Am I overly Cautious ?

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:19
ThreadID: 137158 Views:3156 Replies:26 FollowUps:21
Well just home and reviewing our latest 12000 km trip which ranged from Victorias deserts to W.A.s Steep point via the Gunbarrel I am wondering if I'm not getting more paranoid with age and lessened phyisical abilities.

We had several little incidents and I will just give one example.

Travelling on a wide heavily corrugatted road in the general vicinity of Warburton I noticed an old Commodore parked in the road (not on the edge).
Several aboriginal women from kids to grandmas were sitting in full sun on the road edge, it looked like they were broken down.
As we drew closer an adult male crossed from where the women were to the left side of the road as a teenage girl on the right hand side waved us down.

I immediately thought this strange but couldn't bypass a possibly stranded group which included kids.

So as I approached I ran some scenarios (we had a travelling companion about 3km behind us and currently not visible).

I slowed slowly to a dead stop deliberately in the middle of the road leaving the car running, meaning anyone approaching would have to cross some 15m of open space.

As I stopped my first action was to make it obvious I was on the UHF radio, I already had windows down and doors locked.

A loverly young woman came out telling us they were broken down and needed petrol ?
The male stayed next to bushes on the opposite side of the road.

I wasn't going to give anyone petrol, and during the awkward conversation my travelling companion pulled up about 30m behind me as per my request, engine running.

The conversation then changed to "We have been stranded for hours and have no water for the kids".

Well I couldn't refuse that request, and got 5lt from my camper trailer and gave it to them.

After some pleasantries we all departed and the group seemed quite thankful.

Some hours later we pulled up at Warburton which appeared closed and a big handwritten sign was out the front saying
"This shop will remained closed until those who broke in last night are reported to the police".

We began to leave but just then shop staff opened the door and hurried us in and relocked the door saying "its OK for tourists to come in quietly".


Robin Miller

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Reply By: Mikee5 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:55

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:55
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Reply By: Greg J1 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:57

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:57
This day and age it does pay to cautious certainly.

I am wondering about your “I wasn’t going to give anybody petrol” reasoning. I don’t carry petrol, but if I came across this situation and they needed diesel I would help them out without a second thought. I know I wouldn’t like to be stranded out there.

I can only assume you wouldn’t give them petrol because of the petrol sniffing issue, but you would have had opal in your jerrycans wouldn’t you ??

Cheers Greg

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 14:23

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 14:23
Hi Greg

I believe I had only normal petrol in my tanks which I could have drained but would have been a pain (I had no jerries).

I was trying to do the right thing and not pass normal petrol on espically considering the possible threat as to me the statement "I'm broken down and need petrol" is not logically sound , probably innocent language barrier but didn't give me a good feeling.

Now that raises the question why was I carrying normal fuel - well I found it near impossible not to as Opal just didn't seem to be available, in fact I tried hard to arrive at Ayres rock with little normal fuel so as to fill up with Opal but to my knowledge none was available - even info centre didn't know.

Its easy to make a statement like on the Transit permit which says "NO petrol "allowed into communities but really not possible as you have to drive into them to then fill up and for Gunbarrel you need lots of fuel.

As well as that we carried wine which is allowed on transit road but not in your car if you intend to go into community to get fuel.

So for normal traveller its almost impossible to obey all the rules despite best efforts.

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 16:01

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 16:01
Hi Robin, You can only do what you can do. From what I have seen is, if Opal fuel is available, normal fuel is not. As for "No petrol" breakdown, you can only take the situation as you see it. If petrol is misused after you have gone out of your way to help out, you could hardy be blamed nor blame yourself in that situation. At the end of the day, personal responsibility has to play some part in the situation. Michael.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 09:52

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 09:52
Hi Guys,

Just a bit of advice after 35 years in the Oil Industry, if you can avoid using Opal fuel then your engine will thank you. Opal, whilst it will do the job, is not recommended by any engine mechanics that I know.

