into history as ...
Jayco's Gerry Ryan honoured by caravanning industry's peak body
By Dennis Amor
CARAVAN tycoon and
multi-millionaire Gerry Ryan has been honoured by the caravan industry's
peak body. Mr Ryan, founder and owner of the giant Jayco company,
received the Richard Davis Award from the Caravan Industry Association of
Australia for his outstanding contribution to the industry. The accolade
comes six years after his company parted ways with the association's
forerunner, the Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association of
Australia. No reason was ever given for the former president's shock
resignation. Mr Ryan was not present to accept his latest award, but he
said in a video message: "It's a great honour to receive an award named
after Richard Davis."
Hiccup in vote
on controversial trading reform
SUNDAY RV SALES
REMAIN IN LIMBO
Mr Chapman: severe impact
By Dennis Amor
Have your say
A DECISION on whether
Queensland's caravan dealers will be allowed to trade on Sundays has
received a welcome setback.
Major reforms to the state's topsy-turvy retail regulations would enable
dealers to sell caravans and other RVs seven days a week ... a move which
they say is unnecessary and would create problems.
But the new legislation remains in limbo after a squabble between
politicians resulted in the government postponing its vote on the
It is expected to continue debating the issue when it next meets on June
Shadow Employment Minister Jarrod Bleijie said many suggestions in a
report on Sunday trading had attracted little support, suggesting that
another needed to be done.
Queensland's caravan industry has already given a cool reception to the
proposed new laws, with Caravanning Queensland ‒ the industry's peak body
in the state ‒ warning that the new hours could severely affect smaller
Chief executive Ron Chapman told Caravanning News that 92 percent
of members were against Sunday trading.
Queensland sold more RVs than
any other state in 2015, despite competing against others with larger
populations and seven-day trading.
'Serious buyers will still find
make a purchase'
Dealers argue that potential
customers already have more than enough opportunity to buy recreational
One major caravan retailer said it opened six days a week and thought that
extending the hours would have a negative affect on sales staff and their
"Sales won't increase because serious buyers will still find time to make
a purchase," a spokesman, who did not want to be identified, said.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the state's existing
"complex and costly" trading hours were holding back job opportunities and
The proposed reform package making motor vehicle and caravan dealers
exempt from the restrictive Sunday trading hours followed "extensive
consultation" with the Motor Trades Association of Queensland, she said.
"No workers will be made to work any additional hours which could result
from increased trading hours unless they have voluntarily agreed to do
so," Ms Grace added.
Meanwhile, the 4500-member Australian Caravan Club has welcomed the
Sushine State's biggest shake-up of trading rules in 20 years.
Chairman Craig Humphrey said it was "ludicrous" that in a modern world
where people could buy groceries and even a boat on a Sunday, they could
not buy a caravan in Queensland on that day.
Fleetwood director resigns
DIRECTOR Greg Tate is resigning from Coromal and Windsor caravans builder
Fleetwood Corporation after 30 years. He joined
the board as a founding non‐executive director in 1987 and managed the
company through a period of significant growth. Mr Tate said he would not
be seeking re-election to the board at the company's AGM in November, and
to facilitate an orderly transition his resignation would become effective
on June 30. He leaves Fleetwood part way through a successful turnaround
program following a savage slump in sales and revenue during the global
financial crisis and collapse of the mining industry a few years ago. It
is believed Mr Tate plans to remain a long-term holder of his $14 million,
11 percent stake in Fleetwood. Managing director Brad Denison said Mr Tate
had been instrumental in Fleetwood's history as a listed company.
