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30/06/2017
Home > What's news on the travel scene in Australia
 

Latest News

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To check for the latest on closed roads and road conditions in any area, see the state by state links to Road Conditions  These cover main roads only.  Many local roads are under the control of local Shires.   

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2017

As we head into cold days and nights and think about the comfort of heating, this week is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.  Time to check that appliances you are using at home are well maintained and operating safely. 

 

For those travelling, don’t be tempted to use any unflued heating in your caravan or camper, nor ideas bandied around like an upturned flowerpot over a gas burner.  

 

In addition to having your indoor solid fuel or gas heater serviced, use a Carbon Monoxide alarm as an added defence. This is not a substitute unserviced heaters, or an excuse for using an outdoor form of heating indoors. 

 

Carbon Monoxide Awareness week, to be held from 1st to 7th May 2017. 

The aim of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is to raise awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning across Australia, and to advise on preventative measures that people can take to reduce the risk. 

 

TheChase and Tyler Foundation raises awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning in Australia.   

 

Some common products that can emit carbon monoxide when you use them are:

·         Barbeques that use wood, charcoal or gas

·         Fireplaces that use wood, charcoal or gas

·        Portable cookers that use gas or kerosene

·         Portable and/or outdoor heaters that use gas or kerosene

·         Flued gas heaters (under certain conditions)

·        Electrical generators that are diesel or petrol powered

·         Electrical equipment that is diesel or petrol powered (such as pumps, chainsaws, blowers and welders).

 

Safety Tips

·        Never use the above listed products inside the house or in areas that are not well ventilated, such as enclosed patios, garages and sheds, greenhouses, tents and caravans.

·         If you have an indoor fuel heater, consider having it checked by a licensed professional at the start of winter to ensure it is not producing excess carbon monoxide.

·        If you have a fireplace, ensure that the chimney has no blockages before you start using it.

·        Similarly, if you have a wood heater ensure the exhaust vent pipe is free of blockages.

·        If you are camping and need to use portable cookers, heaters and barbeques in a covered area (for example, if it’s raining), make sure that the area is well ventilated.

·         In an emergency situation or power blackout where you need to use items such as electrical generators and portable heaters, ensure that the area they are being used in is well ventilated. 

From Product Safety

 

At higher levels, carbon monoxide can kill within minutes.  Even if you get fresh air in time to save your life, carbon monoxide can cause strokes, heart attacks, memory loss and personality changes.  This brain damage is permanent. 

 

Carbon monoxide binds to haemoglobin in our blood in place of the needed oxygen, and does so in preference to the oxygen in the air.  This causes blood vessels of the body to leak, especially in the brain causing the brain to swell, leading to unconsciousness and neurological damage.

Source Carbon Monoxide Kills 

 

Despite the warnings, people die every year throughout the world due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.  Disability suffered by carbon monoxide poisoning survivors is rarely reported. 

 

April 2017:  News of another tragic death has emerged as his widow takes legal action against the taxi company.   30 year old Sandeep Singh Brar was driving his cab when he pulled over in Mont Albert in Melbourne’s north to take a "power nap" with the engine running to keep warm on September 2, 2013.  The following day another driver was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes when driving the same cab.

 

February 2017: A shocking and tragic loss of young lives. German investigators say six teenagers who died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a garden house in Bavaria had been using a gasoline-powered generator that wasn't authorized for indoor use.  The owner of the garden found the bodies of his son, daughter and four other young men on Sunday morning. All were aged 18 or 19. 

 

August 2016: Saved in time when Carbon monoxide poisoning left one woman unconscious and caused the temporary evacuation of adjoining Coles and Kmart stores in Wangaratta.

 

For camping off mains power in really cold weather, either a diesel heater (Webasto, Dometic or Eberspacher or cheaper copies), or installed gas heater (Truma) are the best options for heating your caravan.

 

You can get 12 volt electric blankets or use a 240 volt one off your inverter to warm the bed, or pull on Explorer or other thick woollen socks, and use a zero rated sleeping bag to keep the warmth you generate close around you.

 

See more about the risks and options you can choose to keep warm  

 

1st May 2017

Kimberley updates
Purnululu National Park is OPEN to visitors
 
Geikie Gorge is OPEN and boat tours are scheduled to commence on 1 May 2017. See times.  Note: cash only, EFTPOS is currently not working.  Rising water levels on the Fitzoy River could close the site again. 
 
Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek remain CLOSED due to road conditions
 
Silent Grove campground, Bell Gorge, Lennard Gorge, Mount Hart and the entire road network within the King Leopold Range Conservation Park remains CLOSED
 
Broome-Cape Leveque Road is OPEN to 4wd vehicles
 
The Gibb River Road is OPEN to all vehicles from Imintji to Mount Barnett Roadhouse.  The sections between Mount Barnett Roadhouse and the Pentecost River crossing is OPEN to high clearance 4wd, and to the Great Northern Highway it is OPEN to all vehicles.  Most station and other side roads remain CLOSED.  If you wish to visit a station stay, please contact the station first or access updates.
 
