THE Australian Caravan Club has submitted its own ideas to a
parliamentary body on how to improve things for travellers in the
Better roads, safety of RVers and an efficient communication system were
the core elements of its submission to the Joint Standing Committee on
It was delivered by the club's deputy chairman Tom Smith and Graeme Tree
from its Policy Advocacy and Town Support team and was in response to the
terms of reference for the Inquiry into Opportunities and Methods for
Stimulating the Tourism Industry in Northern Australia.
"As our members are major travellers around Australia and in northern
Australia ‒ having first-hand experience on many issues ‒ we were pleased
to have the opportunity to provide a submission to the inquiry," ACC
chairman Craig Humphrey said.
"Many parts of northern Australia are inaccessible to the RVer because of
road conditions and the lack of communications, catering for the traveller,
medical infrastructure and general remoteness.
“Our club applauds the Federal Government for taking the initiative of
looking at ways to develop opportunities to attract travellers to the
northern Australia region."
At the end of last year there there were over 740,000 registered caravans,
motorhomes, fifth wheelers and camper trailers in Australia.
"So us RVers can make quite a significant contribution to a region's
economy which affects business and employment opportunities," Mr Humphrey
"With data showing that on average the RV traveller spends over $100 a day
and that we have around 148,000 RVs on the road at any one time, this
multiplies out to RVers injecting almost $15 million daily into the
economy of the places where they are visiting.
in four key areas
"Added to this, the latest figures from Tourism Research Australia show
that 377,000 international tourists chose to have a caravan and camping
holiday in Australia in the past 12 months."
The ACC’s submission focuses on improvements required for travellers, and
more particularly the RV traveller, in four key areas.
The club identified and made recommendations relating to safety,
communication, RV support and infrastructure services and coordination of
On the issue of safety, the ACC recommended that planning for major roads
and rest and camping areas be much more coordinated across the various
jurisdictions in northern Australia.
“Major roads leading to the north must be developed and maintained to a
standard that attracts travellers," Mr Humphrey said.
"Planning the positioning of rest and camping areas in adjoining local
government areas must allow safe travelling distances and this important
for fatigue management."
The ACC also recommended that a centralised calendar be set up to maximise
attendance at local events so that adjacent towns do not try to attract
the same visitors.
"It must also be remembered that the self-contained, self-sufficient RV
traveller still has to buy food, undertake mechanical maintenance and
repairs, can develop health issues, requires clothing, water, dump points
and all the other necessities of life," Mr Humphrey said.
"Across northern Australia there is no uniform approach to development of
RV support services. This can particularly affect the experience of
international RV travellers who are now a growing sector of the market."
Another ACC recommendation was for an audit of current and planned
communication infrastructure over the next five years to allow coordinated
planning to begin "filling the gaps" in the 4G 'phone standard.
"Having the ability to check on family, both by the traveller and by those
at home, breaks the barrier of perceived isolation," he said.
"Apart from the safety and social aspects, the communication link also
allows those, who for business and work-related reasons would not be free
to travel, an opportunity to do that."