Sand Flags on the Madigan Line

Submitted: Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 12:21
ThreadID: 139663 Views:3788 Replies:13 FollowUps:46
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I am not asking about the pro's and con's of Sand Flags, just their legal requirement. I understand sand flags are required in "Simpson Desert Conservation Park" and also "Simpson Desert Regional Reserve" but both of these areas are in the state of S.A. The Madigan Line is way north and contained entirely in the N.T. and a small section of Western Queensland. The exit for us going West to East will be the eastern side of the Eyre Creek (flood) diversion just 56 kilometres west of Birdsville. A sand flag is not even required for "Big Red".
For travellers heading West to East, I would think it fair to say they would expect no traffic coming from East to West (due to very steep sand dunes) and UHF a much more useful tool. One of the party (T.L.) does have a flag and would use it at the Eyre Creek / QAA line junction till the East of Big Red to lead our 4 vehicle convoy. My opinion is to look and listen ,transmit occassionally and that a sand flag is not a legal requirement. I now hand over to my learned buddies.
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Reply By: Gramps - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 12:31

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 12:31
Don't know about the legal side but IMHO it's plain common sense to use one in that terrain. Why would you only worry about the 'legal' side ????


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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 12:48

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 12:48
I have one already, there are 3 others who don't in the proposed convoy. If TL has one, and all have UHF, surely any on-coming traffic will get to the TL first so why should 4 vehicles have sand flags. Quetion Gramps, how many vehicles have you met on the Madigan line travelling East to West. Surely they could spend their retirement dollars on something more suitable or usable . My sand flag was part of a retirement gift when I used to work in the desert in the Santos gas fields of SW Queensland.

Thanks Gramps for the reply, don't like to spend other peoples money, that's all
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Follow Up By: Gramps - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:08

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:08
See where you're coming from Triton Man. I'll leave that decision to you guys.

One thing though, from my experience, is there is no way I'd rely on UHF 'chatter' as an indication of oncoming or nearby vehicles. I've lost count of the number of vehicles I've come across 'out there' that do not use their UHF or use it on non-standard channels. When they do have them on the right channel, most seem to suffer from stage fright and refuse to answer.

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Follow Up By: Member - peter_mcc - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:19

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:19
re UHF Chatter - if you're a solo vehicle it gets a bit boring talking to yourself as well...

I agree with Gramp's comment though - legal or not it would make sense to each have one, even if the trip leader has one. What happens if the trip leader isn't at the front for a section?
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:33

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:33
I also see where you are coming from Gramps re use of radio, a friend (acquaintence) once told me he has NEVER transmitted on his UHF and the word you mentioned "Stage Fright" hit the nail on the head, with 44 years as a pilot, using a radio (VHF and HF) are like breathing in and breathing out. YES, some suffer from Verbal Diarrhea while some (most) start yakking just beforee the PTT is pressed and or dont listen out. Good points to take on board and at the end of the day, I think I might make it "advisory' but not compulsory. Wonder what the tag-a-longs do, will check their sites also. Still the main question remains unanswered as whether it is mandatory.
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:00

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:00
I wouldn’t presume no oncoming traffic anywhere! Except on a race track.

Very good idea for the lead vehicle to have a sand flag. What reason would you not have one in that sort of country?
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:46

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:46
Hi Shane, thanks for reply, agreed, I have one, certainly handy on QAA, French, Rig, WAA, Hay River track etc. and also CSR of course, wore mine on Googs as well as Borefield Road, actually anywhere with undulations, safety for someone who thinks it is safe to overtake where one may be in a small depression and be invisible for a while.

Am about to go and check out some tag-a-longs now
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:49

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 13:49
I haven't checked any of our old Madigan permit details, but I wouldn't be surprised if the permit holder isn't directed to use a sand flag on the Madigan.

As for the use of UHF, I wonder why some people fit them to their vehicle, and then don't use them. We had just left Madigan Camp 16, heading down the Hay track to the QAA Line, and had pulled up at a well used camp site, when through the timber came a Pajero. We hadn't heard any chatter whatsoever, to indicate a northbound vehicle. During our conversation with the couple, they mentioned they had turned the UHF off, "once we got out of the sandhills".

