to 32,000 monthly
For full list, click above
* 'Tooting' protest over
Queensland rest area fee ... 84,584
Caravan rollover blocks Kennedy Highway ...
65,034 people reached.
Trio arrested over caravan theft ... 31,865 people
Grey nomad dies after rig rolls in Queensland ... 19,120 people reached.
Uproar over $5 levy on dogs at caravan parks ...
17,576 people reached.
Fleetwood acquires Northern RV ...
Plea to nomads to help trace missing dog in WA ...
15,402 people reached.
Police warning to rodeo
'Vanners urged to beware and steer
clear of crooks out to make a buck
GREY nomads heading to
Mount Isa's famous rodeo were warned to be
vigilant with their belongings. Caravanners made up a big chunk
of the 25,000-plus fans who hit the north-west Queensland mining
city for the four-day 60th Anniversary Rodeo recently. And police
warned them to beware of crooks targeting recreational vehicles.
"Caravan parks are targeted by thieves who are aware of the easy
likelihood of finding unsecured vehicles, unlocked caravans and easy
access to valuables, including large amounts of cash," a spokesperson
said. "Some caravan owners will leave doors open to accommodate their
pets, allowing thieves to gain entry. Many more offences may go unreported
as travellers are eager to continue with their holiday plans." Travellers
should make a firm habit of locking vehicles every time they leave direct
sight of the doors.
Have your say
claim privacy could be compromised
HEALTH RECORDS SCHEME
Have your say
GREY nomads have given
the thumb's up to the Federal Government's
controversial online health records
Despite being a key priority in the National
Digital Health Strategy, suspicious Aussies in their tens of thousands
are reportedly opting
out of the much-criticised My Health Record system, claiming their privacy
could be compromised.
week it was ruled that police, Centrelink, the Taxation Office and other
government agencies will not be able to access the data without a court
Around 30,000 healthcare professional organisations
‒ many in rural areas
‒ are now
securely connected online, including general practices, hospitals,
pharmacies, diagnostic imaging and pathology practices.
The majority of grey nomads spoken to by Caravanning
News welcomed the scheme, dismissing concerns by cynics that delicate
and private information could become the target of hackers.
"If people want to go the all that trouble to find out about me then
they're very welcome," 69-year-old full-time traveller Michael McPherson
"But best do it late at night because my health
records are bound to send them to sleep."
And caravanner Des Delaney, 72, commented: "Surely my medical records
would have to be boring to others.
"I have no problem with the scheme. It can only be beneficial for us
travellers knowing that our medical records can easily be accessed by
doctors in out-of-the-way places."
Seventy-year-old Mandy Blowers from NSW, who is on a round-Australia trip
with 74-year-old husband Howard, thought it was a great idea
but might be a worry for drug addicts and people with diseases they would
rather not have people made aware of.
"But these would be extreme cases and 99.9 percent
of us wouldn't be too concerned about having our medical history
"We've been into several remote medical practices during our travels and
obviously they didn't know the first thing about us. Having our medical
records at their fingertips has got to be a good thing.
I'm all for the scheme."
A university study into problems facing grey nomads suffering chronic
illnesses recently found two emerging themes ... continuity of care while
travelling and a lack of specialists.
The researchers, according to a paper published in the Australian
Journal of Primary Health, said ageing travellers encountered a
"fragmented health system" and a lack of shared medical records.
Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network chief executive Melissa Neal thought
the most appealing feature of the My Health Record system was that it
travelled with you.
"So many older Australians don the title of a grey nomad and travel around
our country," she said.
"Having a My Health Record means no matter where in Australia, or even the
world, your important health information can be accessed with just a few
clicks on a computer."
Government has promised that data cannot be used for commercial and
non-health-related purposes, including direct marketing to consumers,
insurance assessments and eligibility for welfare benefits. Insurance
companies will not be able to access information.
strategy for Victoria' caravan industry
VICTORIA'S caravan industry has taken an
important step in improving the quality and commitment of its workforce.
