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Truckie praises pensioner for helping drivers trapped at Gatton pads

gatton pads

Paul Butlin isn’t sure what he would have done if disability pensioner Wes Walker hadn’t stepped up and taken charge at the Gatton pads during last week’s flooding on the Warrego Highway.

The popular hook-up was one of the few places for truckies to take refuge from the latest weather episode to beset the area, and Butlin reckons many have Walker to thank for more than doubling the site’s capicity to over 100.

“We would have been buggered if it wasn’t for Wes,” said Butlin, who called Big Rigs to give Walker a pat on the back.

“He’s a legend. God knows what would have happenned if he wasn’t there. People would have been parking anywhere and everywhere, and you wouldn’t have got the amount of people in there that he got in there, no where near it.”

To top it off, the McCormack Freightlines truckie said the selfless Walker returned early the next morning, after just a few hours kip, with free coffees for the drivers.

“He stayed all day and even gave us a hand with changing a tyre on one of our other trucks.”

Walker, who keeps a close eye on the comings and goings at the site, knew he had to step up when he heard that the Department of Transport and Main Roads had closed the highway.

“I knew I had go back there and take control of the situation, otherwise you’d have guys park anywhere and you wouldn’t get many in there.

“You’ve just got to know how to rack, stack and pack ’em.”

Ironically, Walker finally got to see authorities bring in much-needed toilets at the pads during the weather emergency.

His long-running campaign for permanent amenities there made national news when A Current Affair picked up on the story in July last year.

But there were only four portaloos dropped off, two at each end of the pads, that few drivers could locate, said a frustrated Walker.

“Why didn’t they ring me and say ‘We’ve got toilets coming, where do you want us to put them?’ By the time I go there, they were hidden.”

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