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Follow Up By: Member - Dennis B - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 11:29

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 11:29
Hi Greg
I was the car traveling with Robin, the situation required caution as the young male continually crossed the road from the their car into the scrub. One of the young women told me they they only needed water as the weren't far from their community and that there was another car from that same community may be an hour or two behind them so they would be okay.

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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 18:46

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 18:46
Hi Dennis,

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for caution in these situations. I have probably come from a different background from you. I have worked with aboriginal stockmen from the early 80’s. When I started my own business I employed aboriginal people. I hope I have a bit of an understanding of them. Most are honest folk but I’m no fool either. Some are troublemakers.

I would give anyone assistance in remote areas. But I’m more than likely be the one who drives past someone in a populated area. I just don’t trust city people. Sorry. It’s the way I am. From experience too I might add.

I’m not trying to have a go a anyone here. Imagine if someone stopped and gave that family in WA a bit of petrol Sunday night. That tragedy would not have occurred. Not blaming anyone but that poor truckie must be just devastated and when you think about it probably not his fault.

I could go on but ...

Cheers Greg

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Follow Up By: Member - Dennis B - Friday, Aug 24, 2018 at 09:29

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 at 09:29
Hi Greg
Thanks for your followup

I missed the storie from WA what was it about

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Follow Up By: rumpig - Friday, Aug 24, 2018 at 09:47

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 at 09:47
@ Dennis B...i assume Greg is referring to this accident WA FATAL CRASH
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:12

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:12
Hi Robin, yes it pays to be cautious. We travel remotely quite often, and have come across quite a few Aboriginals stopped or broken down. We travel in convoy with at least one other vehicle, and have stopped every time to see what the issue is, but like you always stop in the middle of the road with the engine running. Most times it is either out of fuel, in most cases petrol, and as we have a diesel vehicle, we can only offer bottled water for personal safety, and report them as stranded at the next town/community. A few times it has been a flat tyre, with either no spare, or no jack. We have helped out with the jack, assisting them to change the tyre. But with no spare we can only offer water & report them as stranded at the next community.

When we were travelling The Great Central Road last year, we needed a top up of Fuel at Docker River. There was a sign on the pumps saying no fuel until the next day, however after enquiring inside the store, they advised that this was only for the locals, and they had enough fuel to supply to the tourists.

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Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:15

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:15
Does sound odd but you never know at least you had another vehicle travelling with you. Depending on the crowd I would ask to turn ignition on and check fuel gauge if they said no then leave. Halls Creek I heard mentioned as being a bit of a sus area as well might even be better to just drive past all the locals for your own safety it's a shame but what can you do with leaches in the outback.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:30

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:30
We travel these places as much as most and have done so for a very long time.
We have never had a bad experience and I don't know anyone who has.
Someone on the side of the road gets whatever help we can offer.
Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:58

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:58
That good best no to run into any trouble.

I helped some backpackers on the east coast of QLD yrs ago I gave one of their mates a lift to their vehicle from a servo he had a jerry can of fuel they started refuelling the car in the dark using a cig lighter I quickly said hang on, came over with a torch. After they fuelled it I shone the torch briefly into the cab, noticed the ignition barrel and steering wheel cover was broken and they had no keys I said nothing about it as there were 3 men and 2 women they started the car thanked me and went on their way it had the potential for the situation to maybe go heads up pretty fast had I been to nosey so you never know who your really giving aid to.
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Reply By: Joe Fury - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 14:10

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 14:10
G'day Adventurers

Interesting scenario and one that plays out all too often here in the inland Pilbara, a stopped vehicle, lots of people in, on or near the vehicle.

'You got petrol ~ You got food/water the kids are hungry/thirsty' the usual story and it doesn't take much to smell a rat.

The adults in most instances are smoking and drinking, there's always plenty of finances for that, but almost always the kids are hungry/thirsty.

I just say to the loudest mouth, no problem, I'll call the Police on the Sat phone and they will contact your community, someone will come out to you ~ okay!

