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ULTIMATE MOTORING Off Road and Accessory Guide Page

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COL WILKIE BODY WORKS

84 years of family service and tradition

TOP 10 MOST ECONOMICAL SUVS A MURWEH TRIP A-Z ITINERARY

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September 2019 Edition 3


Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

WELCOME WELCOME to the third edition of the Motoring Guide for 2019. With our publication still being a relatively new product, we are very passionate to provide comprehensive content to our readers and welcome any feedback. Covering all things motoring – whether it’s reaching out to inform you about recent or ongoing recalls of vehicles, comparison of the latest car releases, profiles of local businesses and their passion to get you back on the road safely or the latest developments that may affect you or your loved ones – we have it all. The Takata airbag recall has been an issue since its initial recall back in 2015. Although it seems to be a well-known topic, there are still thousands of car owners that either haven’t acted upon the recall or are unaware that their car is one of the many models/brands on the very extensive list. The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission are keeping records on the progress of the recall and we have included their facts and figures, together with a list of the models fitted with the "alpha" category Takata airbags that are at critical risk of injuring or even killing occupants or drivers. In this issue we also talk about the major redevelopment currently underway on the Warrego Highway in Chinchilla. The upgrade will include changes to the railway crossing and widening of the section of highway through the CBD area and is expected to finish early 2020. Australia is renowned for its wildlife, and in regional areas we come across a variety of potential dangers as our fur friends are not familiar with the road rules! We note the times to avoid driving to reduce the risk of encountering our fellow fauna and if you are unfortunate enough to collide with one of them, the action to take – or, more so, the animals not to approach if you do injure them! Remember, we want you to stay safe and arrive alive.

Col Wilkie Body Works – 84 years in business. Page 6. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Toowoomba Bypass Opening Event. Page 40. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

WHAT’S INSIDE

Australian Transport Industry Icon Neil Mansell. Page 38. PHOTO: BEV LACEY

PAGE 3 Enzed Surat Basin have their sights set on the state titles for Small Business of the Year. PAGE 6 Col Wilkie Body Works must be doing something right to be in business for 84 years! PAGE 10 Takata airbag recall PAGE 14 Linear Graphics Toowoomba, making a name for themselves by getting your business name out there PAGE 16 The Safest SUVs PAGE 18 Electric vehicle recharge stations PAGE 20 The top 10 most economical SUVs PAGE 22 Dust and dirt dangers whilst driving PAGE 23 Underrated 4X4’s PAGE 26 & 27 Animal collisions PAGE 28 Thinking about stock and wildlife when travelling PAGE 32 Cunnamulla & Eulo PAGE 34 & 35 Plan your trip out west with The Murweh A – Z itinerary PAGE 38 Neil Mansell is named an Australian Transport Industry Icon & Dalby scrubs parking meters PAGE 40 Toowoomba Bypass Opening Event PAGE 44 Head out west. Jackson, Muckadilla and Amby communities have a lot to offer PAGE 46 Chinchilla road safety set to improve from railway and road upgrades on the Warrego Highway

Cover: Supplied by Col Wilkie Body Works Advertising Sales: Phone (07) 4672 9902 Dalby: Nicole McDougall Email: nicole.mcdougall@dalbyherald.com.au Chinchilla: Debbie Phillips Email:debbie.phillips@chinchillanews.com.au Roma, St George, Charleville: Greg Latta Email:greg.latta@westernstarnews.com General Manager: Erika Brayshaw Email:erika.brayshaw@chinchillanews.com.au Journalists: Shannon Hardy Designer: Haylee Thomas Email: Haylee.thomas@chinchillanews.com.au Publisher’s indemnity: Ultimate Motoring off Road and Accessory Guide is published by News Corp Australia in Chinchilla Queensland. Those who make advertising placement and/or supply copy material or editorial submissions to Ultimate Motoring off Road and Accessory Guide undertake to ensure that all such material does not infringe any copyright, trademark, defamation, libel, slander or title, breach of confidence, does not contain anything obscene or indecent, or does not infringe the trade practices act or other laws, regulations or statutes. Further to the abovementioned these persons agree to indemnify the publisher and/or its agents against any investigations, claims or judgements.

Don’t let time run out on you. You know what that means! For good old-fashioned service built around honesty and integrity you can trust:

• Personal Accountancy • Business Accountancy • Taxation • Financials Page 2

Jeff Hannaford Chartered Accountant Jeff: 0429 894 937

Offices in: Millmerran: 07 4695 1477 Texas: 07 4653 1155 Inglewood: 07 4652 1106


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Enzed Surat Basin located in the Surat Basin Industrial Park Chinchilla at 2B Osborne Street.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

STATE TITLES IN SIGHT FOR ENZED SURAT BASIN ENZED Surat Basin, located at 2B Osborne Street in the Surat Basin Industrial Park have had a busy 2019, we have seen our business progress year upon year thanks to the fantastic support from our valued customers. After winning the recent Regional Small Business of the Year, Queensland Training Awards, the team at ENZED Surat Basin have the State Titles in sight this month. ENZED Surat Basin’s commitment to training and development of their team is second to none, with eight of their twelve employees undertaking various levels of training and development throughout the year. The training offered to the team highlights Surat Basin’s dedication to the continual improvement and upskilling of their team which has been recognised by Queensland’s Training Awards Committee. ENZED Surat Basin are dedicated to maintaining a 100% local workforce as a key factor to their long-term success. From September 2nd ENZED Surat Basin will be giving you the chance to WIN the ultimate muscle car! This is a campaign like no other! A one-of-a-kind, jet black Cameron Waters Signature Edition V8 Mustang. Nothing has been overlooked, from performance tuning and suspension, carbon fibre body kit, 20-inch wheels, custom interior and nearly 380 kilowatts of power! Head in store or call their onsite Hose Doctors before October 24 as every invoice is your chance to win!

Remember ENZED supply much more than ‘just’ your hose and fittings, backed by the world's leading motion & control manufacturer, Parker Hannifin, they also supply and service Hydraulic and Pneumatic system components including hydraulic pumps, motors and control valves to accumulators, coolers, cylinders and other Hydraulic system components. ENZED Surat Basin also stock fluid transfer equipment from Oil and Fuel guns, meters and transfer pumps to heavy duty retractable reels and diesel fuel storage kits for vehicles. ENZED are committed to provide excellence in service with world-class fluid connection and motion technology here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To find out more about the range of products and services they can offer you and when only the best will do, call today on 07 4662 7038

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From September 2nd ENZED Surat Basin will be giving you the chance to WIN the ultimate muscle car! This is a campaign like no other!