The State's Caravan Industry Association's Jobs, Career & Training
Strategy has been officially launched by the State's
Minister for Industry and Employment, Ben
Carroll. It follows a survey last year which identified that more than 200
new jobs would be created in the $4.5 billion industry during the next two
years. Chief executive Rob Lucas (pictured) said
his association thought it pertinent to develop a strategy that would
further strengthen the Victorian caravan and camping industry to attract
and retain a "motivated, innovative and rewarded workforce".
honours its pioneers and leaders
COMPANIES and individuals who have contributed to the success of
Victoria's caravan industry have been honoured by the state's peak
caravanning and camping body. "We had much to celebrate this year as
we recognised another group of pioneers and industry leaders," Caravan
Industry Association Victoria chief executive Rob Lucas said. He was
speaking after the association's prestigious annual Hall of Fame Business
Awards and Gala event at Melbourne Crown Palladium, which carried a
Caravanning is Magic theme. Formed in1952, the association now represents
over 200 businesses in the state's caravan, camping and touring Industry.
acquires caravan plumbing supplier
FLEETWOOD, which has offloaded its loss-making Coromal and Windsor caravan building
activities to the global Apollo Tourism and Leisure company for $1m, has acquired
Melbourne-based caravan plumbing parts supplier NRV for $10m.
It will become part of Fleetwood's Camec operations, extending its reach
into the key Campbellfield RV manufacturing market in Melbourne which
services the growing imported caravan business. Fleetwood says there has
been a 30 percent increase in direct caravan imports to AustraIia
during the past year and all must be certified to Australian plumbing and
electrical standards. Welcoming NRV ‒ founded in 2006 ‒ to
Fleetwood, managing director and chief executive Brad Denison said it had
an excellent niche in its market. "NRV represents an exciting bolt-on
opportunity for our Camec business which will increase integration with
our important OEM customers in Melbourne," he said. NRV's founder
David Slorach will remain with his business which returned revenue
of $15.7m and EBIT of $4.7m in the last financial year.
Have your say
protest causes cyberspace stir
CLAIMS that grey nomads have launched a 'tooting' campaign over the
$10-a-night fee at a beachside rest area in far north Queensland have
caused quite a stir in cyberspace. They
triggered an astonishing avalanche of reaction after Caravanning News
broke the story on its Facebook page recently, with most people slamming
the idea. Figures show the posting reached over 84,000 people, attracting
154 reactions and 338 comments. It was claimed on a major online
caravanners' forum that grey nomads in "RVs of all sorts" were tooting
their horns as they drove through the nearby township of Carmila Beach to
make locals aware of just how many travellers were now driving on by.
'An accident waiting to
UHF radios a burning issue
THERE'S a new call for both towing mirrors and UHF radios to be compulsory
for vehicles towing caravans. It comes from a caravanner who spotted
smoke billowing from under an oncoming caravan travelling at an estimated
90km/hr on Queensland's Bruce Highway near Tully. He described how he
desperately tried contacting the seemingly unaware traveller on his two-way radio but
without success. "After we had passed I was watching him in my mirrors,"
he told Caravanning News. "There was no sign of him stopping and I
have no idea how the whole thing finished up. It looked like either his
wheel was coming off or he had broken his axle. Either way, it was an
accident waiting to happen." He said he could smell burning rubber for
some distance after passing the caravan.
Have your say
new website a mine of information
RESPECTED independent RV author Collyn Rivers has launched a new website.
His latest site, RV Books,
includes a wealth of free articles and information on general subjects
including buying a new RV, choosing a tow vehicle, reversing a caravan and
RV solar, battery and fridge basics. It also carries a range of technical
articles of interest to caravan owners. Collyn founded the worldwide
electronics publication Electronics Today International as well as
over 20 other publications in electronics, computing, music and
telecommunications. He was technology editor of The Bulletin and
wrote the Federal Government's Guide to Information Technology. He
is also is a leading authority on caravan stability and RV suspension and
Have your say
set to focus on Territory's iconic sights
TWO lucky families will embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey next
month to combine adventure and education, thanks to Australia's peak
caravanning body. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has
joined forces with Tourism Central Australia, Apollo Motorhomes and Ted's
Cameras to create a "real-life classroom" competition. It is open to
families with children aged between five and 13, who will experience some
of the nation's most iconic sights in the Northern Territory.
be slow to observe new road rule
CARAVANNERS have been warned of a new road rule in NSW which could land
them with a whopping $448 fine if ignored. They
will also cop three demerit points. After September 1 all drivers must
reduce their speed to 40km/h when passing stationary police, ambulance and
fire vehicles with flashing red and blue lights. The new rule will be
trialled for 12 months. It is being introduced as extra protection for all
emergency workers and volunteers attending crashes and other incidents.
Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia already have a similar
rule, though SA requires drivers to drop their speed to 25km/h.
Have your say
Out with the old, in with the new
Work finally begins on new slides
SMALL area of the award-winning North Star
Holiday Resort at Hastings Point in NSW has been turned into a
construction site. It's out with the old and in
with the new as work begins on the award-winning tourist park's new
ultra-modern double waterslides. But it was a long, costly and stressful
fight for owners Ian and wife Diana Beadel to get approval after local
residents attempted to block the development, claiming it would generate
more noise and impact surrounding fauna. The Beadels' legal bills were
around $355,000 before they finally received the go-head. The new
slides will replace those installed 20 years ago.
"Construction has commenced and it's all systems go," Ian and Diana said.
"Every single minute of the wait will be worth it. No doubt this new
facility will help us remain competitive for at least the next 20 years."
Have your say
well versed on avoiding crashes
THE Caravan Council of Australia is
alarmed at the rising number of road crashes involving recreational
vehicles. General manager and founder Colin
Young said the caravan industry was being "badly tarnished" by continual
reports of serious accidents involving caravans. For every major accident
involving a rollover, the CCA receives many calls from caravanners who
have had frightening incidents involving severe swaying or jackknifing,"
he said. Mr Young has revealed how caravanners can become well versed in
staying safe on our roads.
RVers set for
whale of a time
CARAVANNERS and other RVers are set for a whale of a time in WA this
spring. Global Gypsies is organising an escorted
convoy of recreational vehicles along the state's scenic southwest coast
in search of the marine mammals. The 12-day tour beginning September 9
will be led by accredited Eco-Guide Jeremy Perks and his partner Jan
Barrie. Beginning in Esperance and ending in Albany, the safari will
include Duke of Orleans Bay, Esperance, Cape le Grand, Lucky Bay, Bremer
Bay, Point Anne, Hopetoun, Cheynes Beach, Albany and more. The adventure
will be self-catering and is a joint venture with George Day Caravans.
Have your say
Jetty park sells for $5m
A CARAVAN park on Queensland's Sunshine Coast which
derived its name from World War II operations has been snapped up by
Sydney investors. The private syndicate has
bought the 74-site Military Jetty Caravan Park at Golden Beach in
Caloundra for $5.2 million. The waterfront property was advertised for
sale last year, but there was an outcry when a sign (see photograph) was
erected saying it had approval for development. It was said to be "under
contract" but was suddenly taken off the market without explanation. The
new owners, who have not been named, have said they will continue to
operate and improve the park, which has approval for 27 new townhouses.
The park, which reportedly has an annual income of around $300,000, opened
as a camping area in the early 1950s and took its name from the jetty
opposite which had been used for military operations during the Second
Have your say
leaders urged to leave comfort zones
THE Caravan Industry Association of Australia has praised younger
members of the industry. But Future Leaders Committee chairman Michael
McIvor (pictured) has urged them to occasionally "step outside their
comfort zones" to take risks so they can "grow along with our fantastic
industry". He believed the "commitment and energy" of the youngsters
should be harnessed and encouraged for the industry to remain relevant and
contemporary, with their ideas integrated into the industry's thinking.
MP whips grey
nomads for wasting water
A SOUTH Australian MP has blasted thoughtless grey nomads for using
precious water in drought-affected towns ... to wash their vehicles.
MP for Grey in South Australia and Government Whip Rowan Ramsey said some
locals were outraged over the blatant misuse of the valuable resource by
caravanners and other travellers. "Locals have been alarmed at the lack of
understanding of how precious water is in the outback when they see
tourists hook their hoses up to their only drinking supply and wash their
vehicles," the ex-farmer told media.
