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MARCH 2021
 


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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

MARCH 31:
Council-owned caravan parks on the Queensland's Gold and Sunshine coasts have reportedly been advised to refuse requests for entry from anyone in Greater Brisbane during the current COVID lockdown period.

MARCH 31:
Brisbane-based Apollo Tourism and Leisure shares opened at a 2021-low of $0.265 on the Australian Stock Exchange today.

MARCH 31:
Victorians snapped up 50,000 Regional Travel Vouchers in just over three minutes yesterday. The $200 vouchers are for a minimum two-night stay in accommodation including caravan parks, campgrounds.

 
 

* Cops shocked over number of speeding caravanners ... 25,671 people reached.

* SA Police hunt caravan thieves ... 24,606 people reached.

* Dometic fridge recall ... 23,922 people reached.

* 'Scumbag' crook makes off with caravan ... 11,654 people reached.

* Zac Efron living in Lotus luxury in desert ... 9629 people reached.

* Truck Friendly safety program ... 7253 people reached.

MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Cops shocked at lead-footed caravanners

I READ in the last edition about the cops being shocked over lead-footed caravanners.

Well all I can say is 'what is new?'.

We have experienced such behaviour from single vehicles to camper trailers to huge dual-axle caravan rigs towed by F350s for a couple of decades at least.

Showers of rocks thrown up as they pass with NO consideration for other road users.

Fine them AND confiscate their rigs for ever.

Ian.

Tow worry

I often wonder about the new 'COVID caravan purchasers' who have never towed in their lifetime.

Chris Evans.

Price signs

WHEN driving down the road I would appreciate caravan parks putting their pricing on a board out the front.

If they offer low-cost camping for people who do not want power or pool or bathroom facilities, advertise that fact.

If they offer full facilities as well, let us know the price.

If parks are competing with free/low cost camps in the area it would make sense to advertise.

Leonie.

Standards

SO manufacturers have copped a pounding from the CCA (see story in last edition).

I have had many 'vans custom made and second hand, and have found many obvious careless and corner cutting processes.

I have had a manufacturer supply the wrong chassis/different tyre size or brand etc from the display to save money, hoping no one notices.

A minimum quality standard needs to met to be allowed to operate.

As the car industry kept updating the quality standards, so should have the caravan industry.

I have managed quality standards from vehicles to EPA products and cannot break into the industry ... and not for trying.

Initially it was price-driven but now renumeration is not as important ... I just love the caravanning life and all it entails.

Darren Hanna.




 

Dog in chopper

    'They thought they'd be okay'

Chopper airlifts stranded campers and dogs from flooded NSW campsite

FOUR campers and two dogs were airlifted from a flooded campground near Moree in NSW. The rescue helicopter crew was tasked to the area, west of Pallamallawa, by the NSW State Emergency Service. A man and woman, who were camping together, and two men who were unknown to each other, raised the alarm after floodwater rose significantly overnight. "They knew it was raining and knew it was flooding, but had discussed the situation and thought they'd be okay," said one of the rescuers. Photos: LifeFlight  Read more button


Weather conditions improving

Grey nomads breathe sigh of
relief as floodwaters subside

GREY nomads were breathing a sigh of relief after news that the worst of the Big Wet was over, with weather conditions improving in some areas of NSW and Queensland. Flood levels were reported to be falling in many areas after scores of caravan parks in NSW went under, and some areas were bathed in sunshine as conditions improved. The Bureau of Meteorology predicted "quite a few" dry days with no significant rain for most of NSW. Southern Queensland was beginning a big clean-up after days of extreme weather. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged people to take care and stay out of floodwaters as the mammoth recovery effort continues. "The currents are very strong and unpredictable flows will continue to occur in communities which haven't seen this amount of rainfall for up to 50 for a hundred years," she said. Read more button


'Being vigilant will save time, money and disappointment'

GOVERNMENT WARNS OF CARAVAN SCAMS

caravan scamsMORE and more heartless fraudsters are rearing their ugly heads and ripping off would-be caravan owners as COVID restrictions are eased, warns a state government.

