'draconian' measures by states and territory
'Heartbreak and confusion' as the
killer virus continues to spread: CIAA
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THE past 24
hours have been "heartbreaking and confusing"
for many caravan parks operators, guests and the RV travelling community,
according to the caravan industry's peak body.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said Prime Minister Scott
Morrison had indicated that the discretion for closing caravan parks and
camping grounds due to the COVID-19 crisis rested with state
and territory governments.
But, it claimed, this had resulted in several of them
implementing "draconian measures" leading to the forced closure of caravan
parks and campgrounds in several states, except for a small range of
"Ourselves, in close consultation with each state association, are working
hard to change government definitions to allow the best possible outcome
for industry businesses in what continues to be unprecedented times," the
It has now published the current status of announcements made regarding
caravan parks in various states from March 25, but stresses the
information is subject to change.
New South Wales:
Caravan parks and camping grounds are to remain closed except to permanent
residents and their visitors and people who have no other place of
Caravan parks remain open but all campgrounds in national parks and
reserves remain closed.
Caravan parks remain open for all guests but all camping areas in national
parks, state forests and recreational facilities on state-owned land must
Caravan parks are to remain closed except to serve residents and site
tenants as well as those who either do not have a permanent place of
residence. All interstate and international tourists must leave Tasmania
by Sunday, March 29.
Caravan and camping parks are to remain closed except to people who live
their permanently or if they are providing interim abode where the primary
residence is not available. All non-commercial caravan parks and camping
grounds in national parks and state-owned land are to close.
At time of this communication, caravan parks remain open in South
Australia and Western Australia.
The association said measures put in place by state governments, whilst
logical from a broad perspective in terms of discouraging Australians from
undertaking short-term holidays as we lead into the Easter period, has
jeopardised the safety of tens of thousands of permanent residents, and
the estimated 75,000 road travellers who are now trying to cross borders
to get home, and to the communities that these travellers will transit
It warned of:
* Road safety issues as people 'panic drive through the night or rest on
the side of the road because they have no means to stay and rest in a
* The forced eviction of the elderly and vulnerable people into
communities leading to the potential for homelessness as caravan parks
close their operations due to lack of clarity regarding who can remain
open and the threat of enforcement for non-compliance. For many parks, the
loss of short-term visitors and workers is making it financially not
viable to keep their parks open for permanent residents.
* Pushing people to travel through regional communities across the country
to go home as opposed to allowing them to bunker down in commercial
accommodation, thus increasing the potential to spread COVID-19 further.
* Inhibiting caravan parks to provide regional community support in terms
of providing accommodation for health staff (hero accommodation) or
provide regional health quarantine capacity. Fixed-roof accommodation in
caravan parks provided more social distancing measures than other forms of
accommodation as they don't have shared walls and are fully
* Confusion for RV travellers who are trying to go home and are now
physically stuck due to border closures and the need to self-isolate for
14 days every time they cross a border. However, are not able to use a
caravan park as in many states as they are now closed.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said it was in no way
advocating for Australians to go travelling or to undertake holidays.
"Australians must holiday in their homes this year," it said.
"However, it remains our position that caravan parks must be given the
opportunity to remain open to provide essential services to residents,
communities and those essential travellers required to work away from
"At a minimum, and in line with policy regarding the operation of hotels
and motels, roofed accommodation with the provision of self-contained
amenities should be able to remain operational for transiting and the
essential working population.
"We are working closely with state associations to advocate strongly
regarding this position to federal and state government to ensure that the
measures that are implemented to ensure the health and safety of
Australians, don't lead to the creation of additional health or social
crises in regional communities.
"Urgent clarity is also being sought by state associations regarding
essential workers and their ability to continue to reside in caravan
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