Home' The Great Southern Star : November 1st 2016 Contents “THE STAR” Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - PAGE 15
Wonthaggi 2/5-7 Korumburra Rd
Ph: 5672 5522
Traralgon 81 Argyle St
Ph: 5176 1221
Cowes 215 Settlement Rd
Ph: 5952 2522
Leongatha 52 Bair St
Ph: 5662 294
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By Brad Lester
WHAT does a truckie do once
his name is listed on the Na-
tional Road Transport Hall of
Why, keep on trucking.
That’s what Merv Forrester’s plan
after driving big rigs for 66 years with-
out a mark on his licence.
The renowned cattle carrier from
Wooreen was sitting in the crowd at
The Road Transport Historical Society
in Alice Springs, Northern Territory,
applauding the 80 inductees into the
hall when wife Jill told him they’d just
read out his name.
He could not believe it. Jill could.
After all, she and others had nominated
their favourite truckie.
“It was embarrassing, really,” Merv
“It’s just a job that I have to do and
I do it.”
Jill said, “We had to send all the
information and photos up there to
see if he was eligible. He’s been driv-
ing more than 60 years so if he wasn’t
eligible now, he was never going to be
Merv has driven single doubles
and went back to a tray truck to cart
cattle for local farmers, as well his own
stock. These days he travels mainly to
saleyards at Koonwarra, Pakenham
and Bairnsdale, with a rare trip as far
away as Bega in New South Wales.
He spent 50 years carting bobby
calves as far as Portland and Warrnam-
bool in western Victoria, often doing
two trips to Portland a week after load-
ing up to 400 calves by hand in Le-
ongatha and then driving through the
Today Merv drives a Nissan UD
tray truck and reflects fondly on the
rigs he has steered: his first Bedford as
an 18 year old, then a Commer, Dodge,
Mercedes and two Scanias.
As Merv picked up truck driv-
ing from his father Reg, Merv’s own
children, Dan, Gary and Jenny, have
all driven trucks. Dan still travels in-
“I’ll keep driving for as long as I
can,” Merv said.
THE Yanakie and Long Jetty
Foreshore Caravan Parks are
gearing up for a busy summer
period, as bookings begin to fill
ahead of the peak season.
South Gippsland Shire Council’s car-
avan parks coordinator Jock Wilson said
the caravan parks team had been busy
preparing the parks for an expected in-
flux of visitors, over winter and spring.
“Our peak season began last week
with the Melbourne Cup public holi-
day and we are expecting to see both
parks well attended,” he said.
Mr Wilson said the parks had un-
dergone rejuvenation during the qui-
“The Yanakie and Long Jetty Fore-
shore caravan parks are both located on
Crown Land, in the spectacular Corner
Inlet area of our shire,” he said.
“Council is very much aware the
opportunity to experience the beauty of
the natural environment at an affordable
cost is a key attractor for our visitors.
“The recent spring weather condi-
tions have spurred on new growth with-
in the parks, so we are working hard to
make sure the parks look the best they
can before the busy period commences.
“Council has also expanded the
product mix offered by the parks and
with a number of short stay and sea-
sonal permit opportunities available,
and we are receiving strong interest
For further information and booking
enquiries, please contact either of the
parks: Yanakie Caravan Park 03 5687
1295 or yanakiecp@southgippsland.
vic.gov.au, or Long Jetty Caravan Park
03 5688 1233 or longjettycp@south-
Trucking industry toasts Merv
Trucking icon: Merv and Jill Forrester of Wooreen reflect on Merv’s listing on the National Road Transport
Hall of Fame at Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
at caravan parks
GIPPSLAND South MLA
Danny O’Brien is calling
on the State Government
to commit to a timeline or
budget funding for badly
needed upgrades to local
Following the appointment of
new Emergency Services Minister,
James Merlino, Mr O’Brien again
raised in Parliament the urgent need
for upgrades of Country Fire Author-
ity (CFA) stations in his electorate.
Mr O’Brien said the stations at
Foster, Mirboo North and Yarram
were in particular need of upgrades,
with inadequate room for volunteers
to get changed for a fire and little
room to house the trucks.
Mr O’Brien had previously
written to the former Minister for
Emergency Services, Jane Garrett,
seeking funding to upgrade Mirboo
North and Foster bridges and raised
in Parliament the need for Yarram’s
station to be upgraded.
“The response is just as disap-
pointing as that received from the
former minister and gave no indica-
tion that Melbourne Labor is going
to make any funding available to
undertake these important capital up-
grades,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The minister’s answer says that
Melbourne Labor is committed to in-
vesting in critical assets for the CFA,
yet fails to allocate money for this to
“Indeed, the minister simply ig-
nored the question of when funding
might be available for fire station
“This is in stark contrast to when
The Nationals were in government as
we funded 250 new stations across
Mr O’Brien said the State Gov-
ernment seemed more intent on
fighting with volunteers than worry-
ing about their safety and modernis-
ing their stations.
“I’ve spoken to the excellent vol-
unteers at Mirboo North, Yarram and
Foster, as well as many other stations
around the electorate and I know
how hard they work and the hours
they put in to protect our communi-
ties,” he said.
Urgent need: Gippsland South MLA Danny
O’Brien discusses the need for a new fire station
at Foster with brigade captain David Jones.
No commitment on fire stations
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