Small Business of the Year for the Queensland Training Awards, Enzed Surat Basin have the State Titles in their sites this month. From L – R Proud Enzed Surat Basin Employees Brad Smith and Rachel Willmett with Lynne and Warwick Goyen. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED Page 3


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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

Col Wilkie Body Works have been proud supporters of the PCYC’s Braking the Cycle program since 2017.

Col Wilkie Body Works – 84 years of family tradition

If you’ve been in business for 84 years, you know you must be getting something right. When Steve Wilkie bought his smash repairs business from dad Col Wilkie in 2008, he was continuing a long family tradition started by his grandfather Ben in 1935. Col Wilkie Body Works in Toowoomba is a true family operation with Steve’s sister Kerri Crisp and his wife Hannah also working there among the 17-strong team that prides itself on quality, fast, guaranteed work. And it was that attention to detail with a real customer-focused approach that Mrs Crisp said would continue to keep the business going strong for years to come. "We do anything from small vehicles, 4WDs to light commercial," she said. "It should be a given that a panel shop can fix your car, but we like to look after the person too. We try to make it as easy as we possibly can and offer a lifetime guarantee on all of our work so people can have peace of mind." "We’ve been here for a long time and we wouldn’t have been if we weren’t doing the right thing." She said the company supported customers through the insurance claims process, helping them to lodge and organise repair times. They work with all insurers on the market, just remember that it is your policy and your choice of repairer. Customers come from far and wide for their service with many happy to send in cars from right across Western Queensland and company Estimator Bert Webster did regular quoting trips throughout Southwest Queensland. Col Wilkie Body Works also believes in supporting the community that has supported them for so long. This is why they chose to be involved in the PCYC’s Braking the Cycle program. Braking the Cycle is a program that pairs learner drivers up with experienced volunteers to help them reach their hours and get those P plates. It aims to break the cycle of kids not getting their license and the impact that can have on their adult lives. When the program began at the Toowoomba PCYC in April of 2017, Col Wilkie Body Works were excited to provide the first training vehicle. Since then the Toowoomba program has expended to five cars offering 140 sessions each week and helping over 60 participants to get their licences so far. Owner of Col Wilke Body Works, Steve Wilke said he believed strongly in providing people with a great customer experience in a one-stop shop and it is this same attitude and dedication in their work with the PCYC that makes this family business such an important part of their community. Page 6

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Attention to detail with a real customer-focused approach is paramount for the team at Col Wilkie Body Works. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

The workshop is located at 3-5 Instow Street Toowoomba QLD.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED


A 3rd generation trusted family business. EST: 1935

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

Damaged car dashboard and windscreen.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Takata airbag recall Mannequin in a car after a crash-test PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Is your vehicle affected? Since the initial recall in March 2015, faulty Takata airbags are still being picked up and replaced by car owners around Australia. The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission has been keeping tabs on the progress of the recall and released their latest update in May which stated that as of March 31 2019, around 2.1M vehicles had been rectified of the faulty airbags. This number is equal to 69 per cent of the recalled products and has climbed from the 63 per cent rate of January 2018. A further seven per cent, or 192 000 of the airbags have been found by vehicle manufacturers and written off. While these numbers are great, it still means that there are 24 per cent, roughly 734 000, of the recalled products still unaccounted for in vehicles around the country. ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said in a statement they urge motorists who have received recall notifications from their car manufacturer to act now to arrange for a replacement which is free of charge. "Our biggest concern is that there are around 12,000 vehicles that are identified as critically requiring repair, including more than 8,800 containing the most dangerous type of ‘alpha’ airbag," Ms Rickard said. "The alpha airbag can have up to a 50 per cent chance of misdeployment if triggered in an incident. These cars pose a serious and heightened safety risk and should not be driven." The recall was issued due to a design defect in some models of airbag made by the Takata Corporation. The use of the chemical phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate (PSAN) as propellant without the use of a desiccant or with a calcium sulphate desiccate can result in the PSAN degrading in certain environments. The result is that when the airbag is triggered in a collision, excess force may cause the airbag to rupture the inflator Page 10

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Our biggest concern is that there are around 12,000 vehicles that are identified as critically requiring repair.

housing. This could result in sharp metal fragments that can hit vehicle occupants and cause injury or death. Some models of the air bag are a more critical risk than others. Anyone with an ‘alpha’ category Takata airbag are encouraged to take steps to have the unit replaced immediately. Models fitted with the alpha airbag include: ■ BMW 3 Series E46 2001 – 2003 ■ Honda Accord, CR-V 2001-2002 ■ Honda Civic 2001 ■ Honda Accord 2001-2002 ■ Honda Civic, Accord, Accord Euro, CR-V, Jazz, MDX 2001-2003 ■ Honda Jazz 2004 ■ Lexus SC430 2000-2003

■ Mazda6, RX-8 2002-2007 ■ Nissan N16 Pulsar, Y61 Patrol, D22 Navara, T30 X-Trail 2000-2004 ■ Nissan N16 Pulsar, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol, T30 X-Trail 2001-2003 ■ Toyota Corolla, Avensis Verso 2000-2004 ■ Toyota Echo, Rav 4 2002-2003 To check if your vehicle is fitted with the recalled Takata airbags, visit IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au and enter your licence plate number and state of registration. Alternatively, a comprehensive list of the vehicle models affected by the recall are listed at www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls/compulsory-takata-airbagrecall/takat-airbag-recalls-list.


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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

Some of the impressive graphic signage Linear Graphics are able to offer for vehicles.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Have Your Vehicle Make a Statement with Linear Graphics “30 years of experience in graphic design and signage” In today’s fast paced world it is important to make your business stand out and memorable in the minds of current and potential future clients. Linear Graphics Toowoomba have made a name for themselves by helping others get their names out there. With 30 years’ experience in graphic design and signage, manager Shane Genrich and his team know how to make your logo and business name stick in people’s minds. Mr Genrich said he and his team have covered everything from business signage and stationary through to agricultural machinery and heavy earthmoving equipment signage, and digitally based products. "Unlike straight out graphic designers, we don’t charge you a fee just to design you a logo," Mr Genrich said. "We can do start to finish. "If we’re going to be doing the job, we can design your logo pretty much free of charge. "Once we’ve designed your business signage, then we can go through the proofing stage right through to supplying the end product." Settling on a design that will work in business signage, on vehicles, business cards and online can be difficult if you don’t have the decades of experience the Linear Graphics team have. Mr Genrich has some tips for businesses when it comes to deciding on the best logo options. "The biggest no-no really is making stuff too intricate and too hard to read," Mr Genrich said. "You want people to be able to easily see what you are offering as far as the business and how you’re able to offer it. "If somebody’s driving by your premises they don’t want big fancy colours and not to be able to read what’s there. "Your contact details and an over view of your business must be easily seen and really recognisable so a logo that brings your whole business together; "Something that somebody can look at it and say, ‘that’s what they do there, that’s what I need, that’s where I can go to get it done’." Page 14

