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Police probe alleged $1m fraud at Elite Caravans
By Dennis Amor
POLICE are probing an alleged $1 million-plus fraud at Victorian-based Elite Caravans. An email to members of its owners' club claims the money was channelled through an unauthorised bank account. Co-owner of Elite Caravans Adrian Cappola exclusively told Caravanning News today: "It was a very sophisticated fraud by a rogue employee. I can't comment too much at the moment because there is a police investigation underway and it involves a serious amount of money." He dismissed reports that his company, twice named as Caravan Builder of the Year, was in liquidation but admitted the case had put a "financial strain" on his company. "We are still trading and building caravans," he said. Have your say
Ill feeling between 'two tribes of road users'
Truckies claim some grey nomads are a danger on the road
Have your say
ROAD safety advocate and truckie Rod Hannifey believes
caravanners should pass a special test before being allowed to hitch up
and hit the road.
** AN online poll has busted the myth than many caravanners have little or no experience before hitting the road for the first time. The Caravaner's Forum survey showed only 3.6 percent had no towing experience when they bought their caravan, while 96.4 percent had some or considerable experience.
New business names registered
Lemon-aid for peak body's review
By Dennis Amor
AUSTRALIA'S peak body for the caravan and camping industry has registered two new business names ... each bearing the word 'lemon'. The Caravanning Industry Association of Australia now officially owns "Lemon Caravans" and Lemon Caravans Australia". It has also acquired the domain lemoncaravans.com.au. The somewhat strange move has triggered some lively discussion among mystified caravanners and on some caravanning forums, so Caravanning News decided to ask the association for an explanation. Chief executive Stuart Lamont commented: "I continue to be bemused by the level of interest in our organisation. Our internal strategies and activities are under constant review and will undertake a further examination through the induction process of the new office-bearers announced this week. This includes what we intend to do with the names you mention."
'We're still in business'
By Dennis Amor
VICTORIAN caravan manufacturer First Class Caravans says it is still in business. The assurance came from owner and director Luke Jurrjens after it was announced the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation had lodged a Federal Court application for First Class Caravans Pty Ltd to be wound up. The company's factory in Scammel Street was destroyed by fire in June last year, leaving members of the family-owned business devastated. Mr Jurrjens told Caravanning News that his father, who owned the company, then retired. "I took over the business and we had a small name change," he said. "We are still in operation and building caravans." And a newly posted message on the company's webpage announced: "First Class Caravans (AUST) Pty Ltd would like to advise all our customers that we are open for business. The business being liquidated is not linked to us." Have your say
Consumer watchdog gets tough
JAYCO FACING COURT ACTION
THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched Federal Court action against Australia's largest caravan and recreational vehicle manufacturer. The consumer watchdog alleges Jayco, which has captured around 50 percent of RV sales in Australia, breached Australian Consumer Law by its conduct towards four customers who bought defective Jayco caravans. The ACCC alleges that, between 2013 and 2015, Jayco acted "unconscionably" towards four customers by obstructing them from obtaining redress, such as a refund or replacement for their defective caravan. It claims that despite requests from the buyers for a refund or replacement, Jayco repeatedly told them their only remedy was yet another repair. "This understandably caused a lot of distress for the customers," chairman Rod Sims said. "Caravans are an expensive item, typically costing tens of thousands of dollars. People are entitled to expect that the caravan they purchase will be of acceptable quality and that they will be afforded an appropriate remedy under the ACL consumer guarantees if their caravan fails to meet this standard." Caravanning News contacted the office of Jayco's founder and owner Gerry Ryan, but he did not return our call. Meanwhile, the ACCC, supported by the Caravanning Industry Association of Victoria, is urging all caravan manufacturers to review their complaints handling processes to ensure they comply with the ACL consumer guarantees. Have your say
Fleetwood to review its RV business
FLEETWOOD has ordered a review of its recreational vehicles business. This follows news that the Perth-based manufacturer of Windsor and Coromal caravans has seen its rising sales come to a standstill. Managing director Brad Denison broke the news to shareholders at the company's annual general meeting. "The recovery in volume we saw in the caravan manufacturing business in 2017 (financial years), where revenue increased by 50 percent, has stalled in the first half of 2018 on the back of very unstable industry volume," he said.
