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

October 2017


Caravanner on dirt road

Caravanning in the north

Call for better communications, roads and safety

Club delivers its own ideas
on how to improve things
for RVers in the north

Have your say

THE Australian Caravan Club has submitted its own ideas to a parliamentary body on how to improve things for travellers in the country's north.

Better roads, safety of RVers and an efficient communication system were the core elements of its submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia.

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 said.

"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.

Submission focuses
on improvements
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 local events.

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."


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the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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