Gazetted Roads

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 15:02
ThreadID: 111247 Views:5756 Replies:11 FollowUps:9
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Can anyone tell me whether any of the tracks across the Simpson desert are gazetted roads?
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Reply By: Rod W - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 15:34

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 15:34
Contact the appropriate Shire Councils at least via their websites which should reveal what their public road structure is.
AnswerID: 546619

Reply By: duck - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 15:37

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 15:37
is this for Insurance reasons or warranty etc
AnswerID: 546620

Follow Up By: Member - KeithB - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 16:45

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 16:45
That's right. If I have a bad mechanical failure and need to be towed I assume my top NRMA cover would not apply if the road is not gazetted, which I think is probably the case. I don;t know what the local shire it is and the SA local government map wasn't much help.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 20:19

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 20:19
I think you will find that the NRMA will only recover you on any road, not necessarily gazetted that a 2wd recovery truck can get access too.

It does not provide blanket coverage on Gazetted roads
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 10:31

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 10:31
Keith from personal experience I can confirm you are not covered.

When you call Birdsville or Mt Dare Roadhouse for assistance the first thing they tell you is that it is not a gazetted road and are not covered for roadside assistance
The second thing is 'can I have your credit card details'.

It can get rather costly as well. I once had a suspension failure and rang Birdsville roadhouse on my satphone. Fortunately they had the parts in stock (a big advantage of owning a Toyota)
They charged me $600 for the parts which was reasonable I thought and the delivery cost out to me in the desert was a further $1,200.
We were able to fit the parts ourselves and drove out of the desert unassisted.

I considered that we got out of it cheap because it would of been at least double that if I had to be recovered with the tilt tray.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 16:52

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 16:52
I think you will find it is "out of districts", that is, there is no local government for that area and it is covered by the State Government.
Suggest you contact the Transport Agency Regional Office (Dept for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure) in Pt Augusta.
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Follow Up By: Member - Charlie B2 - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 17:53

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 17:53
Sorry Andrew & Jen,

You posted while I was typing.


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Reply By: Hoyks - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 17:33

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 17:33
I'd say Yes:

But this is for NSW:
"Road has been defined as:

"a highway for traffic" - a public road on which all have a right to pass, and
"a right to passage along a certain route and the physical substance supporting the passengers". [see Hallmann para 6.1]

Road in its legal sense applies to all types of thoroughfares eg roads, lanes, pathways. The Roads Act 1993 does not specify any minimum widths, which would distinguish lanes or pathways from other public roads. A site is a road if persons, other than the owner, have a right of passage which cannot be terminated at the will of the owner. Road includes:

the airspace above the surface of the road,
the soil beneath the surface of the road, and
any bridge, tunnel causeway, road-ferry, ford or other work or structure forming part of the road."
AnswerID: 546625

Reply By: Member - Charlie B2 - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 17:51

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 17:51
Hi Keith,

In South Australia, the Simpson Desert and Witjira National Park are not within any Local Government Area, so there is no "Shire" to contact. You would need to discuss with Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources staff, perhaps when you arrange your Desert Parks Pass.

I might suggest that the issue of "gazetted roads" may possibly be largely peculiar to the eastern states, where, on occasion, land tenure can be, let's just say, interesting.

With the notable exception of roads through SA's pastoral country, where pastoral leasehold land (a form of Crown Land that is leased out for pastoral purposes) has been genuinely resumed from its former lease, road corridors have been excised and the remaining land rededicated, by gazettal, again as pastoral leasehold land, I think you'll find that most public roads in the more populated parts of South Australia are NOT gazetted in any way, shape or form - they largely come into being by deposit, in the Lands Titles Office, of a Plan of Division (i.e. the original land parcel is subdivided) and are then, by operation of s.308 of the Local Government Act, held as an estate in fee simple under the Real Property Act, by the relevant Local Government Authority (council), even where land may have been acquired by negotiation or compulsory process (eastern states readers please read "resumed") from adjoining property owners to duplicate or widen a road corridor.

To a significant extent, the above even applies to our major interstate road system, although in the last couple of years there have been amendments to the Highways Act that will ultimately allow the Commissioner of Highways to hold certain identified "highways" in his own name. To the best of my knowledge, such sections of identified roads are yet to be proclaimed, even though the Commissioner of Highways does have "care, control and management" of any road in SA which is a "controlled access road".

On that basis, a vehicle owner who had some form of roadside assistance that was confined only to gazetted roads would be in BIG trouble in this state! But they're clearly not!

While I don't have any specific legal knowledge regarding the Simpson Desert road situation, and I'm not particularly concerned since my own vehicle insurance is for "whole of Australia", all roads there run through the respective National Parks, so I'd be more than surprised to hear that the roads themselves are gazetted. In any event, irrespective of whether they are or not, you may only use the roads that DEWNR identifies in its Desert Parks Pass, anyway.

Sorry for the "War and Peace" reply, but hope it clears up a few issues for others.