Another reason for all vehicles to have a flag is if the party splits up. One member of the group may get a compassionate call from home, or need to head for civilisation for mechanical or medical reasons.

In the end, it's up to you blokes, Triton Man.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 15:31

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 15:31
A good bit of common sense there Bob, you do think outside the box.
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Reply By: mechpete - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 14:44

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 14:44
mad if you don,t have one ,common sense should tell ya that you can,t see the other side of the dunes
a group of us did the Madigon Line june last yr never saw a vehicle heading east the direction we were goin
but when we reached the hay river trk heading south there was a number of vehicles heading west saying that east to west is better cos the dunes are steeper
cheers mechpete
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 15:37

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 15:37
Sounds like you DO like a challenge mechpete. BTW, i think the Hay River track is a pure delight compared to the 4 lane QAA line
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:12

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:12
.
I don't recall a flag requirement on the Madigan permit but then, I didn't look for it as I always 'fly the flag' in dune country. And many other tracks for that matter....... I'v got it, why not fly it?

As for UHF, totally unreliable to determine on-coming traffic for all the reasons already stated.
The "Bloody Idiot" who is going to charge up the dune in front of you is the same Bloody Idiot who is not going to bother with using UHF. And there is a good chance that he is not flying an ADEQUATE dune flag either.
My defence is to always fly a good flag and approach the dune crest at a very low forward speed whilst 'expecting' someone to appear in front of me. This once saved me from ramming into the rear of a camper trailer which presented a very low profile ahead whist it, and the vehicle towing it, had stopped just over the crest. Yep, you guessed it, they were taking a photo. And they had a flag.... of sorts... but no UHF, not that that mattered as I was not searching for one!

I highlighted above an "ADEQUATE" flag. I have seen many on the Simpson using very tall but flexible poles which simply bend back with the forward vehicle motion such that the flag is no higher than the vehicle roof and way too far back. Of course, when stationary, the owner stands gazing proudly at his tall dune flag, obliviously unaware of its futility. Totally hopeless!!



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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:33

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:33
Well said Allan, funny thing I had the very same experience with a dude (W*nker) with a camper trailer just over the crest. Fortunately I also like to go slow, no trailer and my aim is to reach the top in the right gear, low pressures and a speed approaching zero at the apex. Fortunately, gearing and sand stops you fast, first time I was gratefull for the resistance to movement. Can't remember if I had to resort to brakes but think not.

Good shot of the "hopeless Dune Flag", it looks like a 3 piece unit. Mine is the Santos issued one and I had it cut into two and a fishing rod ferrule inserted by a proffessional fishing rod maker in Mossman (north of Cairns) for $20. Rod can now be stowed for city driving or places where overhangs and snags can occur
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 17:46

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 17:46
.
The flag pole in my signature photo is not current and is a very old photo.
It was the flag used on our first Simpson crossing, purchased from the Birdsville servo, made from 25mm HD orange conduit. But it did well.
My current pole was purchased from the EO Shop. Alas, they no longer sell them, but still sell the flags.
It is a 32/25mm O.D. fibreglass telescopic pole, steel reinforced at the bottom and sits nearly 4 metre above ground. It can also be used to lever the Troopy out of a rut. lol
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 07:13

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 07:13
I used 1" orange conduit as well, sitting in a larger conduit socket on the nudge bar, so it was removable and could go into the wagon.

Now about those UHF aerials vibrating to bits ...
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Reply By: Outbackogre - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:36

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:36
I hope to be part of a group of 7 vehicles travelling the Madigan Line in August, and we've chosen to go east to west because it's more challenging. Following Allan's comments about sand flags, I use an old surf fishing rod precisely because it remains fairly rigid.
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 17:00

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 17:00
Hope you get there in August, I will be well and truly home by then. Madigan will be part of Kulgera to Birdsville departing Kulgera last week in May. Just for fun, I have heard of some eastbounders stop in the swale after a steep descent to the east and then turn around to do that one or two 'mother dunes' backwards E to W so that should be fun. Must remember to try that on my trip. When I get back, I will jump back on this site and tell you how it all went.