Have your say
Council allocates $260,000 for Bribie Island caravan park upgrade
A CAMP kitchen overlooking the water and new playground facilities will be
built at Bribie Island's popular Bongaree Caravan Park in
Queensland. Moreton Bay Regional Council
has allocated $260,000 in its 2017-18 budget for the new facilities. "I'm very pleased,"
local councillor Brooke Savige told Caravanning News. "I'm passionate about supporting and growing Bribie's
tourism industry, which is why I like to see investment from council
in the council-owned park." Last year, more than 11,000 people
visited the park.
mozzies and be medically prepared, nomads urged
GREY nomads heading north for the winter have been warned to be medically
prepared and to beware of deadly mosquitoes.
WA's Department of Health is also reminding travellers to see their GPs
before hitting the road and to take precautions against being bitten by
disease-carrying mozzies. The alert follows suspected Murray Valley
encephalitis and Kunjin virus activity in the Kimberley and Pilbara areas.
Chief Health Officer Professor Tarun Weeramanthri said people did not need
to alter their travel plans but must take simple steps to avoid mosquito
bites. He reminded grey nomads to ensure they take measures to protect
their health, such as seeing their GP before hitting the road and
maintaining their medication regime by ensuring scripts were filled ahead
ACC members spend
up big at Peak Hill muster
AUSTRALIAN Caravan Club members poured nearly $17,000 into Peak Hill and
its surrounds during their recent five-day muster in NSW, chairman Craig
Humphrey has revealed. "This represents an
average spend of about $540 for each RV or around $107 a day," he said.
"The outcomes from this muster prove that RVers and local communities can
both reap the rewards that come when we work together and obtain a
beneficial outcome for all of us." About 60 members in 31 RVs attended the
Chairman’s Muster at the Peak Hill Showgrounds.
voted industry's most impressive young leader
APRIL Whiston has been voted the caravan park industry's most impressive
young leader. General manager of her
family-owned 494-site Merool on the Murray caravan park at Moama in NSW,
April received the Future Leaders Award at the recent Caravan Industry
Association of Australia conference on the Gold Coast. Other finalists
were Rob Gallagher (Adventures Group Holdings chief executive), Daniel
Tilton (Next Generation Holiday Parks chief executive), Michael McIvor
(Broken Hill Tourist Park operations manager), Amanda Ferguson (Discovery
Parks investment analysist) and Stephen Edwards (Edwards Group chief
for Paradise, 'loyal customers' told
AWARD-winning RV manufacturer Paradise Motor Homes, which has hauled
itself out of receivership, is a still "a very sound business", according
to its new owners. The Gold Coast-based
motorhome and caravan builder, founded in 2002, closed its doors in March
after running into difficulties but was bought by a group of private
investors ‒ including shareholders of the secured creditor ‒ last month.
In a recent letter to its "loyal customers", PMH Manufacturing managing
director Shannon Burford said "fresh direction and vision" had now been
brought to the company.
rally a 'golden opportunity' for traders
MORE than a thousand motorhomes, campervans and caravans will descend on
Queensland's Rum City in October. Their owners
are expected to pour tens of thousands of dollars into Bundaberg's local
economy as around 2000 RVers attend the 32nd Campervan and Motorhome Club
of Australia national rally. As a forerunner, Bundaberg Regional Council
hosted an information session for local businesses to gain an insight into
how they could help club members attending the nine-day event. Mayor Jack
Dempsey described the rally as a "golden opportunity" for local traders.
Club and council
sign MoU to help RVers
AUSTRALIA's biggest caravan club has joined forces with the Caravan
Council of Australia to help caravanners seeking advice.
The Australian Caravan Club said the signing of a memorandum of
understanding would provide "substantial support" for the club and its
4400 members in areas of recreational vehicle construction, compliance and maintenance. One
of the nationwide not-for-profit RV club's objectives is to ensure members
can be provided with general advice on the construction and maintenance of
symbol set to shine on
CARAVAN and tourism parks will still be able to display their star ratings
after a Tourism Industry Council takeover.
