Fraser Island speeds (follow up)

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 09:46
ThreadID: 68343 Views:3598 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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After a few discussions here recently and an article here in a local paper titled “Island slams on the brakes”.

They stated the move follows extensive lobbying from both the National Parks Association of Queensland and the Fraser Island Defenders association. So I thought, who are they?

I have attached some information and links including the full copy of the Ministers media statement – please note speeds and enforcement plans.

A little concerned about the two organisations that seem to have the Minister’s ear. I have included some highlight about their intentions for you information.

National Parks Association of Queensland
NPAQ is concerned that continued or increased use of vehicles in Parks would reduce their value for traditional forms of nature-based recreation such as bushwalking and nature study. The value of Parks for quiet enjoyment, peace and solitude should be protected from intrusion of vehicles.
http://www.npaq.org.au/content/view/14/42/

Fraser Island Defenders association
FIDO’s proposal. Because the vehicles that are predominantly involved in serious accidents on Fraser Island are troop-carriers with up to 10 passengers (and most usually driven by an inexperienced foreign backpacker unfamiliar with Fraser Island conditions FIDO proposes:
That a special driving licence be required for driving any 4WD bus. (This includes troop–carriers since “troop-carriers” capable of carrying 8 passengers in the back are classified as “buses” in Queensland). This would immediately eliminate almost all the selfdrive backpacker drivers that have been a serious problem on Fraser Island for so long.
However it would still allow people to hire smaller vehicles that might carry up to five passengers (but these would be more stable when fully loaded) or that troop carriers might be hired as long as they have appropriately qualified drivers.
Because of the potential to reduce the environmental impacts of 4WDs, FIDO began advocating for a light rail back in 1974 as an alternative people mover. In the last 26 years we have consistently sought light rail as an alternative form of recreation and access and urged the Government to invite expressions of interest from the private sector to construct and operate a light rail on Fraser Island. Feasible: The GH&D study indicates the practicality and feasibility of FIDO’s proposal. The project is likely to be less than $15 million including a wharf at the western terminus. Discussions with the current operator of the Sydney light rail suggest that the capital required would not deter potential operators but they believe that the project will be best done with a Queensland based management. While more analysis is needed the indications are that this would allow a comfortable margin of profit while offering comfortable, attractive, affordable and environmentally sustainable access to Fraser Island. More Study: What is now needed is further analysis and surveys to narrow down the options and clarify issues so the expressions of interest can be more focussed on a proposal which has a greater probability of being accepted. The Queensland and Commonwealth Government should now cooperate to fund a more detailed feasibility study to define the route, clarify any environmental impacts, identify all relevant issues, consider the operator’s tenure and rights, and set some terms and conditions as a basis for inviting expressions of interest from the private sector. This more detailed feasibility study will cost about $60,000 but could be completed in a year which should mean that within 2 years expressions of interest could be invited.

http://www.fido.org.au/


Minister for Transport
The Honourable Rachel Nolan
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Lower speeds, safer beaches for Fraser Island four–wheel drivers
Speed limit reductions, safety inspections, seat belt education and closer cooperation with backpacker tours and vehicle hire operators are among major changes to four-wheel driving on Fraser Island approved at a meeting in Maryborough today.
Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said the measures would result in a greater focus on safe driving practices on the island, and would be accompanied by enforcement activities.
Today’s meeting, convened by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to consider a range of road safety issues on Fraser Island, endorsed an overall reduction in driving speeds on the island.
On open beaches the speed limit will be officially lowered from the existing 100kmh limit to 80 kmh, while in shared zones and on inland roads the speed limit will be reduced from 40kmh to 30 kmh.
“Additional measures will extend beyond reduced speed limits to foster a culture of safe driving as a priority for this internationally popular tourist destination,” Ms Nolan said.
The planned actions include roadworthiness checks by the Department of Transport and Main Roads on vehicles to ensure they were safe and free from defects.
The meeting included representatives of the Queensland Police Service, the Fraser Coast Regional Council and the Department of Environment and Resource Management.
It endorsed a program of enforcement of speed limits and road rules, and also inspections of about 20 four-wheel drive hire companies between Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach, including two on Fraser Island.
Two teams of Department of Transport and Main Roads compliance staff from the Maryborough office will carry out vehicle inspections on hire four-wheel drives in the Wide Bay area during early June, with the intention of visiting all companies to identify those with the highest risk.
An education program for tourists will also be initiated, which will include advice on wearing seatbelts, proper loading of four-wheel drives and speed limit information.
Extensive sign-posting not only of speed limits but potential hazards on beaches will also be introduced.
“All motorists need to ensure they are wearing their seatbelts and these are securely buckled when driving on Fraser Island. The same road rules which apply on all Queensland roads apply equally on Fraser Island,” Ms Nolan said.
“Four-wheel driver operators need to remember that heavy items should be stored inside vehicles rather than on the roof, which raises the centre of gravity of a vehicle and makes it more prone to rollover accidents.
“This is especially important if drivers intend to take their vehicle onto a beach which has many road surface combinations such as steep inclines, soft and wet sand, deep grooves and the need to pull off on single lane inland tracks.
“A four-wheel drive vehicle with a heavy load on the roof rack will also be more susceptible to rolling over should it hit a wash-out or soft sand when driving on the beach.”
Ms Nolan said the Fraser Coast Regional Council would start to install the new speed signs within the next few weeks.
Media contact: 3237 1911
28 April 2009
http://statements.cabinet.qld.gov.au/MMS/StatementDisplaySingle.aspx?id=63611