You do like a challenge Outbackogre but don't we all. We are that sort of people. Not sure the Triton would be up for it so will try a few reverse dunes as I said and see how it goes. Done the Simmo 3 times by 3 different routes and directions, CSR for the full length, Talawana, Googs, GCR, and Cape York OTT. Doing the SBJR also before the Madigan Line. Next year will find the next hardest like AB or GB, Connie Sue etc. Just need time to get out there. Nothing has stopped the Triton yet, old Triton was an ML and that did its fair share also with no stopping it.
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Follow Up By: Outbackogre - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 20:09

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 20:09
Thanks TM. We do indeed like a challenge, but hopefully without breaking anything. I hope you have a fantastic trip.
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Reply By: Member - Jim S1 - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:54

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:54
Never really been in "dune" country proper. Has anyone ever been warned of an approaching car by seeing a waving dune flag first ??

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:55

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:55
.
Yes, a couple of times.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:59

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 16:59
Thanks Allan.

So I guess the answer is that yes, the flags do give a fair warning, so they are a worthwhile bit of gear.

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Jim
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 17:25

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 17:25
YES, They DO work, what's more, they are generally waving not just static so they do grab your attention.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 17:55

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 17:55
.
Perhaps I should have said "Yes, a couple of times on the same dune" but many times on dunes ahead which provided early warning. With the track often having something of a 'cutting' at the crest, the vehicle can be hard to spot but a good flag waves above it and can be seen.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 at 17:22

Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 at 17:22
I have had similar experience as Allan, being able to see flags on dunes in the distance as well as waving at me approaching from the other side of the dune I am climbing.

Macca.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 20:00

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 20:00
What would a Madigan trip cost? $1500 to $2000

A sand flag? From $45

I just cant imagine why people scrimp on safety items like this.

Imagine
-The vehicles get separated for some reason
-The one sand flag breaks ( common)
-The lead vehicle breaks down or a substitute driver who is not comfortable leading has to drive.
-Vehicles need to spread out
-The lead vehicle has had too many punctures and needs to sit back for the trip

etc

Potential major issues, all for saving $45. One meal at a Pub on the way.

Inexpensive 3M sand flag


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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 21:36

Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 21:36
I was going to buy one last year for the Madigan Line but the wife didn't like the choice of colours ( colors) so i gave it a miss.
Dave.
30 odd replies !. Life's to short for this : )
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 10:28

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 10:28
Hi there Boobook, Thanks for joining in, WOW, 25 responses to date and actually no-one has actually answered the question "Are they (sand flags) a legal requirement for the Madigan Line". My question was prefaced by not wanting to know about the pros and cons of sand flags, just the legal requirement which still remains open (unanswered).

I DO have a sand dune flag and it has been part of my 4WD kit for years and has been on some fabulous trips with me. I have replaced the flag part once already after some shredding in the overhang on the CSR and last year had the solid pole cut in half and a fishing rod ferulle inserted by a professional fishing rod maker so I could stow it when not required (high overhangs, underground car parks etc.)

What I will tell my convoy so far (until proved wrong by a definitive answer) is that "a sand flag is not a legal requirement but generally recommended, they can be bought for the price of a pub meal" "If you choose not to buy one, that's fine and you can sit behind a vehicle with a flag but not take a turn at leading the convoy". I think that should cover it and I thank you for the price comparison to the pub meal - LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 11:00

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 11:00
LOL Triton Man, I do understand your frustration in getting answers to every answer except the one you ask on EO, including my answer.

I do know that the Madigan line east of about Hay River, and Big Red are on Private property, so probably no rules. As to the western half, I guess you will need to ask the CLC as part of your permit request. I suspect the real answer is that it may or may not be a legal requirement, but it definitely is a sensible, realistic, affordable safety requirement, especially in an organised group.

The only other ( unsolicited) advice I can give is if I was the trip leader, I would make it mandatory for the trip. With litigation, and the possibility of you being sued in the event there is an incident, you may need to demonstrate that you planned the trip with safety in mind. Not mandating flags could be positioned as negligence in a court if, heaven help us, it got to that.

Anyway I hope the trip goes well.

