City, Country Divide

Sign on the Kings Highway between Braidwood and Bungendore - © AYArktos / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Sign on the Kings Highway between Braidwood and Bungendore – © AYArktos / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Great Dividing Range runs from Cape York Peninsular to the Grampians and beyond into Tasmania. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica when Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson made their historic crossing it “marked the beginning of European migration…..from the east coast into the Australian interior, or outback.” I wonder if they envisaged that so much of our “interior” would remain inhabited by so few or that the mountain range would remain a barrier and that its name would prove to be an omen with many implications.

What am I talking about? Well, I’ll start at the beginning.

Last week I sustained some damage to CWA111 which, briefly for those who live beyond or have ventured over the big hill, involved low car….dirt road/gravel causeway….big rock….cracked sump. Oh dear, I hear you say, not good…

Now, before dwellers and drivers of bad roads on the eastern side jump up and down, my tale relates more to the difficulties of trying to explain the circumstances and location of the incident, where I live and where the closest dealer and tow truck are when you call roadside assist to report your situation. I’m thinking anyone who lives outside NSW, Oops…..I mean the greater metropolitan areas of NSW; will be able to relate to what I am talking about.

After ascertaining that I was not injured or stranded the recipient of my call politely advised that my predicament was not actually a “road-side assist” but would be instead deemed “impact damage” so therefore an insurance claim. My friendly ‘consultant’ then happily handed me on to another provider, relieved that it was now someone else’s task to find a tow vehicle and approved repairer…..out there….somewhere.

Despite having advised my new contact that the offending rock and location of the ‘incident’, as well as the current whereabouts of the car and myself were west of Moree and Narrabri the illegible and non-existent address recorded on the incident report was some 600klms east at Coffs Harbour (identifiable only by the post code). Likewise and also EAST of the GREATDIVIDE, the tow/tilt truck was going to be dispatched from Mortdale, over 650kms from Rowena! Imagine my surprise at this development…..NOT HAPPY JAN!

Whatever happened to consulting a road map? Thirty seconds (depending on your internet connection) and a few clicks on Google maps can locate Rowena and its proximity to the eastern seaboard!

After three days of phone calls, emails and me finally having to suggest the local contacts (including the car dealership) things looked like they were on track and my mood started to improve, until I received a call from the dealer asking if I could provide some indication of what was wrong with the car!

Time for a wine I think and to ponder the value of volunteers to the economy of the country….


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