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'Happy to be hosting campers'
Qld's newest private campground in 20yrs ready to welcome guests
CLAIMED to be the first new private camping ground to open in Queensland for two decades, Ivory's Rock Caravan Park and Camping Grounds at Peak Crossing near Ipswich will soon be welcoming its first guests. Chairperson Joy Winnel said the facility would be happy to be hosting campers after the coronavirus crisis hammered the state's camping industry. "We are pleased to be offering a beautiful place for people to put up their tent or park their caravan and get out in nature again," she said. "We believe we are the newest private campground to open in Queensland in 20 years."
Witnesses urged to come forward
Cops appeal for help after man dies following assault at campground
HOMICIDE Squad detectives in Victoria are appealing for public help following the death of a caravanner. The 49-year-old man (pictured inset) died after being assaulted at the Toorongo Falls campground about 5km north-east of Noojee. Detective Inspector Tim Day said the assault appeared to be unprovoked and police have information that it was seen by a number of people. "We know that people witnessed the incident and those people will be able to assist us in identifying those responsible for the assault," he said. "More specifically, we'd like to speak to anyone who was at the campground over the weekend from June 19 to June 22."
Consumer watchdog says it would cut competition
may have to scupper plans
By Dennis Amor
PLANS by Caravanning
Queensland to offer a "loyalty program" to its members may have to be
Caravanners take to the road as travel restrictions ease
QUEENSLAND'S highways and byways have seen a dramatic rise in caravan traffic during the past week as COVID restrictions continue to be eased. In fact, there were more RVs than cars parked in one Bruce Highway town visited by Caravanning News. One local trader told us that the lifting of COVID travel restrictions was breathing new life back into the community. Meanwhile, caravan dealers are being swamped with inquiries from potential buyers as COVID travel restrictions ease. The Caravanning Industry Association of Australia described this as great news for the local manufacturing and retail markets, plus the tourism sector. "Recent weeks have shown a shift in people's behaviour," chief executive Stuart Lamont said. "Having been cooped up for months, Australians are now turning their attention to travelling within their own backyard." Caravanning Queensland chief executive Jason Plant was very buoyed by recent activity. "Since the gradual easing of restrictions in Queensland from early May, our retail members have reported a significant increase in retail inquiry and activity," he said. "This strengthened around the time of the Premier's announcement on the lifting of intrastate travel restrictions and continues to remain strong." Have your say
POLICE have charged a man involved in the death of a young boy who fell from a moving caravan in the Northern Territory. It is alleged the 31-year-old local man was towing a Roma caravan with a ute at Katherine and travelling with nine children. "A number of the children were unrestrained including four children travelling inside the caravan," police allege. "While in motion, the caravan door opened and the eight-year-old boy fell out onto the roadway, suffering critical injuries that resulted in his death." The man ‒ described by police as a family friend ‒ has been charged with drive motor vehicle causing death, and will appear in the Katherine Local Court on August 10. The Major Crash Investigation Unit, assisted by local detectives, continue to probe the incident. Detectives seized a white Mazda ute and the Roma caravan during their investigation. A GoFundMe campaign for the family raised over $9000 from 112 donors within the first 24 hours. It says: "Our beautiful boy was loved by so many in Katherine and in Kakadu. He was a warm and cheeky spirit who loved life and family, was devoted to fishing and loved his sport and starry nights." Have your say
Important for recovery plan
Qld backs tourism recovery by opening camping bookings for next year
CARAVANNERS and campers can now book most campsites in Queensland's national parks 12 months in advance to help support tourism and regional jobs. The decision to open the facilities was an important part of the state government's recovery plan Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs. Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said Queenslanders had done a great job in containing the spread of COVID-19, so it was decided to make it much easier for campers and caravan enthusiasts to plan their holidays over the next year.
'First taste of overnight freedom for months'
Surge in number of people heading to caravan parks
PEOPLE are again flocking to the nation's caravan and holiday parks as the coronavirus restrictions are eased. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia revealed there had been a "strong, sustainable surge" during the last week. "Over the weekend many Australians were once again able to explore our great country," the association said. "For many residents, this was the first taste of overnight freedom in months and fell over the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend in some states."
