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Caravanning News is registered with the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive

OCTOBER 2021
 


Readership: Up to 32,000 monthly
(AWStats)


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readership stats

Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

 
 

* Park's vaccination rule causes uproar ... 11,126 people reached.

* Snakes Alive! Toilet hazard ... 10,794 people reached.

* Broome's camping trial ... 7517 people reached.

* Travel plans in turmoil ... 6920 people reached.

* RV safety event cancelled due to COVID ... 5781 people reached.

* New rest area planned for Bruce Highway ... 5364 people reached.

MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Vaccinations - park sets precedent

A CARAVAN park says it will require COVID-19 vaccination proof before accepting guests.

Good on them. It's their park and they can decide who they take in.

What are they going to sue them for?

It won't be long and there will be plenty of other businesses setting the same precedents.

Russ B.

Well done!.

 WELL done!

Our safety is paramount.

It's your park and your right to look after your clients.

Thank you.

Richard and Margaret Cox.

Attraction

PARKS with that policy will attract me.

I don't wish to associate with the ratbags that are anti-vaxxers.

PeterD.




 


Clive Appleton  Strong trading performance expected

Aspen Group revenue soars despite 'challenging' operating environment

By Dennis Amor
Have your say

ASPEN Group, which operates a chain of holiday and lifestyle parks throughout Australia, has revealed a 27 percent rise in total revenue for the first quarter compared to last year. In an update presentation to shareholders, it said the unaudited figure of $11.77 million was "reasonable in a challenging operating environment". Aspen's NSW coastal parks especially Adelaide Caravan Park and Tween Waters at Merimbula near the NSW-Victoria border had been impacted the most, with a large proportion of the net operating decline versus previous corresponding period being attributed to the end of JobKeeper. Aspen was expecting a strong trading performance at its NSW coastal parks during the peak summer trading periods ... provided people were free to travel. Meanwhile, Aspen chairman Clive Appleton (pictured) said in the group's annual report that revenue from short-stay guests at its holiday parks had been negatively impacted by travel restrictions. "However, profits have generally held up due to our strategy to pivot between short-stay and longer-stay leasing depending on the season and lockdown status," he said.


'He thought he was going to die'

Caravanner's ten minutes of terror in chainsaw attack

Chainsaw

By Dennis Amor

A COURT has heard how a 71-year-old man was subjected to ten minutes of terror at the hands of a chainsaw-wielding attacker in a Queensland caravan park.

Bundaberg District Court was told the man thought he was going to die after being knocked from his chair as he relaxed in his caravan annex on a bush site at Baffle Creek Caravan Park north of the city.

Crown Prosecutor Carla Ahern described how defendant Gregg Haywood picked up a nearby chainsaw and started it before holding it just inches away from the victim's arm and head as it revved.

"He felt he was going to die," she told Judge John Allen.

She said there were threats to break the terrified man's arms before he was punched in the face, causing bruising, swollen lips and bleeding from the nose and mouth.

Judge Allen said the victim had suffered "ten minutes of terror".

The motive for the attack was unclear and appeared to be senseless violence entirely unprovoked against an elderly and vulnerable victim, he added.

Haywood  ̶  said to have an extensive criminal record  ̶  was jailed for four and a half years but will be eligible for parole on March 10 next year because of time already served in custody. Have your say


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Natasha Fyles  'Vital we do everything we can'

New dollar-for-dollar grants scheme eases online bookings at NT parks

PLANNING a road trip in the Northern Territory is about to get easier with accommodation providers, including caravan parks, now eligible to apply for funding to implement online booking platforms. Parks can apply for grants of up to $2500 with a dollar for dollar contribution required. The Accommodation Book Now grant program has a funding pool of $75,000 and closes on December 1. Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Minister Natasha Fyles, pictured above, commented: "The drive market makes up approximately 40 percent of all visitors to the Territory, which means it's vital we do everything we can to make the experience as convenient as possible for guests. It's vital for accommodation businesses to be instantly bookable so they can meet customer expectations and maximise sales." Have your say


Newmarket Gardens   Time to move forward, say owners

Brisbane caravan park property under auctioneer's hammer

ONE of Queensland's most iconic and oldest tourist parks, which has pulled down the shutters, is auctioning cabins, caravans, a golf cart, ride-on mower and other items.  The property from Brisbane's Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park is being sold online through Lloyds Auctions. The park, just a stone's throw from the city centre, had offered more than 100 tourist sites for over 60 years. But owners Derek and Robyn Wright believed it was time they moved forward to the next chapter in their lives and potentially for the caravan park land to move forward as well.   Read more button