The news comes as people wanting to shake off the virus blues create a boom in caravan sales, particularly second hand recreational vehicles.

The Victoria State Government has now issued an urgent warning to people planning a caravan holiday to be vigilant after a surge in cunning scams.

Consumer Affairs Victoria reports having received 17 complaints of swindles since last October, compared with just two in 2019.

Fraudsters are advertising bargain-priced caravans online, then making excuses Ė or taking advantage of lockdown limitations Ė to convince buyers not to view the RV in person, encouraging them to make their purchase 'sight unseen'.

They are then persuaded to deposit money into a bank account, with promises they will be able to collect the caravan or that it will be delivered to them.

After the buyer makes the deposit, the scammer disappears into thin air ... and the product is never received.

Victoria's Consumer Affairs Minister Melissa Horne said it was a great time to plan a holiday in the state.

"However, if you're buying a caravan, make sure your wheels are the real deal," she urged bargain hunters.

* Meanwhile, NT Consumer Affairs is warning people about a website ‒ EM-Caravans.com.au ‒ which purports to be a business selling second-hand caravans and mobile homes at temptingly low prices.  Read more button


Kui-ad


lots of caravansFocus on road safety

Caravan industry heading for best Easter on record, says peak body

CARAVANNING and camping in Australia is heading for its biggest and most successful Easter ever. That is the prediction of the industry's peak body, the Caravanning Industry Association of Australia. Television's A Current Affair recently aired a feature on Aussies making plans to hit the wide open road to explore the amazing experiences on offer. "In particular the uptake of young families and couples who are trying it out for the first time after realising what they may have previously taken for granted prior to the pandemic," the association said. CIAA has also been hard at work with media relating to road safety. "Over coming weeks you will also see media activity relating to safety in caravan parks. It is a timely reminder as we head into Easter to be ever present both in terms of safety on the road and at camp." The association also warned people looking to buy a caravan or upgrade their existing RV to be careful to avoid potential scammers. Have your say


Gold Coast RV Expo  Exhibitors generate record sales

Record RV sales at Gold Coast expo welcome news for tourism providers

CARAVANNING Queensland has set a new record for the largest caravanning, camping and outdoor expo on the Gold Coast. With almost 20,000 enthusiasts flocking through the gates of Metricon Stadium, attendance at the recent Letís Go Gold Coast Caravan and Outdoor Expo was up by 30 percent year-on-year. More than 130 exhibitors displayed over 500 recreational vehicles. Caravanning Queensland chief executive Jason Plant said many exhibitors had generated record sales, proving the appeal of caravanning was continuing to gain popularity ... welcome news for Queensland tourism providers. Read more button


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TuncurryLocals to have their say

Worried community given more time
to comment on campground plan

A COMMUNITY on NSW's Mid North Coast has been given more time to comment on plans for an official campground at the local sports club. MidCoast Council said it will now accept comments from concerned citizens until 30 March to allow locals to have their say. Tuncurry Sporties Club wants to create an official campground for self-contained RVs and trailers on land around the existing club facility.  


Crooks cut off trailer lock

SA Police appeal for information on caravan theft

POLICE in South Australia are hunting thieves who made off with a caravan from Walkley Heights. They have now appealed for help from the public. The crooks struck at about 5.30am on March 2, cutting a trailer lock from the cream 1987 Windsor Windcheater pop-top caravan, TKP621, parked on the driveway of a house. CCTV captured a white 4WD towing the caravan from the area. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the caravan is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au  Have your say


Caravans'Some very serious doubts'

COVID leaves would-be caravanners with a dilemma ... rent or buy?

