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'Education and awareness important'
Caravan industry launches safety initiative as RV road trips surge
AUSTRALIA'S peak caravanning industry body has launched a nationwide safety campaign as the tourist industry braces itself for a surge in domestic road trip camping holidays resulting from the easing of COVID restrictions. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia's Caravan/RV Road Safety initiative hopes its efforts during November and December will make things safer for caravanners and other campers. With more than 741,000 registered RVs, it said education and awareness will be important in preparing Australians to safely enjoy their holidays. In the coming months, more than 14 million nights and 3.3 million camping trips are expected to be taken.
ACCC to 'carefully consider' judgment
Court clears Jayco of 'unconscionable"
THE Federal Court has cleared Jayco, Australia's biggest manufacturer of RVs, of "unconscionable" conduct by refusing to replace faulty caravans. But the court said the Victoria-based company had breached Australian Consumer Law in its dealings with one disgruntled caravan buyer. While agreeing that Jayco had made a "false or misleading" representation, it ruled that the purchaser was only entitled to a repair, despite his rights under the law to receive a refund or replacement. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched the court action in 2017, accusing Jayco of "unconscionable conduct" when dealing with unhappy customers. ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the commission would "carefully consider" the judgement
Death knell worries for multi-million-dollar industry
PARKS STRUGGLE AS INSURANCE SOARS
By Dennis Amor
caravan park operators have warned that soaring insurance premiums could
sound the death knell for the multi-billion-dollar industry.
years, caravan park operators have increasingly reported that insurance
providers are imposing exponentially higher premiums on businesses in lieu
of the potential of a natural disaster, irrespective of what risk
mitigation policies that may be in place," the CIAA
the inquiry have also been made by NSW's Caravan and Camping Industry
Association, the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland, the Victorian
Caravan Parks Association and BIG4 Holiday Parks.
'A year unlike any other'
Tourist association plans to address needs of Qld outback travellers
By Dennis Amor
QUEENSLANDERS have officially "discovered" the state's outback, according to the Outback Queensland Tourism Association. Its newly-released annual 2019-20 report says they have voted with their feet, caravans and motorhomes. And, it added, the association welcomed the broader traveller base with grey nomads, families and couples frequenting all regions. "New traveller segments require more educational and introductory content and OQTA is pivoting to address the needs of first-time and repeat travellers to the outback," the report said. Chief executive Denise Brown (pictured) described it as a year "unlike any other", with the association working hard to buffer the outback's tourism industry and regional communities from the worst impacts of drought and COVID-19. "Our marketing strategy also changed in the final quarter of the year as a result of COVID-19 restrictions," she said. "Previously dominated by consumer trade shows and consumer advertising campaigns, we attended only one major consumer show ‒ the Melbourne Caravan and Camping Show in February ‒ where strong demand for the season ahead was recorded from the long-stay touring traveller. Regrettably other planned consumer shows were cancelled." Have your say
Greater choice and reduced fees
Multi-million dollar bonanza for Victoria's camping grounds
VICTORIANS can look forward to a greater choice and improved camping grounds thanks to the state government's Great Outdoors program. Some favourite camping destinations are now open for bookings over the peak summer season. Meanwhile, the government has halved camping fees in the state's parks and forests and continues to support camping and outdoor experiences through the $105.6 million program. Thirty new campgrounds will be built between now and 2023, with some of the 30 existing sites being upgraded ready to welcome visitors.
Ensuring people 'do the right thing'
Townsville introduces booking system
QUEENSLAND'S Townsville City Council has launched a brand new booking system for its free recreational vehicle and camping sites. It allows residents and travellers to book a spot at any of councilís free camping locations in the northern beaches area. Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the new system would ensure campers were doing the right thing and being respectful to fellow campers.
Overnighters banned after complaints
No evidence that illegal campers are economically beneficial: report
PORT Adelaide Enfield Council in SA has banned overnight camping at Semaphore foreshore after an increase in complaints. A report considered by councillors at their recent meeting said the worst spot was at the foreshore opposite Paxton Street (pictured) which attracted a mix of travellers including caravanners and backpackers. "There is little evidence to suggest that overnight campers on the foreshore are significantly injecting large amounts into our local visitor economy," it said.