Big spenders bring Xmas joy to Brisbane exhibitors
CARAVAN and camping enthusiasts went on a spending spree at Brisbane's Pre-Christmas Caravan and Camping Sale. Organised by Caravanning Queensland, the event drew record crowds with more than 16,000 people flowing through the gates and spending more than $30 million. This was an increase of nearly seven percent on previous years, the state's peak industry body reported. A hundred exhibitors showcased a whole range of products, including everything from $900 entry-level tents to $300,000 motorhomes. Caravanning Queensland general manager Jason Plant said having the sheer variety of products on offer contributed to the most successful event in years.
down to a tee
open up more destinations
Council change of heart over Xmas camping
CAMPERS will be able to enjoy Christmas at NSW's Danjera Dam camping area at Yalwal after all. Shoalhaven City Council has decided to postpone its decision to close the facility on December 4 pending a review. Meanwhile, the council is being urged to take immediate action to discourage ongoing illegal camping on Red Head Villages beaches and reserves.
restricted to small dumps
New board members
for peak body
takes over Queensland's 'hidden treasure'
New camp site a
Lakeview scoops a top honour
RICHMOND's Lakeview Caravan Park won top honours in the Outback Queensland Tourism Awards Caravan and Holiday Park category. Hundreds of tourism representatives in Cloncurry heard Outback Queensland Tourism Association general manager Peter Homan say all award winners had "gone above and beyond" to provide outstanding service. Sixteen categories saw awards given to a range of Outback tourism operators, supporters and government counterparts for their efforts over the past year.
Aspen snaps up
Darwin park for $19.5m
Councils blamed for toilet litter
A CONTRIBUTOR to a major online caravanners' chatroom has fired a broadside at campers ... but blames their disgusting toilet habits on Australia's local councils. "It is reminiscent of medieval London at some campsites with feces and paper everywhere," fumed the caravanner, who goes by the pseudonym SaltwaterBruce on the Caravaners Forum. "The crux of the matter comes back to the scanty provision of facilities by the councils that are one of the complainants about the spoiling of their country." He suggested there needed to be toilet facilities every hour of travelling time, especially on major roads ... and fines for "miscreants" who offend. "It's an indictment on humanity that there's so many maggots that mess these facilities," he said. Member Gandy offered an excuse, explaining: "From observation, some travellers going to and fro from Cape York are reluctant to use the long drop toilets provided, especially at night, as there may be spiders, snakes etc lurking in the facility. So they frequently use a cleared area such as a vacant camp site and don't bother to cover their deposits." Have your say
Inverloch holiday park
Green light for $35,000 trial RV-friendly site
Wollondilly Shire Council in NSW has given the thumbs up for a new $35,000 experimental RV-friendly site.Travellers will be able to roll into Warragamba to stay the night opposite the Boomerang Shelter at the Warragamba Recreation Reserve. Self-contained caravans, motorhomes and campervans can stay for free for a maximum of two nights.
Nomads make valuable contributions to national club
ACC branch celebrates 10th anniversary
WIDE Bay Burnett Nomads in Queensland has celebrated its tenth anniversary as a branch of the Australian Caravan Club. Branch president Daryl Smith said members were "very proud" of their contributions to ACC's success. "Our members joined the Wide Bay Burnett Nomads branch for many reasons. Some joined for the tremendous social events and musters and to share RV adventures and experiences with like-minded people," he explained. And ACC chairman Craig Humphrey commented: "Over the past decade, many members of the branch have made valuable contributions to our national club and have been a driving force in membership recruitment, growth, policy and club administration." Pictured celebrating the anniversary are (from left) WBBN outgoing president Dave Gatfield and founding members Ian Rehren, Jenny Rehren, John Hoffmann, Narelle Hoffmann, Fred Morris, Gail Gerchow, Bev Cornall and Ray Cornall (Photo: John Hoffman). Have your say
Regulator and council clash over camping
TASMANIA'S West Coast Council says it was "forced" to ban overnight camping at Queenstown Recreation Ground. Council-erected 'No Overnight Parking' signs now greet travellers arriving in caravans, motorhomes and other RVs. In a lengthy statement defending itself, the council revealed its action was in response to the Apple Isle's Economic Regulator ruling that it was providing free camping services in contravention of the island's competitive neutrality principles. "Council disagreed strongly with the ludicrous suggestion that just because we were emptying rubbish bins and maintaining toilet facilities at sites we were therefore providing free camping," West Coast general manager Dirk Dowling said.
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