TYRE TRAP: Terry Bull with the rocks he has picked off Old Gayndah Rd which leads to the Doongul township.
TYRE TRAP: Terry Bull with the rocks he has picked off Old Gayndah Rd which leads to the Doongul township. Alistair Brightman

DOONGUL: Drivers rocked by road with blown tyres and crashes

COVERED in blood with seat-belt burns and a dislocated hand, Genevieve Gosling trudged up a hill to get reception to call for help.

On her way back from shopping about 2pm on a sunny day last February, the Doongul local's four-wheel drive had lost traction on the rocks and dust covering Old Gayndah Rd at the slight turn down the slope at Melville Creek.

"I don't drive fast," Ms Gosling said.

"I've just moved here, it's a 100km/h road and everyone always complains because I do about 60km/h.

"The car went up an embankment, got air and hit a tree, landing on it's roof, it then rolled onto its side.

 

The aftermath of Genevieve Gosling's car crash in Doongul
The aftermath of Genevieve Gosling's car crash last February.

"I can't believe I survived it. I have a new lease on life.

"It was just luck I didn't have my four-year-old son with me. The roof was caved in just above his car seat."

Ms Gosling said in the past six months she had gone through three spare tyres from flats collected on the same road.

"I'm not the only one, there has been so many others," she said.

 

Doongul residents angry at lack of phone coverage - Genevieve Gosling and her son Darius Bolton,4.
Genevieve Gosling and her son Darius Bolton,4. Alistair Brightman

"The same type of sharp rocks which are mined from the quarry down the road are part of the environment and keep getting brought up to the surface with erosion.

Peter Youngman vividly remembers the 15 accidents which have happened in the past decade, every car a 'write off'.

"Under the Woocoo Shire before the amalgamation of councils there was a proposal on their website for a 10-year plan to make the road bitumen to Musket Flats," he said.

"But now, nothing, we are nothing. We have definitely been worse off after the amalgamation. We have gone backwards."

 

Doongul residents angry at lack of phone coverage - Peter and Sue Youngman.
Peter and Sue Youngman. Alistair Brightman

Advocating for the state of the access road from Maryborough to the small township is a passion for long-time local Terry Bull.

"I have sent in petitions with more than 20 signatures of residents to council twice, in October 2017 and October 2018," Mr Bull said.

"We have had the same result both times. Nothing.

"I've collected all the big rocks which have been unearthed on the road over the last 12 months to save people's tyres and as evidence.

"We don't want a completely new road, we know we live in a regional area, we just want a safer road."

 

Doongul residents angry at lack of phone coverage - Terry Bull and Janice See.
Terry Bull and Janice See. Alistair Brightman

Fraser Coast Regional Council Infrastructure Services director Davendra Naidu said the council had received and investigated about eight requests annually in the past nine years for works on Old Gayndah Rd.

"The requests vary from notifications of trees and limbs across the road following storms to the condition of the road surface," he said.

"How requests for maintenance and improvements are attended to is based on the outcome of an investigation by staff, safety requirements and where they fit into council's maintenance program to ensure that the road is serviceable.

"If safety issues are raised by residents or from council's regular assessment program, they are investigated and attended to appropriately.

"Council widened sections of the road over crests to improve visibility, improved the approaches to two creek crossings and installed new signage following a petition from residents in 2017.

"In response to a 2018 petition, residents were advised that Old Gayndah Rd was inspected and graded annually, with the next grading scheduled for March this year, weather permitting.

"Council staff travel Old Gayndah Rd at least once a fortnight and minor maintenance works are undertaken when isolated defects are identified. Since 2013, Council has invested $1.019million in maintenance and capital improvements to Old Gayndah Rd, while it is estimated that it would cost $13million to seal the 13km unsealed section."

"Council is always reassessing its road building and road maintenance program based on priorities across the entire Fraser Coast region."