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Wednesday, June 22, 2016 – PAGE 9
By Elisa Rose
When Eben Oosthuizen left for
work on June 2 he could never have
imagined how costly his morning
commute would become.
The Mt Barker man and his family
have been left out of pocket after the
new father inadvertently drove into a
4m, water-filled hole while skirting the
edge of what he thought to be a large
puddle on Barker Road in Mt Barker.
Mr Oosthuizen said the car, which
he had borrowed from his mother that
morning, had been deemed a “statutory
write-off ” by the insurance company
due to water entering the cab as well
as structural damage. The hole was
formed by a burst water main and Mr
Oosthuizen’s father, Jan Oosthuizen,
has since filed a compensation claim
with SA Water for more than $9000
in financial loss resulting from the
incident including loss of income,
insurance excess, hire car costs and
the shortfall between the insurance
payout for the car and the cost of
buying an equivalent vehicle.
Hole bigger than car
But despite the loss, Eben Oosthuizen
said the situation could have been
“Surprisingly I was pretty calm,” he
“When I think about it, if I had driven
a little bit more to the left I don’t know
what would have happened, because
the hole was slightly bigger than the
car. “... It tugs a bit at my heart strings
when I think my family could have
been with me and things could have
gone pear-shaped rather quickly.”
“If I was maybe a ruler length to the
left it would have gone in.”
Jan Oosthuizen said SA Water had
agreed to cover some related costs but
others, such as the shortfall between
the insurance payout and the cost of a
replacement car, would not be covered.
An SA Water spokesperson said the
department had been in contact with
the Oosthuizens and were working
to “minimise potential impacts this
incident has caused”.
“We are still working with them
to assist with related out of pocket
expenses,” they said.
Eben Oosthuizen, left, and his father
Jan have been left out of pocket after the
Driver hits depths of despair
From page 3
“In my role I very soon realised you had to
develop a quality working relationship with
the CFS if you wanted to protect the forest and
the people who lived close to the forest because
we could only do so much,” he said.
Unfortunately, thanks to an elusive arsonist,
for nearly a decade Forestry SA and the
CFS had plenty of occasions to work on their
That close interaction led to the Gumeracha
CFS Group asking Mr Munn to join their
management team as a volunteer.
Besides his 10-year tenure as Deputy
Group Officer, he also did a stint as the group
chairman from 1994 to 2010.
“I never regretted taking it on because the
value of bringing the two agencies together
was immense,” Mr Munn said.
“I treated them as the professionals that they
“I had the knowledge and the experience that
could help them and I was seen as someone
impartial from forestry.”
Building relationships was also part of his
role when Mr Munn moved to SA Water in
It was a time when there was a big push by
the Government for all land agencies to work
together to manage fire risk.
Mr Munn helped develop agreements with
other agencies, particularly the environment
department, and he worked on a committee
that standardised fire breaks, fire tracks
and the signage for gates and tracks on all
Government land to make it safer and more
efficient for all firefighters.
“I think the highlight of my career for me is
the fact I’ve been able to bring government
agencies and volunteers together to work for a
common cause – to protect our community and
our natural and fixed assets,” he said.
Fire career sparked by accident
Road safety works
More than $500,000 will be spent on
guardrails at Stirling and Marble Hill and
shoulder sealing at Hartley under promised
Federal Government road safety works.
The works include a $155,220 project to install
barriers, modify embankments and remove
vegetation along a section of Old Mt Barker
Road from Kain Avenue to Old Carey Gully
Road at Stirling.
A new barrier will also be built on the section
of Marble Hill Road from Monomeith Road to
Moores Road at Marble Hill.
Eben Oosthuizen drove through the edge of a puddle on Barker Road in suburban
Mt Barker when the front of the vehicle plunged into a large hole created by a
burst water main.
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