Not often do they reply with a thank you or 'okay that will be good'

By all means be polite but don't be a mug either.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 14:26

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 14:26
I'm into HF but thats the best reason I've heard yet to carry a sat phone Joe !
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 15:49

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 15:49
Personally I would be much more worried walking the streets on Northbridge in Perth (and there are almost certainly similar places in other cities) than driving a remote outback road.

By all means be cautious. That's all.

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Reply By: TTTSA - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 17:47

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 17:47
We came across a car on the Tanami last year, just stopped on the road, a couple of Aboriginal men standing outside the car. One rim didn't even have a tyre on it, all they asked for was some water? One of the other members of our party gave them a couple of litres of water and they seemed happy enough.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 18:12

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 18:12
I often wonder how they survived in the bush before white man landed. All too often it seems that motor cars are the problem and they might fair better on foot following their traditional ways as they often claim.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 18:25

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 18:25
Hey Batts....they survived very well for tens of thousands of years before white man. A lot better than they do now!..
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 09:01

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 09:01
Exactly, what I was trying to point out.
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 18:49

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 18:49
It's a common story. The last time I stopped for someone, he asked for petrol, I looked at his car and it was jacked up on chocks without wheels so I sort of smelled a rat there. Then he asked for water for the kids which I gave him then left. You can't have that many people running out of fuel that often, there's something missing in the logic of it. It was a tragedy in the making this week in WA, when a truck plowed into the car.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 09:55

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 09:55
Sorry Michael H9, in my experience in many years of remote travel, the most common reason for an aboriginal to be stranded on a road is run out of fuel. I have stopped many times, too see what the issue is, most times they say they are out of fuel, but that someone is binging them fuel from a community, and they generally accept water to keep them hydrated.

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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 10:06

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 10:06
What I meant was, how many times do you have to run out of fuel before you twig to the reason and not make the trip? There's definitely a different mindset.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 at 12:15

Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 at 12:15
Yes Michael, certain ethnic groups have an entirely different way of looking at things. Two & a half years living & working in the Middle East taught me that.

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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 19:36

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 19:36
Scenario is very common. Last year we helped a family out when they ran out of fuel near Warakurna. The manager at the roadhouse told us this happens every other day
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Reply By: OBJ - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 19:41

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 19:41
Better safe than sorry.
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Reply By: KevinE - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 21:28

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 21:28
I think that sometimes, we all get complacent traveling remote areas at some stage, because nothing nasty really happens out there very often. After a while, it all becomes a bit routine & we just react the way we did the previous 20 times it happened - this can be a fatal mistake. Kudos to you for picking up on the situation & not letting your guard down.

This is my "I dodged at bullet" story; 3 years ago, my wife & I left Mataranka, heading towards Roper Bar on that single lane bitumen road. The only other vehicle we saw for the 1st 100km or so, was a guy on a pushbike, that we overtook. Then, I saw a Ute coming the other way & I did what I always do on those single lane bitumen roads, I pulled completely off the road & stopped, allowing the oncoming driver to pass on the bitumen, without having both of us putting one wheel off the road & showering both of us with stones.

Only, this time, 'ol mate in the Ute saw us & pulled up across our front. I couldn't have driven out of there if I wanted to! We were towing a camper, so any reversing manoeuvre was not looking good either.

We had our respective windows wound down & he started a conversation about why we were out there. I don't flap easily & have been going bush for over 40 years, but this guy spooked me. It suddenly dawned on me that if he had a gun, I wouldn't be able to a) see it until it was too late & b) I had buckley's chance to do anything to defend us against it.

I still feel to this day that had my wife been younger, we would have been in serious trouble. But after a few extremely tense minutes, he pulled out of our way & let us on our way.

Up till then, I had no doubt that Murdoch was guilty. Now I'm not so sure.

This guy was a big guy, driving a white Landcruiser Ute, with a canopy & he scared the daylights out of me!



