Traffic Delays Ahead

Get ready for some interesting traffic delays at the busiest roundabout in Hervey Bay. Yep work is about to start on something on the Boat Harbour Drive/Main Street roundabout.

Speed limits have already been reduced to 40km/h and traffic controllers have been seen and there are some unusual marks and numbers painted on the road surface that look rather ominous … and don’t the school holidays start next week?

Now that’s what I call planning!

Another Hidden Treasure

You just never know what hidden treasures might be hiding in some of the garages around Hervey Bay but every now and then one of them makes a a brief appearance somewhere around town.

Here are two that we spotted recently.

Hot rod in Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay hot rod

Ethanol Blended Fuel Outlets

The Premier announced today that another 200 service stations in Queensland were now able to provide an ethanol blended fuel for customers and there are already service stations in this region that can supply you with the blended fuel.

However, you need to understand that ethanol blended fuels are not suitable for all cars. You should consult your manufacturer’s handbook and if that doesn’t help you then you will find a list of compatible cars here at the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries website.

And for a list of ethanol outlets here in Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Rainbow Beach just follow this link.


Buying a New Car?

My experience here in Hervey Bay

One of our daughters rang last night and announced that she wanted to buy a new car but where she works it’s a bit hard to get to a dealer. So she wondered if I would do the rounds and pick up some brochures for her.

Well what father could turn down a request like that so off I toddled early this morning to make enquries.

I told every sales person I spoke to that I was doing making enquiries on behalf of my daughter who had $18,000 to spend on a new car and she would be buying it around Christmas time because that would be when she would be here in Hervey Bay.

I also told them that she was a tall girl – about as tall as I was – so ease of access and comfort for a tall person was important.

The most helpful sales person I spoke to was at Jack Casey Motors – he showed me three different models and encouraged me to sit in all three just to check to see if they really were comfortable for a tall person.

He then gave me prices and brochures on all three and pointed out that one of the base prices was a little above the limit my daughter wanted to spend.

The least helpful sales person … well no names no pack drill but suffice to say that he wasn’t really interested in letting me sit in any of the cars – he rubbished the opposition and gave me a sucker price if I wanted to buy before the end of the week.

It was an interesting experience and comparing sales techniques was a bit of an eye-opener.

 Jack Casey – you’ve got a gem there in your trainee. Sales people like him make the buying experience a pleasant one.



For the Person Who Really Wants to Go Off Road

Imagine a trip to Fraser Island in or on one of these. There would be no need to wait for the barge and you could launch from just about anywhere along the coastline here in Hervey Bay.

Amphibious vehicles are nothing new – the Army has quite a fleet of them, there have been amphibious cars before and many years ago one very brave couple crossed the Atlantic in an amphibious Land Rover but Gibbs Technologies, a company in the UK wants to put amphibious technology within the reach of more than just the military and eccentric.

And they just might do it with these three unique vehicles:

Quadski amphibious vehicle
The Quadski is the world’s first high speed genuine all terrain vehicle.

Aquada amphibious sports car
The Aquada is a genuine two seat amphibious sports car.

Humdinga amphibious vehicle
The Humdinga is a concept vehicle with full-time four wheel drive. It’s powered by a 350 BHP engine that gives it a top speed on land of 160kph and 64kpm on the water.

Tough Action on Drink Drivers

Tough new measures were passed by State Parliament today to target drink drivers.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Paul Lucas said Parliament approved amendments to legislation that would see serial and high range drink drivers facing immediate licence suspension.

“These reckless drunks who are caught and charged by police won’t be allowed back behind the wheel until the matter is dealt with by the courts,” Mr Lucas said.

“Some people have a death wish by repeatedly drink driving on a single day, or driving at over three times the legal limit.

“It shows that they have a death wish but all too often death becomes reality for other innocent parties.

“If you are a repeat or high range drink driver your licence will be suspended until the court deals with the matter.

“Further, if you drive during that time it will be treated as disqualified driving with a penalty of between two to five years disqualification and that’s on top of the original drink driving penalty.