CHECK WEIGHT  Sixty percent on or over limit

Jeff helps solve the weighty problem of caravan safety

JEFF DeAth works hard to take the weight off the minds of many caravanners. His Newcastle-based mobile caravan weighing business CHECK WEIGHT has put more than 370 caravans and tow vehicle combinations on the scales since launching in NSW two years ago. And Mr DeAth has revealed that about 60 percent exceeded or were on the weight limit. He told Caravanning News that half the problems could have been "fairly easily" resolved by removing excess items or moving weight to or from the tow vehicle or caravan. Read more button


RETREAT RALLY CANCELLED AGAIN

Retreat Owners and Family group

A group gathering in happier times

THE fourth national Retreat Caravans Owners and Family Group rally planned for Barmera in South Australia this month has been called off. "Unfortunately, we had to cancel the event for the third time due to COVID-19 and border closures," organisers Lyn and Phil Deaves told Caravanning News. "We would like to thank everyone who has paid their deposits for their patience and understanding but the safety of all attendees is of the upmost importance." Previous rallies have raised more than $46,000 for the Cancer Council. "Every dollar that can be raised by the group as a whole helps someone or a family that needs all the help they can get during this period in their lives," Lyn and Phil said. "There are many members of the Retreat Caravans Family Group and Retreat Caravan Owners Club who have gone through this battle, with some unfortunately losing the battle." The rally has been rebooked for the first week in March next year. "Hopefully the event will be a bigger success than previous years in this ever changing world in which we now all live," the couple added. The rally was scheduled be held at the Riverlands Event Centre from October 16 to October 25.
Forty-six members of Queensland Retreat Caravan group will assemble at the Wondai Showgrounds from the November 1 to 8 for this year's third get-together, kicking off with a Melbourne Cup lunch on the second day. Have your say


CCIA logo   Nominations now open

Time to elect to CIAA board

NOMINATIONS are now open for people wanting to provide strategic direction for the nation's caravan industry. Each year, in accordance with its constitution, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia offers the opportunity for interested persons to join the board through an election process, voted for by member state caravanning associations. The CCIA has a board of nine and has a rotation requirement whereby approximately 50 percent members are subject to re-election on an annual basis. Read more button


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Wilckens and Heenan  'Very special part of the country'

G'Day Group buys up big in NT

THE G'Day Group, owners of iconic Northern Territory's Kings Canyon Resort and Glen Helen, has acquired the MacDonnell Range Holiday Park in Alice Springs and Shady Lane Tourist Park in Katherine, significantly increasing their Territory tourism holding. The group is the largest regional tourism accommodation provider in Australia, with more than 300 properties located in all states and territories. "For years we have been trying to grow our offering in the NT," chief executive Grant Wilckens said, adding that he was thrilled to have such "fantastic Territory properties" joining the group. "It is home to some of the best caravanning and camping country in Australia, and some of the best outdoor experiences to be found in the world. It's a very special part of the country." Read more button


Apollo'Generating strong demand'

Apollo well positioned to capitalise on tourism's recovery: CEO

APOLLO Tourism and Leisure, manufacturers of Winnebago motorhomes and Coromal and Windsor caravans, has reported an after-tax net financial year loss of $17.9 million compared to $61.2 million the previous year. In its newly released annual report, chief executive and managing director Luke Trouchet predicts a "light at the end of the tunnel" as COVID-related restrictions begin to ease. "I believe Apollo is well positioned to capitalise on the recovery in tourism activity," he said. The report believes that with record RV sales demand, a growing forward rental book and a lower permanent cost base, Apollo is well placed to benefit from the reopening of domestic and international borders and return to profitability. The company's revenue plunged 20 percent to $283.3 million during the year, mostly thanks to border closures. However, the company says that in periods where domestic borders were open it was able to generate strong demand, with domestic revenues "significantly exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels". Read more button


Justin Hales  'Driven by innovation and change'

Camplify weathers COVID
storm well: annual report

By Dennis Amor

CARAVAN and campervan sharing platform Camplify has reported strong financial results despite the pandemic. "As a business with a culture driven by innovation and change, Camplify has weathered the COVID storm well," chief executive and founder Justin Hales (pictured) writes in the company's annual report. The NSW-based company also has operations in Britain, Spain and New Zealand, but Australia remains its key market. The report shows that results for the 2020-2021 financial year saw a total gross transaction value of $29.6 million.