Parks account for 84pc of revenue
'All hands on deck' as GORCC battles one of its most challenging times
THE last 12 months have presented Victoria's Great Ocean Road Coast Committee with "one of the most challenging environments" in which to manage and grow. "As with many organisations, COVID-19 has presented a very challenging time for our staff, partners and customers, and has materially impacted our financial results," acting chief executive Daniel Aitken (pictured) said. The committee's newly released annual report revealed that its three caravan parks had accounted for 84 percent of its $13.5m revenue in 2019-20, compared to $14.8m the previous year. Mr Aitken said the coronavirus pandemic had required an "all hands on deck" approach to management and leadership and a good deal of trust to feel the way forward in uncertain times.
Hunt for 'disgusting' caravanner
SEWAGE POURED DOWN SINK AT WARWICK CAFE
A REVOLTING caravanner has been caught pouring sewage down a sink at a Queensland cafe. The unbelievable behaviour was captured on a security camera outside Charchys on Westside in Wood Street at Warwick in the state's south-east. Owner Adam Nesbitt told Caravanning News: "Some disgusting individual emptied their caravan toilet cassette into our cleaning sink at the rear of our shop and left it for us to clean up. But unknown to him his every move was caught by our security camera. We hope someone will recognise him or his clothing and come forward with information so we can put our local police in touch with him." Mr Nesbitt said that unfortunately the man's tow vehicle and caravan were out of shot of the camera. Have your say
$150,000 COVID stimulus grant
Gems park set to add more sparkle
TINGHA Gems Caravan Park in NSW, a member of the Kui chain, is set to add some extra sparkle after a state government COVID-19 stimulus grant. Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has announced a $150,000 handout to redevelop amenities and buildings at the tourist park, about 25km south of Inverell. Mr Marshall said the funding would enhance facilities and the appeal of the accommodation venue. "This is great news for the park and will help it live up to its name as a true rural tourism treasure," he said.
It's the most prudent approach, says council
Shire bans peninsula camping until next February
CAMPING on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula has been banned until February next year. The local shire council announced its decision after careful consideration of the State Governmentís Coronavirus roadmap and "to ensure the health and safety of all Victorians". Thousands of people normally pour into the coastal area's campgrounds during summer, and the decision has dealt a big blow to revellers hoping to spend Christmas there. Chief executive John Baker said that with restrictions still in place for the foreseeable future, the council had decided the ban on camping was the most prudent approach. "Even as we hopefully move from Step 3 into the last step of the Roadmap and then COVID normal, social distancing, density quotients, group sizes and a range of other measures will still be required. It's not feasible to have foreshore camping under many of these conditions.
Over 22,000 visitors brave wild weather
Brisbane's pre-Christmas show hailed a huge success
CARAVANNING Queenslandís pre-Christmas sale at Brisbane's showgrounds has been hailed a huge success. A total of 22,529 'carafans' braved wild weather to attend the four-day COVID-safe event, stocking up on the latest and greatest in camping and outdoor gear. Chief executive Jason Plant (pictured) said about 7500 more people attended the sale compared to the previous year, with the majority being first-timers. "With the tremendous turnout at the show, it looks like the number of unforgettable family memories created will be higher than ever in 2021," he said.
'Always looking to lift the standard'
Caravan association mourns death of a stalwart
AUSTRALIA'S peak caravanning industry association is mourning the shock death of stalwart Merv King. "For more than three decades Merv has been an enormous supporter of the caravan and camping industry, pushing the boundaries of the status quo," the Caravanning Industry Association of Australia said in a tribute. "He was always looking to lift the standard of the caravan park industry." Chief executive Stuart Lamont told Caravanning News that his sudden death at the weekend had come "as a great shock". "He was larger than life and did so much for the caravanning industry," he said.
Last seen being towed by blue vehicle
$5000 reward for return of caravan
NEWS FLASH: Caravan found covered by tarps in yard at Cessnock.