Linear Graphics are able to offer free logo design as part of their overall service for vehicle signage In addition to design quality, Linear Graphics also used quality materials to print their signage. There are different options available depending on where the sign is going, including straight onto your car or truck. "We use high quality five to seven year digital vinyls in multi colours so you can have your logos or partial wraps which is a different process. "It really depends on people’s budgets. "We can do signs which will stand out on your car extremely cheaply - $100 odd dollars right up to $3000. "We can make the vehicle stand out. But just like signs in shopfronts, Mr Genrich said signage on cars needs to be easily read. "The vehicle needs to be recognised and easily read. "A vehicle is driving past, people need to see what that vehicle says as it’s going by and be able to recognise that later." Linear Graphics can also help you get your logo onto business

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

cards and flyers through other businesses they contract to and trust, guaranteeing you quality service and products. While you are talking to the Linear Graphics team about your signage options, do not forget to ask about their in-house window tinting services as well and get your work car ready for anything you throw at it. They will also equip you with anything you need to get the same high quality logo from your signage and car into your website or social media accounts as well, meaning that where ever a customer is looking for you they will see the same logo and know exactly who you are. More information on the services available and samples of the work Linear Graphics have done for some very satisfied customers can be found on their website, lineargraphicstoowoomba.com.au. Contact Mr Genrich and his team on 4632 1199 or email them at info@lineargraphicstoowoomba.com.


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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Safest SUVs Staying safe while travelling by road is a huge deal and many car companies are putting more and more emphasis on what their vehicles have to offer in that arena. Comparing cars can be a little confusing when constantly swapping between brands and models but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has done some of the hard work for you by picking out some of the safest SUV models for 2019. Of the SUVs looked at, IIHS picked 28 that they deemed worthy of their Top Safety Pick rating. Of those 28, 14 cars came to the top of the bunch receiving the Top Safety Pick + rating. We’ve included five of the top picks below. Each aspect of the cars rated by IIHS receives one of four ratings: Good or Superior, Acceptable or Advanced, Marginal or Basic, or Poor. Hyundai Kona 4-door SUV The rating for the Kona applies to the 2018 and 2019 models with a 2018 model being used for testing. During the testing it was found that in the event of a small overlap front on collision on either the driver’s side or passenger side, the driver’s survival space was maintained "reasonably well".

Tests with a moderate overlap front collision also scored well but the possibility of some injuries to the driver right leg or foot were recorded. The Kona’s front crash prevention system also received a superior rating having avoided collisions in tests at both 12mph and 25mph (approximately 20 and 40 kph). Hyundai Tucson 4-door SUV Like the Kona, the Tucson performed well in its small and moderate overlap frontal collision test but unlike the Kona there was no ‘injury’ recorded to the test dummy during the moderate overlap test. A slight let down for the Tucson was the child seat anchors. The anchors on the drivers side back seat received good ratings with ease of access and attachment but tests on the lower anchors on the passenger side found too much force was needed to attach to them. There were no lower anchors available on the middle seat. Mazda CX-5 4-door SUV The 2017-year model of the Mazda CX-5 was used for these results with the number applying to the 2017-19 models. The CX-5 earned superior ratings in its small and moderate overlap frontal collision tests as well as for its side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats.

For the child seat anchors the CX-5 received an acceptable rating because tests found that the tether anchors were too deep in the seat. Subaru Forester 4-door SUV For the Forester, in addition to good scores in the collision tests, the availability and accessibility of child seat anchors is a big plus. All three of the back seats have tether and lower anchors for child seats that are easy to find, not confusable with other hardware in the vicinity, not set too deep in the seat and do not require excessive force to attach to. The middle seat does require an anchor to be borrowed from the seat to its left meaning that only two child seats can be fitted to the car at a time. Toyota RAV4 4-door SUV The 2019 Toyota RAV4 received good rating for its small and moderate overlap front on collisions tests with the IIHS. The images from the test crash with the small overlap impact on the passenger side showed that the space was maintained very well and the "risk of injuries to the dummy’s legs and feet were low". The front crash prevention tests also earned the RAV4 a superior rating with the vehicle avoiding collisions in both the 12 and 25 mph tests.

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POWER UP: The electric fast charging station at Childers.

PHOTO: GRANT EDWARDS

Electric vehicle recharge stations By SHANNON HARDY

As electric vehicles become more prominent and affordable, infrastructure to support this change in transport has been needed. Up and down the east coast of Australia there is an abundance of charging stations to help owners of electric cars on their travels but until recently there wasn’t much as they headed further inland passed Toowoomba. A charging station was opened in Dalby in July this year, much to the delight of Bunya Mountains resident Peter Taylor. Mr Taylor spoke to the Dalby Herald about the addition of the charging station and his experience since purchasing an electric car.

"They're the way of the future, there's a lot going for them ... they're better for the environment ... once you've got over the initial cost of buying the car itself they're very cheap to run and they're very quiet and smooth," he said. His calculations show the electric vehicle runs at approximately half the cost of his diesel ute, as well as reduced servicing costs due to redundant parts like fuel and oil filters and spark plugs. Mr Taylor told the Dalby Herald the major hurdles ahead facing public adoption of the electric vehicle include the initial cost and time to charge. "It's difficult to get the conventional mindset off going to the petrol station on the way home to fill up in five minutes. "It's a different way of thinking about it, you have to plan your trip ... It's good in places like Dalby because you can walk around and get jobs done while the car is charging." The website Plugshare.com lists locations, where owners of

electric cars can recharge their vehicle all over Australia and the world. For travellers planning a trip around Queensland the website and others like it can assist them to decide on where they go and when they can recharge their vehicle. Travellers could head west out of Toowoomba and follow the Warrego Highway where there are opportunities to recharge in Dalby, Roma and Charleville. Other towns in regional and rural Queensland with charging stations include Cunnamulla, Barcaldine, Winton, Alpha, Cloncurry and more. At present Australia has less electric cars on the road than many other countries in the world. The high outright costs of electric model cars may play a significant factor in people’s decision making now as well as a lack of support infrastructure outside of more populated areas. But it is possible that growing concern for the environment and increasing accessibility and reliability on charging options might just help change the tides in the future.