'We support and encourage Aussie spirit'
'Significant milestone' for Sunrise as it prepares to move into larger premises
AWARD-winning Queensland dealership Sunrise Caravans will relocate to larger premises next month. Director Steven Andonovski said the move from Burpengary to Burpengary East would be a "significant milestone" for the 10-year-old family-owned and Australian-proud business, which retails in three popular RV brands. They are Blue Sky, Sunrise and Montana caravans. "We support and encourage the Australian spirit by ensuring the brands we sell and stand behind are built by Australians for Australians," Mr Andonovski said. "The new facility will provide Sunrise Caravans with much-needed space to accommodate our growth and further support our diversification into new brands." It is expected that trading will begin at the new 1800sq ft premises in Eastern Service Road from July 1, with an official grand opening in September. Have your say
Crime prevention tips
Cops issue blueprint for keeping safe and warding off crooks during school holidays
QUEENSLAND police have issued a blueprint to help caravanners keep safe and for warding off crooks during the upcoming school holidays. They say now is the ideal time to check on how good your caravan or trailer tent security is. "Imagine having a well deserved holiday interrupted by a theft that could be preventable," Mackay's Sergeant Nigel Dalton said. "As with home security and any other vehicle security, some basic crime prevention tips are available to keep your caravan holiday incident free."
Gun could have been fired 3km away
Bullet found lodged in side of caravan
POLICE are investigating after a bullet was found lodged in the side of a caravan in WA. The .243 round was discovered after the caravan owner stayed at the Bridgetown Caravan Park in the state's south-west. No one was injured and it is thought the gun could have been fired as far as 3km away. (Photo: Bridgetown Police). Have your say
Gobsmacked at receiving OAM
Queen's Birthday honour for co-founder
By Dennis Amor
BIG4 co-founder Desmond Watts has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. Mr Watts has received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to the tourism accommodation sector. His career in the caravanning industry began when he built Ballarat's Welcome Stranger Holiday Park in the early 1970s. He and three other park owners put their heads together and launched BIG4 in 1979. The owner of BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park, Mr Watts has served on the BIG4 board, was an honorary chair from 1979 to 1984 and is a life member. He has been a member of Australia's peak body for the caravanning industry ‒ Caravan Industry Association of Australia ‒ for 20 years and was a councillor on Ballarat City Council from 1982 to 1983. He is also a member of VicParks. Mr Watts received Vic Parks' Legend Award in 2009 and the caravan industry's Eric Hayman Award for Excellence in 1993. He and wife Margaret own the BIG4 Melbourne Holiday Park in Coburg and BIG4 Renmark Holiday Park in South Australia. The former police officer was said to be "gobsmacked" at receiving the OAM.
Grey nomads outraged over new fees
Sydney tollways ruckus: MP's petition attracts over a thousand supporters
MORE than a thousand supporters have signed a petition organised by NSW's Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery calling for a fairer deal for caravanners using Sydney's tollways. Outraged caravanners came out with all guns blazing after toll operator Transurban consolidated its classification settings across all its roads in August. New charges meant grey nomads whose rigs exceeded 12.5m in length or whose rooftop airconditioners tipped them over 2.8m in height were slugged with higher Class B tolls normally meant for trucks. "It is impossible to believe that a car towing a caravan is considered to be the equivalent of a fully laden semi-trailer," Ms Hornery 9 (inset) said.
Holiday hotspots to be revitalised
COVID shackles loosened as camping, caravanning facilities receive boost
CAMPING and caravan holiday hotspots across Victoria are set to be revitalised just as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease. Caravanners and other RVers are already hitting the road in Victoria as the COVID-19 shackles are loosened, with camping and accommodation now permitted in some areas. "Now more than ever we're appreciating the value of the great outdoors and it's great to see the return of an affordable and well-established holiday tradition in Victoria." Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio said. Meanwhile, the state government has allocated $18.9 million to maintain and upgrade public visitor sites and infrastructure including recreation reserves, camping spots and picnic facilities.
Owners forced to 'jump through hoops'
Bundy's Turtle Sands holiday park takes development plans to court
THE owners of Turtle Sands Camping and Holiday Park at Bundaberg in Queensland have appealed to the Planning and Environment Court in a bid to get a development application approved. David and Jenny Baker have owned their park adjoining the redeveloped world famous Mon Repos turtle rookery for more than 20 years. But they said they are being forced to "jump through hoops" to have their own development plans ‒ submitted nearly a year ago ‒ approved. Their upgraded park would include caravan sites, glamping facilities, resort-style pool, playground, larger cabins and dormitory-style accommodation. Bundaberg Regional Council has referred their application to the state government because of alleged wetland protection problems. Have your say
Dust off tents and hook up caravans
way to take up camping
QUEENSLANDERS will be able to dust off their tents or hook up the caravan or camper trailer as camping grounds beside state-owned dams re-open. Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said re-opening camping grounds beside dams was part of the Stage 2 COVID-19 roadmap to easing restrictions. "Queenslanders can now travel to and camp at a range of state-owned dams, lakes and weirs such as far north Queensland's Tinaroo Dam or Lake Moogerah in the south-east," Dr Lynham said.