Have your say
'Significant safety risk'
Fined for illegally
solar panel and gas bottle
RECENT traffic stop by police in South Australia has sparked a warning to
caravanners and campers. Grey nomad Bert Fletcher told Caravanning
News he spotted these photographs on a police website and suggested we
share it with others thinking of modifying their tow vehicle. A
56-year-old driver of a Toyota 4WD copped an on-the-spot fine of $752
when he was stopped at Belair for having "potentially dangerous"
modifications to the vehicle. Not only did he have a solar panel fitted to
the bonnet and a gas cylinder attached to the spare tyre holder at the
rear, but the front number plate had been cut in two and the sections
mounted on either side of a winch. "These illegal additions create a
significant safety risk in the event of a collision," Sergeant David
Williams of the Road Policing Section said.
Have your say
company hit with $12,600 penalty
CAMPERVAN and motorhome rental business
Cruisin Motorhomes has been slapped with $12,600
penalty after the ACCC issued an infringement notice for an alleged breach
of the excessive payment surcharge laws. The
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission claimed the company, which
has branches in Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns, charged
Visa and MasterCard customers a two percent surcharge, despite processing
costs ranging from 0.41 to 1.48 per-cent. The ban on excessive surcharges
came into effect for all businesses on September 1 last year.
cry foul over car wash decision
RESIDENTS at Queenland's
Kin Kora Caravan and Residential Home Park in Gladstone have lost
their battle to block plans for an adjoining car wash facility. The
local regional council has approved the development, despite receiving
over 50 objections. But it has told the CQ Wolves Football Club that the
public car wash in Olsen Avenue can only operate between 7am and 8.30pm.
While park residents were reported to be disappointed with the decision,
football club president Brian Niven said its members
were extremely happy.
Have your say
Isle mayor wants fairer deal for nomads
HOBART'S Lord Mayor Ron Christie is
continuing his battle to get a fairer deal for grey nomads. He is
anxious to turn the Apple Isle's capital into an RV-friendly destination
by providing caravanners and other travellers with overnight camping
facilities and daytime parking at the historic 9ha Macquarie Point
adjoining the city's docks and waterfront. He has
written to the State Government seeking support for his idea.
Caravanning News readers have welcomed the plan, describing it as a
"great idea". Pamela Rowley thought free camping would help enormously,
pointing out: "It already costs enough getting there on the ferry."
Submissions to Hobart's draft transport strategy,
designed to address current and future transport needs,
have now closed. The strategy suggests the
council could better manage caravans, campervans and other RVs arriving in
Have your say
camping areas on the agenda
COUNCILLORS at Shellharbour in the Illawarra region of New South Wales
have backed their mayor's idea of providing more facilities for grey
nomads. At a recent council meeting they
unanimously endorsed Mayor Marianne Saliba's motion calling for "seasonal
camping areas". Council staff will now prepare a report on all possible
open space and sports fields within walking distance of Shellharbour town
centres. The 58-year-old mother-of-four, herself a part-time grey nomad,
cottoned on to the idea after touring in her RV. "I travel around
different states when I have a little bit of time and have discovered some
places that do this really well," she said. "I'd like to look at us
becoming an RV-friendly community, because what all this does is bring
people to our city." The report will contain information on what is
required to provide the camping areas, including dump points, zoning,
planning requirements and possible financial implications for local
Have your say
to help struggling farmers
CARAVANNERS and other travellers are being
asked to support farmers struggling to survive drought
conditions in NSW. The two-day Inverell Wyoming
Round-Up will be staged at Mount Russell from September 29 and feature
live music on the Woolshed stage. Secretary Sharyn Mills told
Caravanning News there was plenty of room for RVs, big and small. Grey
nomads were welcome to sell any items from their site for free but could
reserve a market stall for $15. "There are no powered sites, only bush
camping ones," she explained. "Toilets and water are available but no
showers ... great for the self sufficient campers." Camping fees for the
two days are $10 per person but free for children 12 years and under. "We
are a not-for-profit association and every dollar raised will be going to
the farmers via the Buy a Bale program through Rural Aid," Ms Mills said.