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Follow Up By: Genny - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 14:39

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 14:39
I think the question is a little loaded.
Akin to asking "How hard can I safely hit the flat end of an artillery shell with a hammer?"
Absolutely nobody is going to say "0.22 Newtons ......"

The advice you got was good advice,
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:14

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:14
Hi again Boobook, Pleased to see you didn't get upset and saw the funny side of this, it is all good. I am absolutely amazed at the interest and resposes to date. I am looking forward to the trip, just 3 months away now, might modify my wording a bit to suit the next briefing but leave the pub feed in, a carton (30 pack) of XXXX is also about the same price.

Strange you should mention litigation etc. in your last para, that very same question came up at our last 4WD Club meeting with a resolution to consult with our governing body and the National Council of 4WD Clubs on the resposibities and liabilities of Trip Leaders on organised club outings, hope to know more by departure date.

Genny, I think your artillery shell may be a little "loaded", you be carefull out there - hear !!!
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 11:25

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 11:25
I make my own (and I made the one on the Canter).
Only need to be half a metre above the OKA, but I like them higher than that.
The long tapered one on the Canter has good visibility and the orange has better visibility than the yellow despite both being "approved" colours.
I use the fibreglass rods from an old tent with QC air fittings and a good source of dayglow is a hi vis jacket at about $2 which can make 4 flags.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 15:20

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 15:20
What ! No Aboriginal flag on the OKA Peter?. Shame on you. :)
Dave.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:50

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:50
Peter, I don't think that flag would be legal for the Simpson. I believe it needs to be 2M above the roof line, mounted at the front of the roof. Not a half a metre.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 17:31

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 17:31
.
Here is a cut-and-paste from SA National Parks re Simpson flags:

Safety flags:
All vehicles must be fitted with a safety flag when travelling in the Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert Conservation Park or Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert Regional Reserve.

Flag requirements:
minimum 300mm wide by 290mm high
made of fluorescent materials, red-orange or lime-yellow in colour.

Vehicles:
With front bullbar - flag pole attached to the bulbar, with top of the flag a minimum 3.5 metres from the ground.
Without front bullbar - flag pole attached via bracket at the front of the vehicle, with top of the flag a minimum 3.5 metres from the ground; alternatively flag pole attached to the front of the roof rack, with top of the flag a minimum 2 metres from the roof of vehicle.

Motorbikes are currently exempt from having to display a safety flag, however headlights must used at all times during travel.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 18:57

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 18:57
I don't have a bull bar, I don't have a pack rack. The only consistent thing about those stupidly worded regulations that make assumptions about what the vehicle is, is that they all result in a flag about 3.5M above the ground and close to the front of the vehicle, which would have been sufficient description.
Both the OKA and the Canter comply with that.
Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 21:42

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 21:42
.
Well Peter, to be lawful you are just going to have to get a "roof-rack" or a "front bullbar" or a "flag pole attached via bracket at the front of the vehicle". lol


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Follow Up By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 22:06

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 22:06
Sounds like the regulation was written by ARB.
Ross
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 at 19:24

Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 at 19:24
Well the Canter has a pack rack, but it is lower than the roof by a significant margin, so that sort of makes that bit of the rule a bit silly. Alternatively, if the flag was attached to his bumper and the top of the flag was at 3.5M (as per the rule), it would be the same height as the roof. That would comply but would be a bit stupid too.

I consider that the safety achieved by achieving the intent is more important than the "letter of the law".
Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 at 20:02

Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 at 20:02
.
Pete, take a look at the Desert Park Handbook of an earlier unknown year.

The text says..... "Make sure a tall visible flag is attached to the front of your vehicle or at least to the lead vehicle of your convoy warn oncoming traffic of your approach on dune crests."