THE owner of a caravan stolen from the Hunter Valley in NSW is offering a $5000 reward for information leading to its return. The dual-axle Lotus Sprint, with NSW registration plate Y49576, disappeared from Morpeth at about 2am on Sunday morning. It was last seen being towed by a blue vehicle, thought to be a Toyota Tarago or Hyundai iLoad. Owner Kim Orphin has taken to social media in a bid to find her beloved caravan. "So upsetting," she said. "The caravan was also filled with personal belongings that they may try to sell." Anyone with information is asked to contact police. Have your say
'Difficult operating conditions'
Aspen predicts 'subdued' operating environment
ASPEN, which operates a chain of holiday and lifestyle parks, predicts a "subdued" operating environment over the next 12 months. Its annual report says inbound migration and tourism will remain restricted until COVID-19 is contained. "We believe Aspen can continue to perform relatively well in this environment as domestic households and tourists seek lower-cost accommodation in attractive locations," it said. Chairman Clive Appleton (pictured) said the company had performed well during the year despite "very difficult operating conditions" which included catastrophic bushfires and COVID-19.
Head-on smash claims two lives
Witnesses sought after horror accident on Bussell Highway
MAJOR Crash Investigators were seeking information on a fatal crash involving caravanners on a WA highway. Two people aged 36 and 31 died in the horror smash when their Skodi Yeti collided head-on with a Toyota LandCruiser towing a dual-axle Jayco Sterling on the Bussell Highway near Capel on November 1. The male driver of the LandCruiser was taken by St John Ambulance to Bunbury Regional Hospital. His female passenger was flown to Royal Perth Hospital by the RAC Rescue helicopter. Both were in a serious but stable condition. One of the caravanners had to be cut from the wreckage. Witnesses described the scene near the intersection of Hutton Street as "a horrible sight". Police are asking witnesses to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au.
Call for expressions of interest
Dungog moves to give
THE small country town of Dungog in the Hunter Region of New South Wales may soon have its own purpose-built caravan park. Councillors endorsed a motion from Mayor John Connors calling for expressions of interest from people interested in providing the community with the facility. The mayor told councillors at their recent meeting that he is approached at least once a month about the issue.
Council re-registers park
sports club revenue raiser
The future of the Talbot Caravan Park is now secure, with the facility to be re-registered for the next three years. The park is situated on the Talbot Recreation Reserve off Avoca Road (pictured), the majority of which is Crown Land reserved for public park and recreation. Central Goldfields Shire Council chief executive Lucy Roffey said the authority had been working closely with the Talbot Football and Netball Club to ensure the park's future. Revenue from the park goes to the sports club.
Wheely good advice
Caravan council issues the nuts and bolts on keeping safe
CARAVANNERS have been urged to keep a closer eye on their RV's wheel nuts. The Caravan Council of Australia's general manager, Colin Young, said the CCA continually received reports of broken or loose wheel studs. "Sometimes the nuts unwind completely off the studs," he said. "It must be stressed that if a stud breaks, it is certainly no proof that the stud itself was faulty. There are a number of reasons for the problems."
Caravanners escape unhurt
RIG ROLLS ON BRUCE HIGHWAY
TWO caravanners had a lucky escape when their twin-axle caravan rolled on Queensland's Bruce Highway. Their Pajero remained upright but the Genisis caravan ended up on its side, blocking the highway's southbound lanes at Pomona near Noosa. It is believed the driver lost control of his rig when it began fishtailing after passing a truck. A police spokesperson said no one was injured and the crash scene had been cleared. Have your say
Travellers not keen to open wallets
frown on free-camping
THE tiny village of Silverton in New South Wales' far west ‒ population around 50 ‒ has taken to social media to remind travellers that free-camping is not permitted. The hamlet, described as a "paradise" and a "walk back in time", attracts over 100,000 visitors annually, many in caravans and other RVs. It has featured in many movies, including Mad Max II and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. But, it seems, the budget-conscious travellers are not keen to open their wallets and pay overnight site fees. "Whilst we all welcome and appreciate visitors to the village, residents do not appreciate caravans, trailers etc setting up camp outside their homes and businesses," the Silverton Village Committee says on its Facebook page. It reminds them that the local Penrose Park has powered sites for $25 a night and unpowered sites for $10. "For your own safety and protection of our local environment, it is also not permitted to camp along the creeks or on what you may think is vacant land (the Silverton Common)," the committee said. The creeks were also prone to sudden and dangerous flooding which could easily wash away the travellers and their RVs, it added. Have your say