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Follow Up By: Member - nick b boab - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 20:28

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 20:28
Didn't they think Murdock had a mate to help him move vehicles ??

It's the Murdock type we need to be worried about ( Pale skins ) Lol


Cheers Nickb

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Reply By: richard cee - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 22:17

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 22:17
Just to add to some of the scenarios, we were travelling the GCR a couple of years ago, car side of the road, 2 local? guys, we stop nearby and they need petrol. We only had diesel so no help on that score and said they’ll wait, someone will come along. Within 20 minutes we stop for fuel and they pull in to the roadhouse, as far as we know no other cars in either direction. Did they just won’t so free fuel?!
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 00:10

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 00:10
We have been stopped twice.

Once when on the Eyre Highway in the Yalata area. A car was stopped roadside, with family sitting in the shade of a tree. A young man came out onto the road and hailed us. Story was they were nearly home when they ran out of petrol (Yalata Roadhouse nearby was still open then). We had a jerrycan of ULP in a rack on the caravan drawbar, so offered them a little. The young man rapidly emptied the whole 20 litre into the car. A larger donation that we intended. They only needed to do that a few time each day to keep their tank full.

Another time, on the Great Central Road, we were some not far west of the turnoff to Cosmo Newbery. There was a large gathering in Laverton that weekend and there was a lot of vehicles coming from the east. We met a man walking. He said they had run out of diesel. We told him we did not carry spare diesel. I asked twice if we could inform anyone in Laverton of his plight and he refused each time, saying he would walk back to the community. He asked if he could have some water, so I gave him a cool drink bottle of cold water. He said his car was a few kilometres along the road, and his nephew was with the children. I asked if they needed water and he said no thank you. I was not concerned about leaving the car stranded due to the amount of traffic coming through to this event. His manner was very gentile and I did not feel at all uncomfortable.
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Reply By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 09:18

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 09:18
Some years back on the GCR we came across a Ford Falcon stopped in the middle of the road. On slowing there was a man waving us down so I stopped a little way from is vehicle.
He asked if I had a 14" tyre, as he had a tube and wheel but no tyre. On offering to send assistance from the next roadhouse he gave me his name and address (in Cosmo Newbury) and I was about to depart when I heard a voice from across the paddock yelling that he had found one, but needed another jack to get it off a wreck in the paddock.
I then assisted these 2 gents of extremely dark skin colour to change this tyre from its 4 stud wheel onto his 5 stud wheel.
Whilst I was engaged in this I noticed that there were also 3 females in the vehicle, one of approx. 16 years, one apparently her mother and the third apparently the Grandmother, the girl asked if we had some water (they had a 2 litre empty bottle between all of them) so we obliged, and she also asked if we had any fruit as her grandmother was diabetic and also on Dialysis, they were travelling from Warburton back to Cosmo Newbury when the left rear tyre let go and they had continued on until the rim bent back onto the brake calliper stopping any further motion.
On asking the girl what would have happened if we did not stop her reply was that she was about to start walking to Cosmo to get help, a distance nearing 100km.
We were thanked for our assistance and invited into their community should we be passing that way again.

On another occasion we were about 80km from Halls Creek when we were flagged down by a single man again of very dark skin, He had the bonnet raised of the Falcon that he was with so I stopped a little way up the road so I could see everything around me. He asked I we had any water as his car was boiling, I cautiously got some water and went back to his car to see if further assistance was required. At this time I noticed that there was a second man in the vehicle (and he did not show any intention of getting out) As the top tank of the radiator had parted company I offered to arrange for a tow truck to come out from the nearest available place, He mentioned that they had been to a funeral in Kununurra. I took some details and off we went. I passed these details on to the Road Service at Halls Creek. A few hours later I saw this vehicle arrive on the tilt tray.

All my interaction with apparently stranded motorists in outback Australia have so far been pleasant, however I am always cautious.

