Motorists lodge compensation claims over car damage

TIMING QUESTIONED: Traffic queues south of Childers as a result of road sealing, which drivers claim led to damage to their vehicles.
TIMING QUESTIONED: Traffic queues south of Childers as a result of road sealing, which drivers claim led to damage to their vehicles. Mike Knott

THE Department of Transport and Main Roads is facing compensation claims from motorists who allege their vehicles were damaged along a newly resealed section of the highway south of Childers.

Motorists say chunks of bitumen littered the road to the main street of Childers after the surface failed to adhere when it was laid late on Thursday.

Witnesses say the problem caused a "mess" in the town centre overnight.

The Town & Country understands cracked windscreens, stone chips in paintwork and other issues were found in vehicles driven over the section of the road, from about 200m south of the Lucketts Rd intersection to about 200m south of the Butchers Rd intersection.

Caltex Childers manager Jonathan Karpowski watched the scene unfold overnight while working at his service station.

"It was bad. The whole road came up all the way to town, it was chunks of tar," Mr Karpowski said.

"Out the front of my driveway it was stuck two inches thick. Gluggy masses were dripping off trucks when they pulled up," he said.

"Someone's stuffed up really bad. That gravel was dragged kilometres and kilometres."

Isis Tyre Services said it had received at least six calls from "angry" customers whose vehicles had been damaged by the gravel.

Mary Byrne said loose gravel had flicked up and lodged under her brakes, but her vehicle escaped permanent damage.

"There was all this loose gravel on the road, you could hear it flicking up under your car," she said.

Ms Byrne questioned the timing of the work.

"It was the first day of school holidays, a lot of caravans were coming through, it was very busy," she said.

"It was unnecessary. It was a very bad decision of whoever was in charge of it," she said.

A TMR spokesman said a detailed investigation into the cause of the surfacing issues had begun.

The spokesman confirmed there had been inquiries about compensation.

"We consider all claims for compensation to be serious and will work with the constructor to investigate each claim on a case-by-case basis," they said. "A rigorous process ensures all claims are assessed equally."

TMR said corrective works had been done undertaken to stabilise the road.

"Loose stones carried by vehicles outside of the project site were also removed, including those in the main street," the response said.

TMR said motorists seeking compensation should supply a Statutory Declaration describing details of the incident.

Phone TMR on 4154 0200, write to Locked Bag 486, Bundaberg, Qld, 4670, or email

Topics:  childers editors picks isis motoring

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