The photo on the opposite page illustrates is beautifully. The flag on the vehicle on the left is hardly "tall", maybe 2.5m and the flag on the vehicle on the right is attached somewhere near the back of the roof rack and leaning back behind the vehicle. I can't find a current Handbook to see what they now show!
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 15:49

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 15:49
Quote "I am not asking about the pro's and con's of Sand Flags, just their legal requirement. "

We have 30 replies and I don't see one that answers the question. All that white noise, looks like a lot of members can't comprehend the question.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:12

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:12
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Peter,

I believe that I did answer the OP's initial question in my Answer 630002 which said... " I don't recall a flag requirement on the Madigan permit."
Following the disclaimer you refer to in the opening post, the OP went on to express his thoughts about the merits for a flag and UHF radio. The forum responses were addressing these considerations of Triton Man and he contributed to the responses.
I think that a lot of members comprehended the OP's unenlightenment of dune flags.



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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:28

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:28
Congratulations Peter D, you are all over it. RTFQ (Read the flammin' question). Hell, learnt a bit here, I suspect no-one knows but it is all good guff. I admit Allan, I diverged also but in some cases, it was not to be rude to well meaning contributers. We all have things to learn and we are all at different levels.

Thanks guys, seriously like the banter my question raised. Triton Man
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:32

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 16:32
.
To set the record "Crystal Clear" I have now found my CLC permit for my 2019 Madigan's crossing.

It makes NO mention of "sand flags" or "dune flags" or any other preparedness.
In fact it is only concerned as to what area and what time of travel, as is the usual case with CLC permits.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 19:47

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 19:47
I'm not an expert in SA legislation by any counts however just had a look at the National parks and Wildlife Act 1972. This covers SA National Parks, Conservation Parks and Regional Reserves and others.

Section 73A covers liability of vehicle owners.

It comes down to a "prescribed offence"

These "prescribed offences" are listed in the regulations for the Act.

I have just searched for the word "flag" in all current regulations this for this act. - Nothing!!!!

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Alan
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In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 21:37

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 21:37
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Alan,

"Acts" define legislation. Legislation is the over-riding law. Beneath legislations are "Regulations".
These regulations are the rules that are applied to cause the legislation to properly work.
The rules regarding Safety Flags in the Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Regional Reserve are the regulations formulated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of SA, a department of the SA State Government.

You would need to search within the internal regulations of NPWSA to find mention of "Safety Flags".
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 22:20

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 22:20
Now we have 42 posts, gotta be a record I reckon and 2 Allan's - sorry one Alan and one Allan. Allan, thanks for tracking down your 2019 CLC permit - I thought as much.

Alan, for the record, we won't even be within cooee of S.A. so it does not apply. The Madigan Line is in the Northern Simpson and contained entirely within the N.T. and SW Queensland. The areas in SW Queensland are Munga Thirri (aboriginal name for Simpson Desert) National Park and the pastoral lease of Adria Downs. S.A. Gov. has no authority over any of the places named above so any reference to S.A. can be ignored whether it be be an Act (of Parliament). Legislation (Law) or Regulations which is supposed to be an interpretation of the Act and how one applies it
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 22:13

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 22:13
I think you would need a very good lawyer or whatever to determine just what the answer really is. Between laws, legislation, regulations etc, etc.
Sometimes there’s just good old common sense , and most of us would just use a sand flag.
I wonder if ANYONE really knows?

Another subject that gets everyone going , hey!

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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 22:32

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 at 22:32
Hi Shane r1,

Certainly DID get everyone going, this topic has broken records for such a simple question. The answer I have derived from my many friends here is "F*** Knows", so I will go with common sense (which is not so common these days). In any case, I don't think Mr. Plod will drive out to meet me on The Madigan.

I have never been asked for my Parks Pass before either. My last one was $171 last June at Mt. Dare. Funny thing, I met a guy going the other way in his Iveco with his dog (illegal) and he mentioned it was his 4th crossing with his 'best mate' and no-one had ever queried him. His answer was it was a $200 fine which was way way cheaper than have his mate board at a dog kennel back home and a cheaper option to pay the fine.

Going with common sense - I trust myself to have some of it left
Triton Man

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Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 17:25

Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 17:25
In terms of there being no rangers in the desert (Sth Aust) just don’t go around Finke Races time. You are likely to find them behind a sandhill inspecting desert parks passes
Ross
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 17:54

Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 17:54
Hi Ross N,

Never heard of that but I do believe you, would not go within cooee of Birdsville anytime near the Birdsville Cup or the Big Red Bash - it is just not Birdsville then. Same goes for the Finke Desert Races, school holidays, mid summer etc. I like to go for the solitude, the lack of crowds, yobbo's, 4WD self proclaimed experts, for me time in the desert and starry nights is what I go for.