Kind regards
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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:01

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:01
Beware of Fido!!

If Mr Sinclair has his way, the only way to see Fraser would be to land at Kingfisher, then travel by light rail to the eastern side, then hope on a bus for a guided tour. 4WD's would be banned. He's been pushing this barrow for years..
AnswerID: 362221

Follow Up By: briann532 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:19

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 11:19
MrBitchi, so what you are saying is that Mr Sinclair wants to turn it into a NSW park???

LOL
Brian
0
FollowupID: 629988

Reply By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 15:18

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 15:18
I can't understand how Troopcarriers are legally permitted to carry passengers in the rear when they sit sideways. The Army stopped the carraige of personnel in the rear of Troopies due to the increased potential of injury in case pf a rear or front collision and the fact the passengers in the rear would be flung around like rag dolls.

Add to that the ridiculous amount of stuff carried on the rooves of these vehicles and the adverse effect on the centre of gravity.

Then include a backpacker, their mates with no idea how to drive a 4WD let alone on sand.

That's not to say that there aren't as many local idiots as well.

The hire companies should be regulated closer. It should be mandatory to do a short 4WD awareness course before they are allowed to hire the vehicles and prevent them from over loading them. Might force some of the less reputable firms out of the game.

I know of a hire compmnay in WA that will not hire a 4WD out unless the hirer has completed their course first.
AnswerID: 362261

Reply By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 15:18

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 15:18
I can't understand how Troopcarriers are legally permitted to carry passengers in the rear when they sit sideways. The Army stopped the carraige of personnel in the rear of Troopies due to the increased potential of injury in case pf a rear or front collision and the fact the passengers in the rear would be flung around like rag dolls.

Add to that the ridiculous amount of stuff carried on the rooves of these vehicles and the adverse effect on the centre of gravity.

Then include a backpacker, their mates with no idea how to drive a 4WD let alone on sand.

That's not to say that there aren't as many local idiots as well.

The hire companies should be regulated closer. It should be mandatory to do a short 4WD awareness course before they are allowed to hire the vehicles and prevent them from over loading them. Might force some of the less reputable firms out of the game.

I know of a hire compmnay in WA that will not hire a 4WD out unless the hirer has completed their course first.
AnswerID: 362262

Reply By: NickDG - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 16:44

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 16:44
I hope the Four Wheel Drive Association makes their view known to the Minister to counter those two flips, namely FIDO and the National Parks Association.I agree that Education is the Key. All Hire 4WD Companys should Give there Hire Car Drivers an Education on how to drive a 4WD on sand or a full how to drive a 4WD in all conditions Course.
AnswerID: 362281

Reply By: Member - Richard H (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 22:13

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 at 22:13
I visited Fraser Island a couple of years ago in my own vehicle, and I was amazed at the hire vehicles that seemed to predominate the place.

They were nearly all troopies, coloured two tone rust, and looked like ex-govt. stuff. They would be hired out to some unsuspecting European kid and a whole bunch of their mates would pack in. All of their gear was then placed on a roof rack.

As I had a winch we pulled quite a few out of deep sand, and when speaking to them, I was amazed at their lack of experience.
One group of seven young ladies from Sweden had never driven a manual vehicle before hiring out a clapped out troopy. A quick five minute show and they were off. How we got involved with this lot was that she tipped the vehicle on its side, and the tide was coming in.

I think there are tons of horror stories out there about Frazer Island observations, but I agree, the Qld. Govt. needs to rope in the hire operators, and either police the standards or create one.

The speed limit isn't such a bad idea, I hope the bus driver's adhere to it, because they were the main offenders.


AnswerID: 362354

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