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Just roll on it

Tuesday, 12th December, 2017

One of the two Vestey Rotinoff Viscount units on display at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in ALice Springs. One of the two Vestey Rotinoff Viscount units on display at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in ALice Springs.

By Michael Murphy

A golden opportunity exists for the Silver City to lure a major tourist attraction that would inject millions of dollars a year into the local economy.

The National Transport Hall of Fame currently calls Alice Springs home, but the volunteers who look after the massive shrine to the trucking industry are looking to move elsewhere, and they like the look of Broken Hill.

The Hall of Fame has about 300 trucks in its collection, 100,000 pieces of memorabilia and more than 100,000 photographs.

Vandalism has cost the self-funded organisation that runs the attraction about $100,000 in last couple of years. 

In recent months, the damage bill has topped $10,000, and the volunteers have had enough.

Red tape in the Northern Territory has also been a strain on the group.

The community-based organisation has already had some generous offers from regional cities around Australia, including Kalgoorlie in WA, Port Augusta in South Australia, Shepparton in Victoria and Winton in Queensland.

But they really want to explore their options in Broken Hill because they think it’s the best fit for the southern hemisphere’s largest collection of trucks.

“We really like Broken Hill,” said Liz Martin, who is CEO of the Hall of Fame.

“It is the favoured choice of members because of its iconic status,” she said.

“We believe it has a tourism industry that is developing that we can become a significant part of ... tourism is basically our bread and butter.”

It’s estimated the Hall of Fame pulls in $7 million a year to the Alice Springs economy, while the volunteers who come from all around Australia spend a further $750,000 a year.

The group has a caravan park in Alice Springs where the volunteers stay for six or 12-week periods while they work on the Hall of Fame.

Ms Martin said the availability of land connected to power and water would be the biggest issue surrounding the Hall of Fame’s move.

She said buildings would be another factor, although they would be able to transport some of their 20 buildings from Alice Springs to Broken Hill.

“At this stage we have dealt with some good members in Broken Hill, and we have just been talking with them,” Ms Martin said.

“We have not had an official approach from Broken Hill but we are at a stage now where we will try and formalise proceedings.

“I think we have got an attraction that is unique,” she said.

“Apart from the domestic market, we attract a lot of people from overseas.

“Our road train collection is the rarest in the world and we have a lot of international visitors that come and have a look.”

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