business – at Port Pirie in SA.

The stories from that road museum are “dedicated to the trials and tribulations of the men, women and machinery that made Australia the great country it is today”, its founders and promoters proclaim.

The museum houses a great collection of trucks and buses “born of blood sweat and tears, hard work, ingenuity and sheer determination Australia’s road transport pioneers”, “who have not often been given their rightful place in history and sit on the fringes of other industries.”

Much of the third edition of a brochure promoting the museum is friendly chit-chat from the nation’s massive roads network.

“If you are headed north, south, east or west make us your first port of call,” Liz Martin, co-founder of the original museum, encourages the men and women behind wheels.

“The ‘Stories from the Road Museum’ is a road transport museum dedicated to the trials and tribulations of the men, women and machinery that made Australia the great country it is today.”

This radio was once the centre of life on remote Mt. Willoughby Station in outback South Australia were virtually no other form of communication existed.

“Thank You Melanie Hancock.

“Our beautiful group moderator for the ‘National Road Transport Heritage Forum’ facebook group is Melanie Hancock. She started the group over 12 years ago.”

Says the brochure: “Since the 1800s the potential of the vast natural grasslands of northern Australia to support a large-scale cattle industry was obvious.

“While the drovers of yesteryear helped to get the northern cattle industry on its feet, the need for more efficient road transport was always the key to unlocking the full potential.”

There are literally hundreds of stories of how the truckies took over from the drovers. Few are as much admired or loved than Noel Buntine (pictured).

It was in many ways much harder than they anticipated but they persevered and succeeded. The roads were rough and sometimes barely passable. Bridges were non existent and river crossings rough.

Initially the office was a briefcase under the driver’s seat. The trucks travelled through scrubland because it was less rough than the roads.

Wheel bearings, tailshafts and even engines were repaired on the side of the road where the mishap occurred. Repairs were done on the roadside in bulldust or mud. Everything focused on getting the job done and that’s what built the Buntine name.

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