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

The Fiat 500x Pop Auto

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

10 of the most economical SUVs Cars are a necessary and important part of our lives whether you use them to get around town and to work on a daily basis or for longer trips with the family to explore the country. For people who want the best of both worlds, SUVs are a great option with the extra space for passengers and luggage to suit almost every need. But what SUVs are the best when it comes to getting value for your money? Let’s take a look at 10 of the most economical SUVs on the Australian market when it comes to fuel consumption. Fiat 500x Pop Auto – 5.7L/100km This six-speed, 4 cylinder auto runs on unleaded fuel and has a 48L fuel capacity. Peugeot 3008 – 5L/100km The GT model of Peugeot’s 3008 line has a combined fuel consumption of 5L’100km which improves to around 4.6L/100km when travelling on the highway. Alfa Romeo Stelvio – 4.8L/100km The Stelvio 2.2L Turbo Diesel model has the best fuel consumption of the range coming in at 4.8L/100km while the

2.0L Turbo Petrol model averages 7.0L/100km. Mazda CX-3 Maxx diesel – 4.8L/100km The 1.8L Diesel FWD model in Mazda’s CX-3 range has an average fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km. This is reasonably lower than the petrol models which come in at 6.3L/100km in the auto and 6.6L/100km in the manual. Mini Cooper D Countryman – 4.8L/100km and Mini Cooper Countryman Hybrid 2.4L/100km Two cars from Mini’s Countryman line made this list. The D Countryman has a fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km and a CO2 emission rate of 126g/km. The Countryman Hybrid uses 2.4L/100km with a significantly lower emission rate on 55g/km due to its electric hybrid technology. BMW X1 18d – 4.7L/100km The 18d is the most fuel efficient of BMW’s X1 range coming in at 4.7L/100km. The SUV’s 4 cylinder engine will definitely give an owner better value for money at the bowser. Citroen C4 Cactus – 4.7L/100km The C4 Cactus is part of Citroen’s centenary year range. The

The Mitsubishi Outland PHEV

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

4.7L/100km fuel consumption of the Cactus’ 1.2L turbo-petrol engine earns it a spot among the most fuel efficient cars of the year. Lexus UX250h – 4.5L/100km The Lexus UX250h is a hybrid SUV with the 2WD model boasting a 4.5L/100km fuel consumption and a slightly higher consumption rate of 4.7L/100km for the AWD version. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – 1.7L/100km The Outlander is a hybrid SUV with the option to run in an all-electric mode. The internal combustion engine is put to use when the vehicle needs more power or the battery charge has fallen. Obviously the fuel consumption of a car might not be the deciding factor when you are looking to purchase, but knowing that you’ll get good value for your money after the initial purchase can sweeten the deal.

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

A heavily laden off road vehicle approaching on a dusty track.

Dust and dirt dangers on outback roads There are many places around Queensland where you will find yourself travelling on dirt and loose gravel roads. A short drive out of many towns in any direction that is not a highway will likely have your vehicle kicking up the dust. Dirt tracks become more regular and more heavily used as you travel further wes,t with many tourists who are not used to being off the bitumen finding themselves in the dirt and dust. Earlier this year Queensland Police released a road safety initiative with a focus on outback driving and the dangers associated with it. District Officer Superintendent Michael Sawrey said outback roads often exposed hidden dangers. "Bull dust, soft shoulders and stock and wildlife straying on to the roads are just some of the additional driving risks that can be encountered on our roads," Superintendent Sawrey said. A video released as part of the initiative included dashcam footage of an incident in 2018 where lack of visibility from dust obstructed a driver’s view. While no one was seriously injured in the incident which occurred between Windorah and Birdsville during tourist season, the video serves as visual evidence of the hazard dust

Mustering down country roads.

PHOTO: GEORGE CLERK

dusty

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

on dirt roads can cause. "By releasing this video, we hope to educate those who may not be familiar with our road conditions, on what they can encounter and how they can adjust their driving habits," Superintendent Sawrey said. Sergeant Shelly Easton was the QPS spokesperson in the road safety initiative video who offered advice to motorists on how to drive safely on dirt roads. "When travelling on unsealed roads you will create a lot of dust," Sgt Easton said. "Don’t sit in somebody’s blind spot, don’t sit behind

somebody who’s creating a lot of dust. "And as a road user it’s your responsibility to make sure that you’re not creating a hazard for other road users." Next time you find yourself on a dirt road keep in mind the dust being kicked up under your tyres can be enough to block the view on anyone behind you and also be aware of your own limited visibility when it comes to dirt and dust from cars in front of you or travelling the opposite direction. Be sure to leave yourself a good stopping distance from the vehicle in front of you and think twice before overtaking if you can not clearly see the road ahead.

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

Mitsubishi Pajero – the perfect work week to weekend car.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Underrated 4x4s Most adventurous drivers in Australia will no doubt have their favourite 4x4 and not much will change their minds. There are also the crowd favourites like the Toyota Landcruiser or a Nissan Patrol. But what about some lesser known or maybe unappreciated brands and models? Here are some 4x4s that you may not have considered. The Volkswagen T3 Syncro It is similar to its predecessor the Kombi van, just with a little more grunt. Many people were more familiar with the standard Type 2 Transporter instead of the 4x4 version. The Syncro was in production from the late 1970s with different features in each new iteration. Fitted with an intercooled, 92kW/292Nm 2.7 turbo diesel engine, this model proved itself during its production run and could still be a solid 4x4 for the right owner. The Kia Sorento The Sorento is still in production today but it does not have the same off-road abilities as earlier editions. When it first hit the market in 2002 the Sorento came in both automatic and manual transmission types with the option of a four-wheel drive system.

The Kia Sorento which first hit the market in 2002. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

‘‘

The Japanese car market was growing in Australia in the 1980s but Land Rover did not let that stop them.

The Land Rover 110 The boxy shapes of Land Rovers are something that many people picture when thinking of a 4x4 traversing all over Australia. Having since evolved into the Land Rover Defender of today, the 110 came at a tough time for the Australian car market. The Japanese car market was growing in Australia in the 1980s but Land Rover did not let that stop them. They swapped out the use of English diesel engines and the 110 was fitted with a 3.9L Isuzu diesel engine. The Nissan Terrano First launched in 1993, the Terrano was in production until 2006. Now discontinued, the Nissan Terrano can still be found

easily from second hand car dealers around Australia. It was Nissan’s 4x4 before they brought in the X-Trail and the Pathfinder. Mitsubishi Pajero Like the Land Rover 110, Mitsubishi’s Pajero entered the market in the 1980s. Combining features like double wishbone suspension with a turbo diesel engine, made the Pajero the perfect work week to weekend car because it was suited to off road travel and adventure and provided a good ride with on road too. The Pajero is another of the cars on this list that is still in production today.

