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August 2018

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AUG 30:
Caravan & Camping Industry Association NSW today announced it will take over the Canberra Home & Leisure Show from 2019 onwards.

Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.


* 'Tooting' protest over Queensland rest area fee ... 84,584 people reached.

* Caravan rollover blocks Kennedy Highway ... 65,034 people reached.

* Trio arrested over caravan theft ... 31,865 people reached

* 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 ... 16,037 people reached.

* Plea to nomads to help trace missing dog in WA ... 15,402 people reached.


Mount Isa rodeo

Police warning to rodeo visitors

'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. Comment bubble Have your say

Opponents claim privacy could be compromised


By Dennis Amor
Have your say

GREY nomads have given the thumb's up to the Federal Government's controversial online health records scheme.

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.

But this 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 order.

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 said.

"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 available.

"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."

The 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.

Rob LucasNew 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". More button

Victorian caravan industry awardsIndustry 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.
Read more button

NRVFleetwood 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. Comment bubblee Have your say

Carmila Beach rest areaTooting 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. Read More button

Smoking caravan

'An accident waiting to happen'

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. Comment Bubble Have your say

Collyn RiversCollyn's 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 electrical systems. Have your say

Kids focus on iconic NT sightsFamilies 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. More button

40km/h signDon't 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. Comment bubble Have your say

North Star caravan  park waterslides construction begins

Out with the old, in with the new

Work finally begins on new slides

A 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." Comment bubble Have your say

Caravan smashBecoming 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. Read More button

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. Comment bubble Have your say

Military Jetty Caravan Park signMilitary 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 World War. Comment Bubble Have your say

Future Leaders Committee chairman Michael McIvorFuture 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. Read More button

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. Comment bubble Have your say

Solar panel and gas cylinder illegally mounted  on 4WD

'Significant safety risk'

Fined for illegally mounted
 solar panel and gas bottle

A 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

Cruisin MotorhomesHire 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. Read More button

Park residents 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. Comment bubble Have your say

HobartApple 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 the city. Comment Bubble Have your say

Mayor Marianne SalibaSeasonal 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 caravan parks. Comment bubble Have your say

Caravanners urged 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. Comment bubble Have your say

Two Shores Holiday VillageHandyman 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. Read More button

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. Comment bubble Have your say

No Camping signCouncil 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. Comment Bubble Have your say

Camping 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 September 1. Comment bubble Have your say

BIG4 Capricorn Yepoon Holiday ParkNRMA 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. Read More button

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Time to take closer look at rising number
of rollovers

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 themselves.

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 going downhill.

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.

Alexander Baker.

More caravanners travel without pets

REGARDING 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.

Rob Ford.