Regards
Athol
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 11:41

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 11:41
For every outback "suspect car/driver" there would be a 100 in the cities and suburbs. Car jackings are common place now and car theft a daily routine. Just be cautious but not scared...
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Reply By: equinox - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 13:53

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 13:53
Pretty standard stuff west of the Stuart Highway.

It first happened to me on the Gunbarrel Highway in 1997, last happened on the Talawana Track about 18 months ago.

You get used to it.
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Follow Up By: David I1 - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 17:47

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 17:47
When we stopped at Dave's pub at the edge of the Simpson, his story was: they come from Fink to get to Oodnadatta to get Grog. They leave with enough petrol to get on the road, then use the excuse of no fuel to get to Oodnadatta to get their grog. They then start the drive back and run out of fuel again, then call their community who come out and get them back home. Sorry I stop for no one in the out back, unless I have a shot gun beside me.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Friday, Aug 24, 2018 at 08:32

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 at 08:32
When outback touring gets so confronting I need a shotgun sitting beside me I will stay at home.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 18:44

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 18:44
.
I have "helped-out" several times but have also been hassled more times, the last being two days ago at Mount Isa for "Taxi money to get food (McDonalds) home to the kids"..

In most cases it has been a "try-out" without menace but I do exercise caution and practice resolve without aggression.

I have been told more than once by remote servos that the locals never fill their fuel tanks even when they know they will need more for the trip and rely on others of any skin colour to help out as needed. It is an historic trait of the Aboriginal people to share their food and assets and sometimes causes problems if one family member comes home with earned money.



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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 18:51

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 18:51
From the personal events posted above it appears that many people, not just locals, are very Ill prepared for outback travel. I guess you have to ask, if they don't care about their own safety and safety of their family, why should a well prepared holiday maker enjoying their day worry either. Not having a spare wheel, fuel and drinking water is neglect if other people are in the vehicle. Michael
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Reply By: Member - nick b boab - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 20:52

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 20:52
Robin : IMO you need to to be Cautious for your own safety , while i have stopped in the past for people i'll only do that now if i'm 110 % sure its safe
and like others have a few tails to tell . so just drive on .....
Be careful & have some insurance !!
Cheers Nickb

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 21:12

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 21:12
Better to be a bit cautious in a situation like that Robin, rather than indifferent to an unknown scenario. Many of the "locals" are long term welfare recipients, so no doubt are keen to supplement their handouts with some free fuel, or a monetary windfall.

During our WA trip, we camped in a road base quarry close to the GCR, not far from the Parallel Road No.2 Junction.



About 9.30pm, we were all in our beds except one bloke who was "watering the horse". A vehicle approached, sporting plenty of auxiliary lighting, turned into the quarry and drove up to our camp. Some Aboriginal ladies alighted and the first thing they said, after "hello", was: " just us girls, no men here!" I thought this rather strange, but they must have had some experience with their menfolk misbehaving, and wanted to allay any fears we might have had?

The 3 girls were from Kalgoorlie and were heading to Warburton for a funeral. They needed some water as their sedan was overheating, and had been for an hour or more. Never heard if they got to their destination?

Bob

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 21:46

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 21:46
.
Bob, a couple of years back, Roz and I were camped on the Talawane Track midway between the Aboriginal communities, on a turnout 50m off the track. We were in bed in the back of the Troopy about 8pm when I heard a car, not a 4WD, coming down the track. It passed but then stopped, backed up and swung to put their headlights on us. I held my breath for maybe ten seconds until they drove on. About midnight, what sounded as the same vehicle came back but did not stop.

I figure that as they passed the first time that they caught a glance of us and backed up for a closer look. Maybe to see if it were kin-folk? Or maybe considering something else???? Thankfully, i didn't get to find out but it was stressful. One of the hazards of travelling alone.

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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Aug 24, 2018 at 07:30

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 at 07:30
Meanwhile, at Epping train station in Sydney’s north, our suburb, a person was stabbed in the neck as the train approached the station last night – apparently unprovoked…(according to the Tellie this morning).