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Follow Up By: 860 - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 19:29

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 19:29
Sorry, but that explanation is just plain convoluted and wrong. Classic case of someone not fully understanding legal terminology or what their have read somewhere else. Hope no one acts upon that advice.
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Reply By: Fab72 - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 20:00

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 20:00
G'day Keith,
Rather than get hung up on whether the road is gazetted or not then trying to fight an insurance company or Auto club regarding coverage; why not contact them directly, inform them of your intended route of travel and ask for something in writing or which clauses may apply to you in the event that you do have an accident or breakdown.

Be up front and put the onus back on them to say yay or nay rather than setting yourself up for a legal battle if something goes pear shaped.

Just my opinion.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 14:53

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 14:53

Intuitively it sounds like a reasonable thing to do, but usually doesn’t end up that way in reality, at least when it comes to insurance.

The thing about Comprehensive Insurance is that it usually covers you anywhere you are legally entitled to be, it is a broad definition and will cover gazetted and non-gazetted roads, or even if you are not on a road at all and travelling cross-country.

If the policy does not exclude it, it is generally included. What this means is that the underwriter will need to tell you things they won’t specifically cover. For example, travel on non-gazetted roads.

Importantly, read the PDS accompanying the policy as it will have all the details of the coverage in simple language.

The problem of seeking further clarification is two-fold. Firstly, you will most likely be speaking to a call centre who are scripted and limited in what they can offer, or discuss. That isn’t to demean in any way, but you really need to speak with underwriting staff for the precise answers you are looking for if it is about the “nitty gritty”.

More importantly, policy wording is already favourable when it says “cover legally anywhere you are entitled to be”. Clarification can really only serve to dilute this wording and make it less favourable to the policy holder.

Good luck out there,

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: TomH - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 20:30

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 20:30
I did read some time ago about someone getting a rescue from Mt Dare cost about $6000 if I remember correctly Read what they offer here

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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 13:26

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 13:26
Having worked at/managed Mt Dare Hotel for five years & having done or been involved with numerous recoveries, the average cost of recovery back to Mt Dare was around the $2500 mark, yes there were a few in the $6000 to $8000 range, but most were less than $2000. Pretty reasonable when you consider that the total worth of the vehicle & gear on board would reasonably be in excess of $100k.

The main thing that I could not stress enough was to keep civil relationships with your service provider, the other thing when recieving a distress call was to try & talk through the problem first, if it couldn't be resolved over the phone, then we would agree to recover the vehicle back to Mt Dare, when the vehicle & occupants were safely there, then call the service provider! In most cases they would agree to pay for the recovery costs!

The worst thing that you can do is call them from the desert & expect then to ( come & get you) they will usually say NO! Call the Mt Dare Hotel or Birdsville Roadhouse FIRST, then listen to their advice!
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 13:37

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 13:37
That is a good insight Jeff...

Cheer,s Baz
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 22:05

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 22:05
Agree with garrycol. RACV Total Care set out the conditions, see here
Page 12 tells you that the road must usable by 2wd vehicles. The is no mention of gazetted roads. It only talks about Victoria but the RACV has assured me that it covers Australia wide. Not all motoring clubs have the same rules. I know of people with RACV Total Care who broke down in WA and when they rang they where put through to the RAC of WA who said they were not covered where they were on the Great Central Road. They paid for there own recovery and took it up with the RACV on their return home. The RACV finally reimbursed them the recovery costs as they were on a 2wd navigatable road. The lesson is to always have with you the booklet from your own motoring club of their terms and conditions and should you have the need to call them, I would highly advise you to read this document very carefully BEFORE you ring them so you know exactly where you stand. You also need to know the direct telephone number (not a 13 number) of your motoring club as if you are interstate and will probably be directed to the local motoring club in the first instant. If you do not get a satisfactory response you need the direct number to your own motoring club.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 22:11

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 22:11
So the answer to your question KeithB is, for motoring club service it makes no difference whether they are gazetted roads or not you are NOT cover so any recovery costs are on you.
As far as car insurance is concerned you need to read your own policy, or ring them, as it totally depends on the policy that you have taken out. As a rule if you have shopped for insurance on price you most likely NOT covered.
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AnswerID: 546650

Follow Up By: Member - KeithB - Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 09:22

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 09:22
Thanks for that. Just reading the Terms and Conditions for NRMA and RACV, regardless of the status of the road, a traveler in the Simpson (and any 4WD track for that matter) is definitely on his own as far as recovery is concerned.
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Reply By: Jackolux - Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 12:25

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 12:25
I have heard a few stories of ppl being covered by Total Care when being recovered from the Simpson ,

It always came from someone that knew someone's mate .
AnswerID: 546672

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 12:26

Friday, Feb 27, 2015 at 12:26
This is the recovery vehicle at Birdsville.
He charges by the hour from the time he receives the phone call. Recovery might take several days. Can't remember the hourly rate, but even something very reasonable will add up mighty quick.

The likelihood of needing outside assistance varies with preparation, vehicle choice, skill and care. If you are not prepared to accept these significant financial risks, you have little alternative but to stay home.

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 546673

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