The Kalumburu and  Mitchell Plateau Roads are OPENto high clearance 4wd under 7 tonne
 
The Tanami Road (Western Australia) and Buntine Highway are OPEN with caution.
 
Updated 9th May 2017
Latest from Kakadu
Gunlom OPEN for the season on from midday 16th May 2017, 4WD recommended. 
 
Updated 26th May 2017
Good news for visitors to Hancocks Lookout near Wilmington in South Australia 
The Outback Way is an often rough journey between Boulia in Queensland and Laverton in Western Australia. 
 
• Boulia Shire has been actively sealing the Donohue Highway to the Queensland/ Northern Territory border with only 160 kilometres to go.
• Plenty Highway now sealed from the Stuart Highway to Harts Range.                 
• Sealing  from Docker River to the Border and then continuing the seal from
Kata Tjuta towards Western Australia.
• Laverton  and Ngaanyatjarraku Shires have finalised surveying and will be sealing 100 kilometres of the Great Central Road between them in the coming months.
 
2nd May 2017 

Overlooking the Spencer Gulf with views across Port Augusta, and at night glows of light show many townships including Port Pirie and Whyalla in the viewing arc.

 

An eight kilometre track in from Horrocks Pass, turning off forty kilometres from Port Augusta and three kilometres from Wilmington takes you to this small but beautiful spot.

 

Two years ago the District Council of Mount Remarkable banned overnight stops at this popular lookout.

 

Thanks to the efforts of a Wilmington local, Dave Wingrove, who has campaigned strongly for restoration of this area for travellers to stay a while, a concession has been made by

council, who had passed the following:

 

That Council designate Hancocks Lookout for overnight free camping and fires in accordance with By-Law No.4 Local Government Land, for a trial period of six (6) months commencing at the end of the declared 2016 – 2017 fire ban season under the following conditions:

1. Camping is permitted for one (1) night only;

2. Camping is only permitted outside of the declared fire season and not on any declared fire ban day;

3. Any person lighting a campfire will be totally liable for any loss, damage or harm caused by the fire;

4. Campfires are subject to any ban, prohibition, restriction, or other requirement under the Fire and Emergency services Act 2005, the Native Vegetation Act 1991 or a prescribed act (clause 5(4) Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016).

 

This is limited access only in open fire season (which has this year commenced 1st May), overnight stays will be permitted during a six month trial period. There are no facilities, so you must be equipped for self sufficient camping. 

 

Visitors, please do not leave any rubbish, overstay, or give reason for this council to close the area to overnight stops for ever. 

 

We hope everyone will be considerate and follow the rules, so many travellers can stop overnight on their journey, and enjoy the sunsets and sunrises this place is well known for. 

 

Sunset and sunrise photos above. These photos were taken when we stopped in for lunch and to check out a mechanical problem when on our way to Melbourne to go to Tasmania back in 2006, before the overnight camping was closed. 

 

5th May 2017

tn_hancocks_sunrise_dsc01499.jpg tn_hancocks_sunset_dsc014961.jpg tn_hancocks_sunset_dsc01493.jpg
The Outback Way - sealing programme
Yellow Water Car Park, Boat Ramp and Boardwalk now OPEN. A 4.5 tonne vehicle weight limit applies.
 
The Old Jim Jim Road (between Kakadu and Arnhem Highways) and 2 Mile Billabong are OPEN for 4wd only. 
 
Malabanjbanjdju tent and caravan areas and Burdulba Campground are OPEN.
 
Muirella and Merl campgrounds are OPEN.
 
Gubara Pools (day area only) is OPEN for 4wd. 
 
What is still closed?
 
Twin Falls
 
Red Lily Billabong, Bucket Billabong and Alligator Billabong
 
4 Mile Hole Billabong and West Alligator Head
 
Bilkbilkmi (Graveside Gorge)
 
Giyamungkurr (Black Jungle Springs)
 
 
Updated 10th June 2017
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Red Lily, Bucket and Alligator Billabongs are now OPEN to High Clearance 4wd only 23rd June 2017
 
Garnamarr Camp Ground - OPEN for camping this afternoon as of the 16/06/2017, camping fees apply

Jim Jim Falls - OPEN as of 17/06/2017 at 8:30am to high clearance 4wd access only

Koolpin - Is now OPEN, permit access only.
 
Barrk Marlam Bush walk (to the top of Jim Jim Falls) - OPEN as of 17/06/2017 at 8:30am to high clearance 4wd access only

Guratba/Gimbat Day Use Area -  is now OPEN, 4WD recommended into this site
 
Updated 23rd June 2017

Maguk opened with 4wd access 25th May 2017
 
Once again the message of not going onto a closed Cahills Crossing has been ingnored.  See Vehicle washed off Cahill's Crossing and pictures of similar occurrences in this Photo gallery.  See more about previous mishaps on FacebookCahills Crossing is now OPEN for high clearance 4WD at low tide only at 5th May 2017. Water level at 0.4m at low tide.
 
Merl campground 1 at Ubirr is now OPEN, but hot showers are not available due to maintenance of solar panels (SUPERCEDED). 
 
 
The latest news is that we are going travelling. 
 
This news page will not be updated while we are away.   
 
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