But I’ll still catch the train today…

I’ve stopped numerous times in the outback to check on and/or help people of all race, creed and colour and my experience as always been pleasant.

For sure, I always have a good look around as I pull up, but I’ve never had a situation where I wasn’t inclined to stop.

And I think there is a good reason for that, most people are decent people!

So I’ll continue to take the chance to help others in need based on that theory as it might be me one day, besides, I think it is the right thing to do anyway...

But the sentiment of the post isn't lost on me and everyone needs to put their own filter on any situation they are confronted with, whether that is in Martin Place Sydney, or a remote outback track.

Good luck out there and focus on the positives.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Candace S. - Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 at 00:20

Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 at 00:20
After reading all this, I'm baffled how and why so many traveling parties run out of fuel while driving in the outback ?! Or travel without other critical supplies (namely, water) ?!

With regard to the fuel in particular, which theory is correct? Mooching free fuel for a grog run (David)? Or traditional sharing mindset (Allan)? Maybe both occur to some extent.

Perhaps servos that have fuel for tourists, but not locals, is also a factor? This was mentioned in replies above. It's difficult to fuel up for a trip if the servo won't serve you.
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Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 at 11:56

Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 at 11:56
Having read the original post and the replies I am glad to see that most people would still stop to offer assistance to anyone stopped beside an Outback road who appears to be in trouble. It is sad to think that some would drive right past without any attempt to check the need for assistance. You may feel a bit cynical about some cases but you never know how serious and real a problem may be if you don't stop. After all, one day it might be you stopped there even if you do consider yourself to be brilliantly prepared for every eventuality! One time when we were stuck and changing a wheel in a very isolated area we were very grateful that another driver stopped to check that we were all right. We were all right but someone did stop to check.
By all means take sensible care but don't let us lose the great Outback tradition of always offering what help we can! Lynne
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Aug 27, 2018 at 20:33

Monday, Aug 27, 2018 at 20:33
.
OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN............

Just today on the Arnhem Central Highway we stopped for a snack. A car passed us then turned around and came back. A white-whiskered black face peered out and asked "You alright mate?" I responded that we were OK and thanked them for stopping and asking.
It made my day.



Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 620903

Follow Up By: ChrisVal7 - Thursday, Aug 30, 2018 at 13:35

Thursday, Aug 30, 2018 at 13:35
We have just crossed on the Plenty/O’Donohue from Boulia to Gem Tree NT, and had a flat tyre. I think all four travellers who came past slowed down in anticipation we needed help (we didn’t, it was only a flat tyre).

A bit later we came across a Kimberly Karavan on its side after a mishap, and everyone who went past stopped and offered help.

But it is very, very common on remote outback roads in the NT to meet indigenous vehicles stopped, mostly for lack of fuel. I have never been able to work out whether it is simply bad planning or a sense of “someone will stop and give me their fuel for free”. It happens too often to be a simple mental aberration and forgetfulness to fill up. We always stop and offer water, and to alert someone at the next community. From time to time we have given a lift to one of the stricken group on to the next community.

I have never felt at risk in stopping, although a family member was once blocked by a car across the track in a remote area and a demand for money/cigarettes/alcohol. He revved his car, and swerved up the embankment and around the harasser. Those things happen anywhere, and are more likely in the city.
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FollowupID: 893383

Reply By: tim_c - Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 10:10

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 10:10
It is wise to exercise some caution around people you don't know (we all learned about "stranger danger" as kids). Your account reminds me of a couple of blokes on the road from Finke to Alice Springs who waved me down, said they'd broken down, were walking for help and asked I could give them some for water. I was a little uneasy as that meant getting out of the car to get it for them. They were polite and grateful, though I never did see their broken-down car along the road. I still ponder to this day that I was not cautious enough.

However, I might be imagining something, but it seems you might be suggesting that you assume that the people who broke into the store at Warburton were the same people you encountered on the road "some hours" drive away? I'm not sure it's entirely fair to assume that.
AnswerID: 621534

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