WOULD-BE caravanners have been left with "some very serious doubts" over whether to hit the road or not ... thanks to the COVID pandemic. The Caravan Council of Australia says it has received numerous calls and emails from nervous buyers worried about "the comings and goings" of factory workers and severe shortages of components and materials. "Clearly, a lot of possible customers are having second thoughts about buying new caravans and are considering the options of buying a used 'van, or more likely renting a 'van each time they plan on taking a vacation," general manager Colin Young said. Read more button


Boroma caravans  'Keeping the name alive'

Mistake forces Boroma fans to seek new venue for annual get-together

A SLIP-UP has forced the Boroma Roamers caravan club to change the venue of its annual get-together. It seems last December's booking with Alstone Showgrounds in NSW went unrecorded and was only discovered when the club recently made contact to confirm. The popular gathering has now been switched to the BIG4 Casino holiday park from October 11 to 18. Queensland-based Boroma, once regarded as the Rolls Royce of caravans, shocked the industry when it pulled down the shutters in 2008 following a global economic crisis. But a group of enthusiasts continue to keep the name of the manufacturer of luxury caravans alive. Have your say


Barra centre'Best in Australia'

Grey nomad gongs recognise Barra centre and Qld caravan parks

GREY nomads are flocking to the Barramundi Discovery Centre & Hatchery Karumba on Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria. In fact, the attraction is so popular it has been named among the best in Australia for mature-age visitors. It scooped a double accolade at the Grey Nomad Awards on the Sunshine Coast, taking out the Best of the Best Grey Nomad Award after winning the highly coveted Best Grey Nomad Attraction or Tour category earlier in the evening. Caravan parks all over the state were also recognised. Read more button


Kevin Anderson'Seek legal advice'

Take extra care when setting up home in a caravan park: Minister

NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson today warned people to take extra care when considering setting up their permanent home in a caravan park. It comes after this morning's announcement that the NSW Court of Appeal had upheld a Supreme Court decision, which included an order for three companies to pay more than $2.3 million in compensation plus interest to consumers who were allegedly led to believe that waterfront sites along the Tweed River were 'permanent residences' despite them not having development consent for permanent accommodation. In a statement issued today, Mr Anderson (pictured) said he was glad that consumers would be properly compensated. "These operators acted unconscionably, leading to consumers, including retirees, paying a premium for what they believed were permanent waterfront residences," he said. "If you're looking at buying a dwelling located inside a caravan park, make sure you check with council to confirm what you're being offered is above board and seek independent legal advice on the sale." Have your say


Ball Park camping area  Capturing greater share of market

Council slashes cost of staying at two beachside camping reserves

A QUEENSLAND council has slashed a whopping 44 percent off the cost of overnighting at two camping reserves. Mackay Regional Council hopes the move will attract more travellers into the region. The cost to camp at Ball Bay (pictured) and St Helen's Beach camping reserves has fallen from $27 a night to $15, with the weekly fee dropping from $156 to $87. Mayor Greg Williamson said the council hoped this would encourage more locals and visitors to enjoy the facilities and get back to nature. "In 2016 council introduced a reduced fee structure for self-contained RVs at Mirani Caravan Park for a 12-month period  which proved so successful in attracting visitors that it was adopted permanently," he said. "The camping industry injects more than $10 billion into the Australian economy annually and there is a real opportunity to capture a greater share of this market." Have your say


TREASURE TROVE OF LOST JEWELLERY

FORGETFUL caravanners have left a treasure trove of jewellery behind at a Queensland holiday spot. Mission Beach Police are now appealing for help to help locate the owner(s) of a number of pieces found at Coconut Village Caravan Park on Kennedy Esplanade. They are encouraging anyone who stayed at the park during 2020 and who have lost jewellery during their travels to come forward if they can identify any pieces pictured above. Proof of ownership may be required. Contact the Mission Beach Police Station and quote QP2100155920 if you believe any of the items could belong to you. Have your say


Tasmania's scheme to rebuild tourism

Caravanners on crest of a wave as they enjoy cheap travel to Apple Isle

MORE than a thousand caravanners will take advantage of a special deal in which RVs will cross the Bass Strait on the cheap until June 30. So far more than 32,800 vehicles have been booked to travel to the Apple Isle under the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme. Among them are 1500 motorhomes and 1400 caravans. The scheme offers an average saving of around $240 return for travellers, with caravans or motorhomes receiving the average $240 return saving. It was introduced after the COVID pandemic hit Tasmania's tourism industry hard. Bookings on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry plunged by up to 85 percent. "Our $6 million boost is turning that around," Assistant Minister for Industry Jonno Duniam said, adding that more than 13,700 bookings last month alone had provided the "kick-start" needed to rebuild tourism. Have your say