'We have not forgotten about you'
Distributor of suspect gas water heaters
CARAVANNERS who had potentially lethal gas water heaters fitted to their RVs will have to wait a little longer for a solution. Coast to Coast RV issued a nationwide recall of the popular heaters last November after fears they could produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide. And in a new message to owners, distributors Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure has asked them to continue being patient. "We would like to reassure all customers and registered consumers that we have not forgotten about you and are still working to deliver you a result as soon as possible," it said. Models affected are SW6PA, SW6DA, SW6DEA, SW4DEA, SW4DECA and SW6DECA. Have your say
'Get going to the outback'
Premier urges caravanners to hitch up and 'rediscover' Queensland
QUEENSLAND caravanners are now able to hit the road for unlimited travel including overnight stays throughout the entire state. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the easing of intrastate travel restrictions would "open Queensland for Queenslanders" and come well in time for the next school holidays. "From the Gold Coast to Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast to Gympie to Maryborough to Bundaberg, from Longreach to Mt Isa, to Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns, Queenslanders will now be able to rediscover their state, travelling for as many nights as they like," she said, urging travellers to hitch up their campers or trailers. "Get going to the outback. Now is your opportunity and actually stay overnight." The Premier stressed the easing of restrictions did not apply to biosecurity or restricted zones for indigenous communities, which will remain in place subject to a review in consultation with community members. Meanwhile, NSW's camping grounds and caravan parks have reopened.
'Dramatic increase' in bookings
Aspen holiday parks
to reopen in
INGENIA Communities Group will soon be reopening its holiday parks. In a message to shareholders, the ASX-listed company said announcements by the NSW and Queensland governments that parks would be able to reopen on June 1 and June 12 respectively were "positive" for its parks, which had been closed to holidaymakers because of the coronavirus crisis. "The group's holiday parks will now be open for the upcoming school holidays, with NSW parks also open for the June long weekend," Aspen said. "While the closure of the Queensland border is impacting on the group's Queensland parks, there has been a meaningful increase in forward booking and enquiries following these announcements." Chief executive Simon Owen said he was pleased to see restrictions being eased. "We had anticipated increased demand for affordable domestic travel and our team has been busy preparing our parks to reopen. We are seeing dramatic increase in website traffic, phone inquiries and online bookings in response to recent announcements." Have your say
Scam claim after man loses $18,000
Peak caravanning body warns buyers to beware of company
WOULD-BE caravan owners have been warned about a possible scam which has already cost one man $18,000. It comes after the buyer said he lost the money while attempting to buy a caravan online. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said it had been made aware of a WA business called Seven Stars Caravans which is offering second-hand caravans and RVs for sale on the internet at temptingly low prices. "We believe that Seven Stars Caravans is a scam and we have reported this business to the ACCC," it said.
Social distancing must be used
Parks' communal amenities blocks
COMMUNAL toilets at Victoria's caravan parks will be allowed to open from today, says VicParks. But the Department of Health and Human Services has advised that floor markings must be used to promote the 1.5-metre social distancing requirements. It said all toilets must be in working condition with soap provided and increased cleaning. VicParks has also confirmed that the DHHS has approved the use of playgrounds and swimming pools up to a maximum of 20 people each at any one time. "These facilities must be managed closely, including ensuring 1.5-metre and 4m2 social distancing measures are enforced in, on and around the pool and playground, and the personal hygiene and surface cleaning requirements are being met," it added. "Showers and change rooms at the pool site, however, must remain closed with guests to shower before arriving on the pool deck." Have your say
Funding essential, say mayor
Council welcomes government's $2 million for Tawonga park upgrade
VICTORIA'S Alpine Shire Council has welcomed news that the State Government will fund a $2.1 million upgrade at Tawonga Caravan Park. Located on the banks of the Kiewa River at the foot of Mt Bogong 300km north east of Melbourne, the 125-site park closed last month. Mayor Peter Roper said the funding was essential to reopen the park and would provide a valuable boost to the local economy. "This is fantastic news," he said.