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

Cattle on the road on the final day of the Eidsvold Charity Cattle Drive.

PHOTO: TOBI LOFTUS

Animal collisions By SHANNON HARDY With the amount of time Australians spend on the road each year, be it travelling for leisure or work, it is important to be aware of the possible hazards on our roads, especially in regional and outback areas. Kangaroos, cattle, deer, emus, smaller animals like foxes and rabbits and even camels in some

remote outback regions, can pose a risk to motorists. Animal strikes are an all too common event, but do you know where you stand as a motorist after a strike occurs? If you hit an animal or collide with another vehicle while trying to avoid an animal, you, as the driver, could be deemed responsible. If during your travels, you see an animal on the road in your path, it is important to assess your surroundings. Are there other vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians around you? If

there are other motorists in the vicinity and you collide with them while trying you avoid an animal you could be held accountable, sometimes incurring a fine or charge. If moving out of the path of the animal is out of the question, many motorists will brake to avoid or lessen a front on collision with animals on Australian roads. If this is the option you take, it is important to make sure your drastic reduction in speed will not put motorists behind you in danger. Drivers must also

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Droves of cattle crossing near the Chinchilla Weir.

PHOTO: KATE MCCORMACK

Kangaroo hopping down the road on the Outback Mail Run, north of Quilpie in Western Queensland. PHOTO: RAE WILSON

According to AAMI’s research between March 2018 and February 2019, August was the worst month for animal collisions in Queensland. During that same 12-month period, drivers most commonly encountered kangaroos in the case of an animal collision, with 7992 incidents recorded. That makes up 82 per cent of animal strikes recorded by AAMI nationally.

If none of these criteria are met, you can exchange details with other drivers involved and arrange for vehicles that cannot be driven to be moved. QPS website states that incidents such as these can be reported to QPS within 24 hours. For most minor animal collisions the third option will be most likely, especially if it was only your vehicle involved. QPS state in their Traffic Crash FAQ that "you are required to report a crash involving an animal or livestock only if it is a 'reportable crash.' This includes if your vehicle was towed".

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consider if their action can potentially create a traffic hazard, even if they do not directly collide with another motorist. It is important that any action you take while avoiding an animal strike on Queensland roads can be justified as reasonable and necessary to help you both with the road rules and when it comes to possible insurance claims. So what can you do to avoid colliding with an animal while travelling Queensland roads? The Queensland Department of Transport does state on their website that a motorist can drive to the right of the centre of the road to avoid an animal if it is safe to do so. This applies for roads with no or broken centre markings or for single and double white lines or painted traffic islands. The most important thing to consider when deciding what action to take is the safety of yourself and other road users. If you are involved in an accident with an animal or another road user there are steps to take, according to QPS’s Traffic Crash FAQ. If you or anyone else is in danger you must stop at the scene of the accident and call 000. This includes if there was injury suffered that requires attention from a qualified ambulance officer, doctor or nurse, or if there is a hazardous environment or threat to public safety. If these criteria are not met but you suspect the involvement of drugs or alcohol, another driver involved is refusing to provide you with required details, or if a driver with an impairment or disability requires police assistance, call Policelink on 131 444.

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

Thinking about stock and wildlife when travelling Queensland has an amazing array of destinations just waiting for you to visit and for many travellers their road journey is a destination all of its own. Along with the natural and man-made wonders that you will see on a road trip through Queensland, you will no doubt also meet some of our native wildlife and some of the livestock that breathes life into rural communities. Unfortunately, collisions with animals are not uncommon on Australian roads but there are ways to help keep both the passengers in your car and the animals outside safer. Avoiding driving around dusk and dawn can reduce the risk of hitting some of our native wildlife. Many of these animals are most active around those times and can be found feeding on the side of the road where they can often find themselves in the path of traffic. Depending on your direction of travel, sunset and sunrise can also be a hazard for drivers by affecting visibility and decreasing the time you have to stop before hitting any furry friends. So why not use these times to take a break, grab a coffee and enjoy the sunset or sunrise before continuing or starting your journey. In addition to not driving at dawn and dusk, Doctor Kylie Schooley from Chinchilla Vet suggested that slowing down would help. "If you’re on a main highway it’s probably not such a drama because there aren’t so many animals running across the main highways," Dr Schooley said. "But if you get off the main highway, I think you just need to go slower. "If there’s green pick on the side of the road you’re much more likely to see marsupials, so the way you can stop yourself from hitting them is to go slower and stop." Just like wildlife, some livestock use the land beside the highway to have a feed. If you come across any wandering livestock on your travels a good approach is to avoid scaring them. Slowing down when approaching or passing livestock both decreases the chance of your vehicle spooking them and gives you a faster and safer stopping time should the animal move further onto the road and into the path of your vehicle. As well as slowing down around livestock, slowing your speed when you are on an unpaved road with lots of dust and close scrub and bushland to obscure your view ahead will help you to avoid any animals that might appear unexpectedly from the side of the road. If you do have an unfortunate collision with any wildlife or livestock while on your travels, it’s important to know what to do next. First and foremost you need to make sure yourself and any passengers traveling with you are safe. Make sure that your vehicle isn’t a hazard to any other road users and make sure it is safe to get out of the vehicle. Then it is time to decide how to manage the animal. Dr Schooley recommended there were some animals that motorists should avoid approaching. "Bats carry lyssa virus which kills people, it’s in the rabies family, I wouldn’t be approaching a snake unless you’re a snake handler, they’re also deadly. "Large kangaroos are dangerous, any marsupial of any major

One of the hundreds of koalas rescued over the years by volunteer wildlife carers.

size, you have to know what you’re doing and emus, I wouldn’t be approaching an emu. "A wild animal is a wild animal; they will hurt you because they’re frightened." If you want to be prepared to help injured wildlife while travelling there are a few items Dr Schooley said will help, including thick gloves like welders’ gloves and towels or sheets to throw over the animal. The unfortunate reality is that wild animals do not survive with injuries. Dr Schooley said the kindest thing is to somehow find a way to put them out of their misery and end their suffering. "You could call the local vet, we certainly do a lot of wildlife work, but you will get charged for that," Dr Schooley said. "All the local vets are private businesses and we just don’t have the resources to be going all over the country side to see animals. "The other option is to understand some form of blunt trauma to euthanise the animal, which can be a little challenging but that’s always a possibility, or find somebody who understands it or has a gun who can help you." Dr Schooley wrapped up by saying that the best way to avoid needing to handle injured animals is to minimise hitting any animals, do not touch anything you do not understand and think about it before you leave on your trip.