BIG4 sign  'Why wouldn't we?'

Apple Isle holiday park dishes out nearly 1000 free nights

THE Apple Isle's family-owned and operated BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park will be handing out nearly a thousand free nights next month. The Robinson family will open the doors of its award-winning park for fellow Tasmanians to spend 900 site nights and 58 accommodation nights. Peter Robinson said he was inspired by a campaign launched by harm-prevention charity RUOK? and wanted to contribute to the cause in some way. "This was the only thing I could think of and given accommodation is what we do, it seemed like a good fit," he explained. "Tasmanians deserve a break and we can help, so why wouldn't we?" The Robinsons have owned the BIG4 St Helens and BIG4 Ulverstone parks for seven years, playing an integral role in driving tourism to their relevant regions. Have your say


Boroma caravan  Get-together called off for second year

Border fears lead to cancellation
of Boroma Roamers' rally

ORGANISERS have called off this month's planned Boroma Roamers' rally at Casino in NSW due to travel restrictions. "Sadly, COVID has affected many people in many ways and we are sorry that this is the second year that our rally has had to be cancelled," they said. It appeared the Queensland-New South Wales border restrictions would not be relaxed in the near future. "This means that any Roamers from Queensland who travel to NSW would not be able to return," they explained in a message to members. "Some caravan parks are now demanding proof of vaccination against COVID before allowing entry. This would put added pressure on your conveners to ask attendees to comply with this rule." The organisers suggested that NSW Roamers wanting to attend a rally at Casino or some other venue should make contact. Have your say


Lyrics for caravan safety  'Pressing need for education'

CCA in tune with caravan safety
... and
provides lyrical advice

THERE is a pressing need for caravanners to be educated on their vehicles' ratings and masses, according to the Caravan Council of Australia. General manager and founder Colin Young has even composed catchy lyrics emphasising the necessity of staying safe. "It is quite obvious that the misunderstanding ‒ and the ignoring ‒ of caravan ratings and masses are a prime contributing factor in the number of serious problems on the road," he said. "Another prime contributing factor is the poor maintenance and preparation of many caravans, and sometimes their tow-vehicles, before commencing a trip." Read more button


Apple Tree Creek rest area  'Pit stop for many caravanners'

Bruce Hwy's Apple Tree Creek rest area set for major facelift

FEBRUARY next year will see the start of a major facelift of the Apple Tree Creek rest area and park on Queensland's busy Bruce Highway. Bundaberg Regional Council Parks and Gardens spokesperson Wayne Honor said the park was not only popular with local residents but was also a pit-stop for many caravanners and other travellers passing through the region. It already offers a new disability amenities block and sewage disposal facilities. He said the upgrade would include many new features to improve the area for both locals and travellers alike to enjoy. "Having these works completed means visitors will be able to relax and enjoy some time in the fresh, open air before starting up their journey on the road again," he told media. Work on the upgrade is expected to be completed by April. Have your say


CEO welcomes 'flexibility'

Australia's peak caravanning body welcomes partnership

AUSTRALIA'S peak body for the nation's caravan industry has formed a partnership with DLL. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said it welcomed the leading global vendor finance company to its National Industry Sponsor family. The association and DLL's Commercial Finance Business Unit would work together to bring awareness of DLL's floorplan financing solutions to RV and caravan manufacturers and dealers, it explained. Chief executive and managing director Luke Trouchet, pictured with DLL's Daniel Foster, said his company liked DLL's flexibility. "Rather than just helping us with some of our financing, the company has the ability to be that all-encompassing partner to us," he explained. Read more button


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LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR

Letter man

End of camping trial at Broome raises a few questions

HERE's my comment on last month's story on Broome ending its temporary camping trial.

What a lot of navel gazing!

Is the council going to continue its anti-competition stance by closing any op-stores because they compete with retailers
?

Or close the book exchange because it competes with the library?

Or caravan parks because they compete with hotels ect?

Maybe the council has an interest in a vanpark?

Competition is what makes free society what it is.

Brodie
.


It's a bit rich

SO the Apple Isle's Railton campsite may soon charge a fee.

I think $10 a night and no toilet is bit rich.

You don't mind a donation for some sort of facility because as Tasmanians we support these places.

It's all about food and fuel.

If it's a great spot, you stop and spend for few days for trips and probably have a pub meal.

You don't mind a donation for some sort of facility, maybe a $5 donation paid at the post office.

Garry Allen.