Have your say
awarded $19,000 after sacking
THE Fair Work Commission has ordered Two Shores Holiday Village at The
Entrance in NSW to pay a former casual handyman nearly $19,000 for unfair
dismissal. The Commission was told that
62-year-old Anthony Morley had looked after the park's gardens and
performed general maintenance since 2012. He was given his marching orders
by owner Raymond Smith after a dispute over repairing a faulty sprinkler
system which was causing plants to die.
Work begins on
new 169-site resort
WORK has started on the new River Myall Holiday Resort in Bulahdelah in
NSW. The first sod has been turned in a project
which will yield a new holiday resort with 169 caravan and camping sites.
Developers Gary and Kim Ekert told Caravanning News the resort is
being built in two stages, with the first hopefully being ready for
business this time next year ... weather permitting. It comprises 70 fully
serviced sites, five cabins, amenities block, pool, tennis court,
playground, camp kitchen and recreation room. The second stage will
provide another 99 powered sites.
Have your say
winning battle against illegal camping
CARAVANNERS and other travellers are finally getting the message in far
north Queensland ... illegal camping will not be tolerated.
Douglas Shire Council says its new RV Strategy is already paying
dividends by drastically reducing the number of visitors overnighting in
non-licensed caravan parks or camping grounds. Reports say that council
officers inspecting beaches, parks and council reserves in the region have
dealt with only 42 cases of illegal camping compared to 177 between May
and July last year. Offenders can be slapped with a $261 fine. Several
recommendations from the RV Strategy have already been implemented,
including installing clear 'No Camping' signs, multilingual leaflets and
signage, liaising with campervan rental companies about camping
regulations and installing bollards and boom gates.
Have your say
continues amid Salt Creek Roadhouse protest
OWNER Adam Stewart has closed his Salt Creek
Roadhouse on the Princes Highway in South Australia in protest against
alleged government mismanagement of his region, the Coorong.
But he has made sure grey nomads will not be too seriously affected ...
the caravan park adjacent to his roadhouse will remain open for camping
throughout the closure. "I have chosen to do this to make a statement to
the powers that be that Salt Creek is an important little area and that
council, highways and the National Parks Department can't go on
mismanaging the region," he says on his Facebook page. "Salt Creek is a
very important half-way break, tourist destination, camping, fishing and
4x4 area with a strong indigenous culture that generates tens of millions
of dollars into this state's economy." His roadhouse will reopen on
Have your say
adds 23rd park to growing network
THE NRMA has bought the BIG4 Capricorn Palms Holiday Park at the gateway
to Queensland's iconic Capricorn Coast. Situated just outside of
Yeppoon on Mulambin Beach, it has been renamed the NRMA Capricorn Yeppoon
Holiday Park. The purchase brings the number of NRMA branded parks and
resorts to 23, with further expansion expected in coming months. "Holiday
parks are the cornerstone of the quintessential Australian driving holiday
and the NRMA’s expansion in the industry is a tangible way for us to
safeguard this wonderful tradition for future generations," NRMA Parks and
Resorts chief executive Paul Davies said.
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Time to take
closer look at rising number
ALMOST daily we hear about caravans being involved in
rollovers and jackknifing on our highways.
Very often no other vehicles are involved in the
unfortunate incidents which cause so much grief for the caravanners
Surely it's time someone took a close look at
what is causing them so something can be done to prevent them.
I can never find statistics on caravan accidents and
what percentage of mishaps they feature in, but I'm sure that if
anybody took the trouble to find out then we would be quite alarmed
at the findings.
I heard someone on my UHF radio suggest that people
towing caravans were too heavy on the brakes, particularly when
Maybe so, particularly as caravans get heavier and
heavier because many grey nomads are choosing to buy bigger and
bigger models to cope with their 'home comforts'.
And very often the tow vehicle is quite unsuitable.
But whatever the cause, something really needs to be
done, if only for the safety of other road users.
More caravanners travel without pets
your story on the newly re-opened Mount Whaleback caravan park's
ban on pets (see story here)
I would like to make the point that there are still a lot more
caravanners travelling without pets.