PHOTO: NEV MADSEN

RESCUE ANIMAL: Four week old brush tail possum. PHOTO: CHRISSY HARRIS

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

TOWN HAS LOTS OF CHARM VISIT the ‘kingdom’ of the infamous Eulo Queen and you’ll discover a very enterprising community. Dubbed the ‘Montville of the Outback’, Eulo is home to local producers, opal art and mud baths. Pick up a handcrafted whip, belt or handbag. Imagine a lovely green oasis, set amongst the mulga. This is Eulo. It’s little more than a one-pub, one-general store town and yet it has a distinct charm. Spend time exploring this delightful haven perched on the banks of the Paroo River ... you’ll be glad you did. Back in the1880s when opal mining was at its peak, Eulo was a bustling township with three hotels. For a while it was home to one of the legends of the opal era, ‘The Eulo Queen’. Today the town centrepiece is the Eulo Queen Hotel, named after the thrice-married pub owner, storekeeper and opal trader, Isabel Gray. Each winter, beekeepers travel to Eulo so their bees can feed on the Yapunyah tree, a Warrego variety of Eucalyptus found in the region. You can purchase a selection of natural honey skin products from the Eulo Queen Arts and Opal Centre. At the Artesian Mud Baths, you can soak in antique baths, in a beautiful bush setting, under the stars. Bathe in milky grey artesian mud drawn fresh from ancient springs. Warmed by braziers on cold Winter nights, you’ll be served wine and nibbles in these ultimate artesian mud baths. TOP THINGS TO DO IN EULO ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Indulge with an artesian mud bath Find out why Eulo needed an air raid shelter See opals and art at the Telegraph House Gallery Pick up some handcrafted leather goods Celebrate Music In The Mulga Country Music Festival Discover the natural Artesian Mud Springs See the World Champion Lizard Racetrack Ask a local about the megafauna discoveries Camp beside a secluded billabong along the Paroo River Grab a coffee at the Eulo General Store

RELAX: Visit the Artesian Mud Bath at Eulo.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

OUTBACK LANDSCAPES

Enjoy a genuine connection to local people and culture of Cunnamulla

DISCOVER vibrant red sand hills and brilliant blue skies. Stay on a working property and boil the billy under starry night skies. Imagine adventure-filled days and must-see outback landscapes, Paroo Shire is a photographer’s dream destination. Reclaim what’s real when you visit our beautiful region. Escape the run-of-the-mill tourist haunts and enjoy a genuine connection to local people and culture. Meet working graziers and learn about life on the land. Join locals as they enjoy their favourite river activities. Immerse yourself in heritage stories and heroic tales. Slow down. Unplug. Embrace the country lifestyle and live like a local.

CUNNAMULLA

VISIT Cunnamulla where the handshake’s stronger and the smile lasts longer. Immerse yourself in a true outback experience. Discover meaningful connections with people and places. The township of Cunnamulla was created by Cobb & Co. on the third of September1879, when the first coach drove through from Bourke. Today it is the only surviving southwest town along the original route. This says a lot about the people of Cunnamulla. Tough, resilient, creative, down to earth folk who love their

country. While wool growing and beef production are still the main industries, the new kids on the block are irrigated table grape farming, organic wheat, organic beef and lamb production. Fully immerse yourself in typical outback station life with a choice of working properties to visit. Get a taste of the outback life. See sheep shearing (in season) or cattle mustering, go on a water run or help with some of the daily station tasks. Visitors to Charlotte Plains sheep and cattle station are treated to a welcome soak in their1890’s station bore. Its inviting mineral-laden water comes straight from the Great Artesian Basin.

ICONIC: Check out the statue of the Cunnamulla Fella in Centenary Park, an iconic bush figure immortalised in a song by Stan Coster and sung by Slim Dusty.

TOP THINGS TO DO

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Relax around a traditional Gidgee coal campfire Savour a camp oven themed dinner and billy tea Experience life on the land with a real station stay Kayak the tranquil waters of the Warrego River Spot the Cooper Creek turtle and native birdlife Sand board down stunning natural sand hills Stake out the perfect fishing hole Journey back100 million years in the Artesian Time Tunnel Enjoy sunset drinks from the River Walk Follow the looped walking track to the Bushlands Uncover town stories on the Cunnamulla Heritage Trail

CUNNAMULLA FELLA FESTIVAL

STARTS the last Friday in August where cowboys, bull riders, shearers and stockmen will descend on the famous town of Cunnamulla in country Queensland for a uniquely outback event – the Cunnamulla Fella Festival. The Cunnamulla Fella is an iconic bush figure who was immortalised in a song by Stan Coster, sung by Slim Dusty and there is a statue located in Centenary Park.

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

PLAN YOUR TRIP WITH THE MURWEH A- Z ITINERARY A. ART

Visit the amazing Mulga Lands Gallery – a purpose-built art gallery space as part of Charleville’s 150 years celebration.

B. BILBY

Always a favourite, visit the Bilby Centre and get up close and personal with this rare species.

C. CORONES HOTEL EXPERIENCE: Book into the Sun Viewing and view the largest star in the Solar System at Charleville's Cosoms Centre and Observatory. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

HIT THE ROAD & LOOK TO THE SKIES IMMORTILISED in Slim Dusty’s song by the same name, Charleville is the largest town in Queensland’s south west and is a hub for visitors and pastoralists alike. In the heart of ‘mulga country’, Charleville and surrounding pastoral properties are rich in history, flora and fauna. Charleville is on the Warrego River, at the junction of the Mitchell and Warrego Highways. The region was explored by Edmund Kennedy in 1847 and by William Landsborough in 1862, the latter’s report which motivated early pastoral occupation. An Irishman, Tully, likely named the town after the town of Charleville, north of Cork, Ireland. Charleville is definitely not a place to be missed.

BILBY EXPERIENCE

CHARLEVILLE Bilby Experience offers unique opportunities to learn about these fascinating marsupials. Meet endangered bilbies and see them in their impressive redeveloped nocturnal exhibit.

COSMOS OBSERVATORY CENTRE

CHARLEVILLE’S Cosmos Centre and Observatory is dedicated to ensuring visitors enjoy the wonder of the outback night sky. The

Tour through Historic Hotel Corones and hear all Harrys’ stories followed by afternoon tea.

D. DRIVE

Purchase a CD from the Visitor Information Centre and do your own self-guided town tour.

E. EXPLORE

Book yourself on the ‘Check out Charleville’ town tour of Charleville and hear the stories of our fires and floods.

F. FISH

Love to wet a line? Call in to see Judey at the Fishing shop and she’ll love to draw you a mud map of her ‘secret’ fishing spots.

G. GRAHAM ANDREWS PARKLANDS

Wander through Graham Andrews parklands, cook yourself a barbie or let the kids spread their wings on the play equipment.