Have ALWAYS purchased a parks pass, fitted my dune flag and driven to the speed limit (yes, there is one), lowered my tyre pressures and left the trailer at home. For BOOBOOK contributer, the Parks Pass is about 4 pub meals in your money. LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 17:57

Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 17:57
Hey Ross, just looked at your new rig and the big flat concrete pad you are on there. Let me guess, is that Maralinga at the villiage ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 22:01

Thursday, Feb 13, 2020 at 22:01
Hi Triton Man,
I’m with you re staying away from crowds etc. It’s just that I was at Mt Dare a few years ago and there were a few rangers pulled in prior to heading for the desert.
It was straight after the Finke races and they were waiting for the traffic to come
Through.
Although I have been to Maralinga that photo was taken at the roadhouse at the turnoff to Broome on my shakedown trip for both vehicle and camper in 2017
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Ross
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Sunday, Feb 16, 2020 at 21:25

Sunday, Feb 16, 2020 at 21:25
Ah yes, Roebuck Plains servo with the BIG drive-through for the road trains - massive. ……..

Did you like Maralinga?, I thought it was fabulous and Robin Matthews a treasure.

P.S. Anyone thinking of going to Maralinga, get your ar$e over there sooner rather than later, Robin says a year or two then retirement. They are already looking at succession plans to take over the reins. How the hell they could replace Robin I don't know. They say no-one is irreplaceable but Robin would go close based on his time (decades) there and his family connections on his wifes side.

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Follow Up By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 11:05

Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 11:05
Hi Triton man,
I agree, Maralinga is one of Australia’s great destinations and Robin’s knowledge
Brings it to life. It is a must do in my view.
Pity travel from Maralinga to the Anne Beadell is not permitted.
Ross
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 12:53

Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 12:53
Robin told me it was closed some years ago after some idiots desecrated a henge - drove a slalom through stones and dislodged some. As usual it's the idiots that spoil it for the rest of us.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 19:47

Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 19:47
.
Frank, a "slalom"????? More info pls.


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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 21:58

Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 21:58
Allan,
I don't have details but I understand from Robin's brief account that on the road/track from Maralinga to Emu there is at least one site of cultural significance with stones or other objects laid out in a pattern. By his telling a group of idiots in 4WDs (of course) drove into a site and weaved a zig-zag course through the objects. They may have been simply ignorant or they may have had malicious intent, but regardless the elders were offended by the disrespect and damage and subsequently closed the route.

That's all the info I have.

Cheers
Frank
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Follow Up By: Member - Triton man - Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 22:12

Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 22:12
Frank, Yes, that is what Robin told me. It is true what Ross N said but you can get to the AB via Oak Valley then to Voakes Hill corner but it is not the same. Robin had in mind he may have been able to persuade the traditional owners to allow escorted tours via a locked gate and Robin or a deputy, lead the convoy thru and supervise them all the way down but there were lots of logistical hurdles and his tenure at Maralinga did not give him sufficient time to follow thru.

100% in agreeance with Ross N, Marlinga IS a must see. I have got two seperate friends and partners booked for April and May this year. Robin IS Maralinga, get there before he retires for the best ever experience.

Would have liked to include Emu also Frank and I hope those idiots who spoiled it have grown up a bit since then, another great track closed by idiots.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 23:05

Monday, Feb 17, 2020 at 23:05
.
Ah, thanks Frank. I now understand what you meant by "slalom".

I have been to that site some years ago. But walked through it, not drove.
They are unusual artefacts and it was not then known or understood who created them. And I have no knowledge that it is now known.
As far as I am aware, it is not identified as a specific aboriginal site and possibly the visitation ban did not come from them but from Robin himself or the Maralinga manager. Nevertheless, I support the protection of the site by closure.

The arrangement of the stones is not in traditional aboriginal form and appeared to me to have been more likely constructed by Europeans, possibly by servicemen from Emu Field during the test period.
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