New memorial marks historic Razorback Blockade

The Razorback Blockade left it's mark on history and now the iconic act of civil disobedience has been memorialised.

Wollondilly Council has constructed a memorial wall and picnic seating at the top of Razorback Mountain to commemorate the iconic event.

The council received a $7249 grant from the Veolia Mulwaree Trust to build the memorial which will officially open on on Saturday, October 12 from 10am.

Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth said the upgraded truck stop would serve as a place to learn about the blockade and its impact on the transport industry.

"The Razorback Truck Blockade has a significant place in the history of Australia and in the mythology of the road transport industry," he said.

"Truckies were frustrated by the challenges faced by their industry, including the road tax which had been introduced in the 1950s.

"At the time, the road over Razorback was the only route between Sydney and Melbourne, so this event had a big impact on supplies getting through to Sydney."

In 1979, truck drivers Ted "Greendog" Stevens, Spencer Watling, Colin Bird, Harry Grimson and Jack Hibburt, appalled with their working conditions, decided enough was enough.

The men blocked the old Hume Highway at Razorback by parking their trucks across the road.

Thus began the Razorback Blockade.

During the blockade, the men were joined by approximately 200 other trucks on Razorback, gaining widespread community support and starting a huge protest which stretched across the country.

The Razorback Blockade held strong for nine days and ultimately ended when former NSW Premier Neville Wran agreed to scrap the road tax.

Mr Stevens spent a lifetime speaking out against the wrongs he felt were faced by the trucking community before he passed away in February this year.

The council liaised with his family during the development of the memorial upgrades.

Councillor Simon Landow spearheaded the project to upgrade the memorial.

He told the Advertiser earlier this year the memorial wall would include historic images and information about the event.

"We want to encourage people to stop at the memorial," he said.

"There are a lot of people in the older generations who remember the blockade and that it practically stopped the nation.

"However younger people may not know about it.

"If we can encourage people to stop and take a look, maybe they will venture into town and stop at some shops or a cafe.

"It could be a great tourism location."

Musician Jim Samphier will perform his original song 'Greendog Mountain' which he composed about the blockade at the grand opening event.