H. HISTORIC HOUSE

Visit George at Historic House and see the amazing items of our past, he has so much knowledge.

guides at the Cosmos Centre share their knowledge and you will observe binary stars, star clusters, planets and the Moon.

TOP SECRET WWII TOUR

FOLLOW a guide to find out what the Top Secret WWII Tour is all about. See what remains on site and discover why the USAAF were here, all 3500 of them!

TIMBER WALK

DO YOU love nature? Charleville hosts its own Outback Native Timber Walk which showcases all the local native trees around a pond where birds love to convene. Graham Andrews Parklands is also home to the famous Vortex Rainmaking Guns. The rainmaking experiment failed, but was Clement Wragge just crazy or was it Charleville’s fault?

HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUM

VISIT Historic House Museum and displays of a by-gone era. Learn all about the Cobb & Co Coaches and the impact they had in the town.

EXPERIENCE: Tourists will love the chance to get up close with a Bilby at the Bilby Centre. PHOTO: PETER WILSON

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The Charleville Cosmos Centre observatory.

I. INTRODUCTION TO THE NIGHT SKY

Remember to book & learn about navigating the night sky at the Cosmos Centre.

J. JOIN

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

S. SUN VIEWING

Book a Sun Viewing Session at the Cosmos Centre and see for yourself the brightest star in the Solar System.

T. THURLBY STATION TOUR

Join a camp oven dinner at one of our great caravan parks; maybe you’ll hear a yarn or two. These hosts are great, you’ll love it.

Live and learn about cattle and sheep stations of the outback. This tour will guide you around their property and explain the ways of life and how it all works.

Made famous by the Kenniff brothers, bushrangers that called Augathella home.

The Top Secret WWII Tour is a must. Ranked in the top three things to do in Charleville on Trip Advisor, make a point of booking this and discovering what the secret was and what 3500 USAAF personnel were doing here for four years?

K. KENNIFF TREE L. LEARN

‘Astronomy by Day’ is an interactive area where you’ll also see the Cosmos Shuttle, learn about meteorites and watch movies about all things Cosmos, it’s absolutely incredible.

M. MORVEN HISTORICAL MUSEUM

This is a must and make sure you visit the Hut made out of old kerosene tins and the miniature building display.

N. NATURAL SCIENCES LOOP

This loop is incredible; it covers the four shires of Queensland’s Southern Outback including Murweh, Quilpie, Bulloo and Paroo. Each shire offering their own ‘Natural Sciences’.

O. OBSERVATORY

Observe the outback night sky that will amaze you, in our observatory with 4 large Meade telescopes. The night’s sky up close is impressive.

P. PLANETARIUM

(Coming Soon) Stay tuned for further news.

Q. QANTAS

Did you know that on the second of November 1922, the first official Qantas flight departed from Charleville? There is so much aviation history in our region and coming soon will be an aviation and history display. Charleville is home to one of eight Royal Flying Doctor Bases. The Visitor Centre is open daily for you to discover their story.

V. VORTEX GUNS

What was Clement Wragge trying to prove? Find out in Charleville?

W. WARREGO RIVER WALK

Take a walk along the Warrego River at sunset.

X. X MARKS THE SPOT

Dot dash dot dash dot dot dot all the way to the Charleville Visitor Information Centre and book yourself an itinerary today. For further information download the Charleville App and do it yourself.

Y. YARN

Have a yarn with local pilot Pete of Outback Air Tours and do a scenic flight of the area or fly out to Birdsville if you wish. View the amazing Channel Country from a different perspective. Maybe you’ll see the Automated Weather Balloon release while you are up there.

Z. Z -A,10-1

Where the alphabet begins. Visit the School of Distance Education and see how their classrooms operate and listen to the story of ‘School of the Air’ and how it all came about. For more details ring the friendly staff at the Charleville Visitor Information Centre on 07 4654 3057.

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Australian Transport Industry Icon Neil Mansell

PHOTO: BEV LACEY

Toowoomba businessman an Australian Transport Industry icon

By PETER HARDWICK

TOOWOOMBA businessman Neil Mansell is one of just three people to be named an Australian Transport Industry Icon. Mr Mansell, whose national transport company Neil Mansell Transport is based in Toowoomba, was inducted as an icon of the industry at the Australian Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs last night.

He has been involved in the transport industry for more than 50 years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. Speaking from Alice Springs today, Mr Mansell told The Chronicle the award was very much unexpected. "It was a great surprise, my family kept it a secret," he said. "There are 21 of us here (family and some staff) including my fourth generation who will be 12 months old next month. "You don't go looking for these sorts of things but after it's done you feel quite honoured." Neil Mansell Transport operates more than 460 trucks travelling to destinations all over Australia and the company employs more than 700 staff. And, Mr Mansell was quick to pay tribute to his staff after

receiving the award. "While I've got all those trucks I can only drive one at a time," he said. "It's a great honour for me and terrific recognition for my wonderful staff over the years." Mr Mansell was recognised along with Tom Lindsay of Lindsay Brothers Transport and legendary South Australian Transport operator Sharon Middleton. Mr Mansell said he had enjoyed the trip to Alice Springs with his family and catching up with so many friends from the industry at the function. "Catching up with some old friends I hadn't seen for 20 years or more was very special," he said.

Parking meters gone THERE is good news for Dalby shoppers with the Western Downs Regional Council deciding to remove ageing parking meters from the CBD. The council faced a call to either replace 204 old meters, at cost of about $450,000, or remove them. It canvassed CBD business ahead of the decision. Shoppers are now able to park for free, though there are time limits, ranging from 15 minutes to two hours. But not every business owner is happy. Brian Hedge has run his sports store in the CBD for almost four decades and said the decision was short-sighted. "The biggest trouble is the council still has to police the parking limits," he said. "It will still have someone walking around the streets marking tires on a time limit." Mr Hedge is concerned there will be cost to ratepayers to employ an inspector while the council has done itself out of much-needed revenue. To date, shoppers were paying about 20 cents per hour. In Mr Hedge’s view, it was an insignificant amount that had not discouraged shoppers from Page 38

parking in the CBD. He suggested the council raised the parking fee to $1 per hour. "These days I don’t think a dollar would matter to a lot of people," he said. Western Downs councillor for economic development Councillor Donna Ashurst backed the decision. "One thing that has come through loud and clear is that business houses want car parks available for their customers, and in return, customers want the convenience of having a car park near the shop or business house they’re visiting," she said. "The council felt that customers continuing to pay small change into meters was no longer having a positive outcome for the town centre. "A car being parked all day in a signed parking bay will still be a no-go." The first parking meters were installed in 1967.