Apollo factoryRevenue falls $127 million

Rentals take a dive as Apollo
enjoys 'strong demand' for RVs

APOLLO Tourism and Leisure, manufacturers of Coromal and Windsor caravans, is enjoying a boom in RV sales as would-be travellers turn to the domestic scene for their adventures. Meanwhile, its rental revenue has plummetted 63 percent. Its report on the half-year ending December 2020 reveals overall revenue of $160.2 million, down $197.2 million on the same period in 2019. Apollo said there had been a downfall in rental activity and limited production of RVs for the rental fleet. "The Brisbane manufacturing facility (pictured) is currently focused solely on production for retail sales, to leverage the strong demand for RVs," it said. Supply chain issues were expected to begin easing in the second half of the financial year and would help fulfill Apollo's strong forward order book. Have your say


Cr Teresa Millwood'Improved experience for holidaymakers'

$500,000 facelift for Tully caravan
park set for completion next month

WORK on $500,000 upgrades at Tully Caravan Park in Queensland are expected to be completed in April. Cassowary Coast Regional councillor Teresa Millwood (pictured) said that with major events like Targa and the Red Bull Defiance coming to the region later this year, it was perfect timing to bring the park up to standard and would also encourage visitors to spend a little more time exploring the area. "Works include installation of a new amenities block, upgrades to electrical supply and sullage to 67 powered sites, upgrades to the park entrance and car parking area, removal of unused buildings and where required, there will be upgrades to concrete slabs," she explained. The new facilities would provide an improved experience for holidaymakers and had the potential to attract more visitors to the region. "With many Australians looking for an alternative to overseas travel, caravanning and camping has become an affordable and enjoyable way to holiday in these uncertain times," Cr Millwood said. Have your say


Helping tourism industry recover

Three parks will benefit from SA tourist body's development fund

THREE caravan parks are set to benefit from the South Australian Tourism Commission's Tourism Industry Development Fund. Fowlers Bay Caravan Park on the Eyre Peninsula will receive $108,148 to build two new two-bedroom eco-friendly cabins while Victor Harbor Holiday and Cabin Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula will be handed $293,665 towards two new two-bedroom cabins, one block of four ensuites and a new water park. Meanwhile, Pine Country Caravan Park (pictured) on the Limestone Coast has been awarded $88,834 towards an accommodation upgrade which will provide three new glamping tents and the renovation and upgrade of 17 existing cabins and existing amenities. Premier Steven Marshall said boosting visitor numbers was key to helping the state's tourism industry recover. Have your say


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LETTERS TO
THE EDITOR

Letter man

Mount Barker gets cold shoulder after rest area closure

PLANTAGENET Shire has closed the free overnight rest area (see story in last edition).

Used to always pull into Mt Barker and stock up with food and beer/wine at the IGA and also refuel because we liked the town.

Never stayed overnight except at a friend's small vineyard a few kms north of town.

From now on we will continue on to Albany or stock up at Kojanup if we are heading to the Stirlings or Perongerups or camping along the coast east of Albany.

Donít think too many people used the free overnight, but it was good to know it was there if needed.

Geof Cunningham.


'Bloody minded'

HERE is my comment on Tweed's illegal campers facing on-the-spot fines (see story in last edition).

This is just bloody-minded oppression of travellers that donít want to patronise holiday parks.

Along Coral street, which is the access to Díbah, there's a number of large unoccupied/unused land and NO residents to complain that it could be used for overnight stays.

I wonder what the 'residents' object to when there's not a resident within
cooee of the parks.

Council wants to keep the parks and vacant land unused and empty
overnight because they can.

There's a mantra within the councils both in Tweed and GC against
all types of overnighting, grey nomads and economy-seeking travellers per se.

Only a holiday destination for the well-heeled.

William Frost.