Operated by Australian Motoring Services since 1950s, the national scheme
and its internationally recognised symbol for quality standards was in
danger of being scrapped. But the tourism council has announced it will
take over the reins on July 1. The star ratings will join the Australian
Tourism Accreditation Program and the Australian Tourism Awards as a part
of tourism council's suite of programs to develop and promote high quality
Have your say
lifetime ban on illegal Spit camper
TOUGH new measures to stop travellers illegally camping at a Gold Coast
beauty spot have led to a lifetime ban for one offender.
The man appeared before Southport Magistrates Court accused of trespassing
and was ordered never to return to Doug Jennings Park on the Southport
Spit. The action was taken by the Gold Coast Waterways Authority ‒ trustee
of the park ‒ after swarms of caravanners, motorhomers and other campers
constantly ignored no-camping rules.
snaps up Bonny Hills park for $13.5m
INGENIA Communities has bought the BIG4 Bonny Hills Holiday Park on NSW's
mid-north coast for $13.5 million. Located on
3.4 hectares, the Rainbow Beach park is close to popular tourist
attractions. Ingenia chief executive Simon Owen said it represented "a
well capitalised tourist park" offering a range of accommodation catering
largely to the family holiday market.
set to reveal final dividend
LIQUIDATOR of now defunct Galaxy Caravans Pty Ltd
Altan Djenab has announced he will declare a first and final dividend on
July 28. The well respected RV manufacturer had
been building caravans for over 20 years but shocked the industry when it
went bust and closed the doors of its Somerton factory in Victoria in
late-2014. The family behind the business later said that despite losing
its "beloved" brand name, it had moved "onwards and upwards" under the new
name Customline Caravans.
Have your say
recognised after deadly caravan blast
TWO Queensland policemen involved in the aftermath of a massive caravan
explosion which killed a father and his two children at Mt Isa have been
recognised for their efforts. Constable Wayne
Querruel received a bravery award while colleague Senior Constable Tyson
Seumanu received the Commissioner's Certificate. The remains of a
39-year-old father, his son (4) and daughter (7) were recovered after the
deadly blast outside a house in the suburb of Mornington in July, 2015. It
was later described as a murder-suicide. Constable Querruel and Senior
Constable Seumanu ignored their own safety as they frantically searched
for survivors after the explosion, which rocked the whole area.
Have your say
against caravan crooks, warn police
MOUNT Isa police in Queensland have warned caravanners to be on their
guard against thieves. The alert comes as
thousands of southern grey nomads flock to the northern states in search
of winter sunshine. Sergeant Cath Purcell said they should not put
temptation in the way of crooks. "Most crime that occurs to caravans
involve the theft of property, including cash and valuables, when they are
unlocked," she explained. "Many more offences may go unreported as
travellers are eager to continue with their holiday plans." She said
caravan parks were targeted by thieves who were aware of easily
finding unsecured vehicles, unlocked caravans and easy access to property
and large amounts of cash.
Have your say
concerned over power poaching
ROGUE grey nomads in caravans and motorhomes have been illegally plugging
into power points at Nyngan's Flood Memorial Park in NSW according to
concerned local caravan parks. Bogan Shire
Council has now disconnected the "power mushrooms" at the free camping
area. General manager Derek Francis told councillors in a report: "It
appears that the measures council undertook to prevent access to power had
not been totally successful." Councillors decided to continue the free
camping and erect signs explaining there was no power at the site but was
available at Nyngan's two caravan park.
Have your say
new overtaking lanes
CARAVANNERS and other travellers have welcomed news that 15 new overtaking
lanes have been completed on Great Eastern Highway in WA's Goldfields
region. Eight eastbound and seven westbound
lanes, each with an average length of 3km, have been built along 225km of
the highway between Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Southern Cross. There were 103
crashes on the stretch between 2010 and 2014. Transport Minister Rita
Saffioti said the new overtaking lanes would provide regular passing
opportunities, helping to reduce driver frustration. "They will also
improve travel time and address safety issues that have contributed to
vehicle incidents along this road," she added.