Changes to Cunningham St parking meters has residents debating their necessity.Photo Will Hunter / Dalby Herald PHOTO: WILL HUNTER


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Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing would be know as the Toowoomba Bypass upon it’s completion.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

BYPASS OPENING EVENT Charity bike ride and marathon celebration weekend A MARATHON and cycling charity ride were two of several events held across September 7 and 8 to celebrate the opening of the Toowoomba Bypass. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Australian and Queensland Governments had listened to feedback calling for a community event to mark the special occasion. “The (Bypass) construction has been a monumental project for the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley communities,” Mr McCormack said. “It’s important we take the opportunity to thank everyone for their patience during this

time. “We are on the home run now, with remediation work progressing rapidly on the embankment affected by a geotechnical issue.” Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said ideas for the community opening event included a walk-through of the site and sporting challenges. “Walking, running and riding the Range are some of the key preferences in many submissions from community members and charities,” Dr McVeigh said. “We want to reassure community groups we have heard your suggestions and taken them on board, so we can all celebrate over the course of the weekend.” The Rotary Club of Toowoomba, the group behind the Ride the Range event, ran the cycling charity ride on September 7 raising funds for Emerge and LifeFlight. Rotary’s Mark Norman said cyclists started and finished under the New England Highway arch bridges and had the option of riding 73km, 36km or 25km. “This is an

incredible addition to the logistical infrastructure of our city,” Mr Norman said. “The once-in-alifetime chance to ride over the viaduct and along the new road will be amazing for us all.” Mr Norman said before the event. All details can be found at www.ridetherange.org.au The Toowoomba Road Runners group also held a marathon on the new road on September 8, known as the Toowoomba Marathon. The run began at 6am, also under the New England Highway arch bridges and included the option of running the full 42km marathon, as well as options for a 21km half marathon or a 5km and 10km fun run. More events related to the opening are expected to be announced. Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the road, which during construction was known as the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, would be known as the Toowoomba Bypass.

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Welcome to Jackson

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

FILL YOUR TANK AND HEAD OUT WEST!

Jackson, Muckadilla and Amby communities have a lot to offer.

JACKSON Jackson is a small town located beside the Warrego Highway between Miles and Roma. First settled by pioneers, the town of Jackson had a strong connection with the railway, providing support for the surrounding agricultural communities. Residents of the district access most of their services from Roma or Miles, including education and health. District sustainability rests on agricultural industries, mainly grains and livestock. Town sustainability is based upon the local library and post office, which also offer a community meeting space. Tourism in Jackson has growth potential, as part of a visitor economy that encompasses local history, agricultural and industrial tourism. Jackson features historical buildings, including the QCWA Hall and the Old Play Shed, "Tribute to Pioneers". Jackson is also the starting place of the Maranoa’s bushranger history. Two quarries and a major waste treatment facility contribute to local industry.

MUCKADILLA TRAVEL some 40km west of Roma, along the Warrego Highway and discover the whistle-stop town of Muckadilla, or ‘Mucka’ as the locals call it. Once home to the famous Muckadilla Baths, this town may lack the bustle of bigger towns, but not the hospitality. Muckadilla Creek flows from Mount Bindango to the north down to the south-east of Muckadilla to Mount Abundance, passing just west of the town. The creek becomes Cogoon River and then is a tributary of the Balonne River. The name Muckadilla was first used as the creek name, which in turn is believed to be an Aboriginal word to mean plenty of water. In 1889, the Queensland Government drilled a bore at Muckadilla. Although the water supply found was quite small, it was believed that it had healing properties and people flocked to Muckadilla in search of a cure. Dr E.W. Kerr of Brisbane endorsed the water, claiming it had cured "obstinate rheumatism" in some of his patients. The baths were popular and, in 1939, John McEwan Hunter proposed that a sanitorium should be built there to better allow people to improve their "rheumatism, arthritis, digestion, nerves and general health". The land is mostly 350-400m above sea level and used for grazing and cropping. While in Muckadilla you can stop and see the Whistlestop Railway Siding, take a walk through the native gardens alongside the highway and let the children play on the new playground equipment situated in the native gardens.

You'll often see the locals out and about. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED Muckadilla is one of the towns listed in the first verse of I’ve Been Everywhere. AMBY Amby, originally called Amby Creek, became a township in 1883 and forms part of the eastern boundary of the Outback region. It is located 25km east of Mitchell and it can best be described as where the grain and the grazing belts meet. The Old Stage Changeover Shanty - known to the locals as Netting Hole - dates back to 1875 and is located on the northern side of town, along the Warrego Highway near Amby Downs waterhole. Amby Quarry, located on the western side of town, is a lava flow of pure basalt ten metres deep, 5km wide and 64km long. It is quarried for construction of roads, bridges and dams. Fossils can be found occasionally in the lava. Renowned for its country hospitality, stop and meet the locals and take up the challenge of the ‘no horse’ golf course.

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Ultimate Motoring, Off Road & Accessory Guide

A map from the Department of Transport and Main Roads displaying the Warrego Highway Upgrade Program: Chinchilla open level crossing upgrade and Columba Street signals project. PHOTO: DTMR

Chinchilla road safety set to benefit from roadworks due to finish in February 2020

Chinchilla won the Wotif’s newest "biggest thing" in November 2018, which saw a nine-metre-long watermelon wedge delivered to town on the back of a truck! Now proudly positioned on the

Chinchillas big watermelon

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Warrego Highway near the Tourist Information Centre, the new town attraction has seen tourists flock to town to get their own "selfie" with the beautiful pink and green masterpiece. Situated where it is, the watermelon is right amongst all the new road and railway infrastructure but on completion, there will be better access for motorists and pedestrians. From the Big Watermelon, it is an easy stroll to the newly opened Botanic Parklands, with

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TRAFFIC conditions in Chinchilla have changed recently as road works continue as part of the Warrego Highway Upgrade Program, including the railway crossing and highway through to the west end of the CBD. Works began late July 2019 and are expected to be completed by mid-February 2020. Contractor for the project, Decmil, have stated there will be access limitations and detours, for pedestrians and vehicles at different stages of the progress and it is their aim to keep the public/road users, informed of any temporary changes that may affect them. The railway crossing is currently flood lit at night to guide drivers safely through the area and the road works section has a reduced speed limit of 40km/h. Eastbound and westbound traffic can expect delays as the highway will reduce to one lane for a short period. As with all road works, although inconvenient at the time, the wait will be well worth the improvements, some benefits include upgrades to improve safety of the open level rail crossing, with the installation of boom gates, and signals at Colamba Street, together with additional lighting.

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