State Parliament also passed laws relating to the supervision of learner drivers.

“This means supervisors of learners must have the required blood alcohol concentration, in most cases .05, as they need to be driving the vehicle in question.

“Statistically, supervising a learner driver is the safest time to be on the road but the operative word is “supervising”.

“How can anyone expect to supervise a learner if they’re over the limit on grog?

“And I remind people that supervising a learner driver means just that. Don’t expect them to drive you home on L plates on a Friday night because you’ve been on the booze,” he said.

The Minister said the changes were among a whole raft of measures the government was introducing to make Queensland roads safer.

1950 Riley Drophead Convertible

For this weeks motoring feature let me show you a classic from 56 years ago. It’s a 1950 Riley Drophead Convertible.

1950 Riley

It was built by Riley Motors in the UK and was powered by a 2.5 litre motor motor that gave it a top speed of around 160 kph.

This beautifully restored example calls Hervey Bay home and I caught up with it down at the BP servo on Torquay Road at Scarness. If you appreciate fine motor vehicles you should start stopping in there for petrol – you never know what you will find lurking in the garage.

Waking Up to Driver Fatigue

It seems that the state government has finally decided that it really does need to focus on driver fatigue in the trucking industry – and not before time too.

For too long this country has survived by imposing impossible workloads on the drivers of long-distance trucks while governments have turned a blind-eye to the companies who insist that their drivers continually break the law.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Paul Lucas has told the Australian Trucking Association’s annual convention that the State Government had turned the spotlight on rogue transport companies who forced drivers to cut corners and break the law.

The Minister said the State Government would make no apology for taking a tough stand on the issue.

“We already pursue all breaches of driving hours and other chain of responsibility offences with the full force of the law and we will continue to do so,” Mr Lucas said.

Since the introduction of chain of responsibility legislation in 1998, Queensland Transport has led the field with 324 successful prosecutions for driving hours offences.

“Queensland was the first state to do so and we will stay at the forefront to make sure our roads are safer for everyone.

“I want to send out a loud message that these rogues of industry who push their drivers to work excessive hours will not be tolerated,” Mr Lucas said.

The Minister said that anyone who played a role in road transport – from consignors such as supermarkets, through to drivers and customers – would be held accountable for their actions.

“The majority of drivers do the right thing. They behave responsibly, and I want those drivers who feel pressured to breach driving hours regulations, or who know of companies that are doing the wrong thing to come forward,” Mr Lucas said.

Crashes involving heavy vehicles on Queensland roads in 2005 resulted in 49 deaths, almost 15% of all fatalities.

“This does not mean that in all cases heavy vehicles were at fault, but we’re serious about tackling the issue and want to look at workable ways to turn these statistics around.

“I want to introduce even tougher penalties to target unsafe heavy vehicle drivers and operators.”

“I have reports of rogue transport companies paying the fines of drivers involved in logbook offences and that means the driver is under no penalty for what is a significant safety issue.

“I make no apology in ensuring our chain of responsibility legislation targets the operators rather than the drivers and the truckies.

“But drivers must also bear responsibility and introducing demerit points for logbook offences is worth a very serious look.

“This is only a small minority of the industry who put safety at risk and undercut the earnings of decent truckies and trucking companies.

There are around 75,000 trucks registered in Queensland. There are on average around 45 log book offences for breaches of driving hours each year in Queensland.

“Queensland is at the forefront of heavy vehicle reforms being developed at a national level by the National Transport Commission. Demerit points will be considered as part of this reform process.

“However, with a spate of crashes involving heavy vehicles, particularly on major highways, I will be introducing demerit points for heavy vehicle log book offences in Queensland. Ideally I’d like other states to follow suit,” Mr Lucas said.

“This will be part of the road safety package arising from the recent Queensland Road Safety Summit,” Mr Lucas said.

Perhaps he means what he says; only time will tell but it could be more hot air blowing out of an exhaust pipe.