Have your say
applauds Budget support for tourism
THE peak body for the caravan and holiday park industry in Victoria has
applauded the state's support for tourism. The
Victorian Caravan Parks Association said it had been "encouraged" by the
provision for more funding to support tourism activities. "It
is critical that tourism infrastructure and businesses are supported to
grow and develop in line with consumer expectations," chief executive
Elizabeth White (pictured) pointed out. "This is a Budget that recognises
the key role of tourism to grow the state economy and create more job
opportunities in regional Victoria," she said.
for $12m tourist hub
THE Victorian Government has donated $600,000 towards a $12 million
nature-based tourism hub to be developed in Koondrook.
Located on the banks of the Gunbower Creek, the hub will feature authentic
'glamping' style tents, a camp kitchen and canoe platform – all linked to
cycling tracks, canoe trails, and the Kerang-Koondrook Rail Trail.
Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford commented: "We want more
people to enjoy our great outdoors and spend more time in regional
Victoria because it has the best of everything."
Have your say
hailed huge success
SYDNEY'S Caravan, Camping & Holiday Supershow at Rosehill
Racecourse was a huge success, organisers said.
More than 60,000 people flocked through the gates for the
six-day event. Caravan & Camping Industry Association NSW chief executive Lyndel Gray said it reflected the "strong engagement" being experienced
across NSW, where there had been a 19 percent increase in nights spent
either caravanning or camping during the past year. "This year's supershow
was a bumper event that not only delivered a great day out for showgoers,
but we also received great feedback from our exhibitors too."
for union park
THE United Services Union is looking for managers to run its Aquatic
Caravan Park and Motel in NSW. The successful
couple will initially manage the caravan park at Port Macquarie while the
21-room motel is being refurbished. "We are looking for a couple who can
demonstrate a passion for professionalism in running all the facets of a
busy boutique resort, including laundry duties, ground and general
maintenance and supervision of staff while ensuring that the presentation
of the resort exceeds guest expectations," the union said. It will hold
interviews on June 13.
Have your say
for 'jewel in accommodation crown'
SEAL Rocks Holiday Park in New South Wales scooped a top award in the Mid
Coast Business Awards. It received an Excellence
in Tourism & Hospitality gong at the awards which celebrate outstanding
businesses within the Manning, Gloucester and Great Lakes regions The park
is part of the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Group, which has committed $7.5
million for upgrades at the popular holiday destination. The group says
the work has cemented Seal Rocks' status as "a jewel in the accommodation
crown" within the Great Lakes Region.
remarkable lookout camp
SOUTH Australia's Mount Remarkable District Council has launched a
six-month trial allowing self-contained caravans and other RVs to stay for
one night at Hancock's Lookout near Wilmington.
This follows an online 708-signature petition also calling for the
townships of Port Germein, Wirrabara, Melrose and Wilmington to be made
RV-friendly. Camping at the lookout will only be permitted outside the
declared fire season and not on any declared fire ban day. Campfires will
be permanently banned.
Have your say
really are a happier bunch
THERE'S no doubt about it, campers are a happy bunch ... and Australia's
peak national body for the caravanning and camping industry can prove it.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has conducted a study which
proves the term “happy campers” is founded on fact. The "Real Richness"
probe was intended to better understand the emotional and social benefits
of camping and the value it provides for current and future generations of
design award for Air Opus camper
MELBOURNE'S Opus Camper Trailers has scooped a top gong for its unique
self-inflating camper. The six-berth Air Opus
was selected for a Good Design Award by an international panel of design
experts. It is now in the running for the Australian Good Design Award, to
be announced this month. The judges said the Air Opus offered "genuine
innovation at a surprisingly affordable price" and was "incredibly
spacious with well thought out, easy to use and functional spaces". But
its highest praise was for the air beams that inflate the camper in just
two minutes. "The convenience of pushing a button to erect the camper with
air is simply genius and makes camping accessible to everyone," they said.
Have your say
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