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'Generating strong demand'
Apollo well positioned to capitalise on tourism's recovery: CEO
RV manufacturer and rental company Apollo Tourism and Leisure, manufacturers of Winnebago motorhomes and Coromal and Windsor caravans, has reported an after-tax net financial year loss of $17.9 million compared to $61.2 million the previous year. In its newly released annual report, chief executive and managing director Luke Trouchet predicts a "light at the end of the tunnel" as COVID-related restrictions begin to ease. "I believe Apollo is well positioned to capitalise on the recovery in tourism activity," he said. The report believes that with record RV sales demand, a growing forward rental book and a lower permanent cost base, Apollo is well placed to benefit from the reopening of domestic and international borders and return to profitability. The company's revenue plunged 20 percent to $283.3 million during the year, mostly thanks to border closures. However, the company says that in periods where domestic borders were open it was able to generate strong demand, with domestic revenues "significantly exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels".
'He thought he was going to die'
Caravanner's ten minutes of terror in chainsaw attack
By Dennis Amor
A COURT has heard how a 71-year-old man was subjected to ten minutes of terror at the hands of a chainsaw-wielding attacker in a Queensland caravan park.
Bundaberg District Court was told the man thought he was going to die after being knocked from his chair as he relaxed in his caravan annex on a bush site at Baffle Creek Caravan Park north of the city.
Crown Prosecutor Carla Ahern described how defendant Gregg Haywood picked up a nearby chainsaw and started it before holding it just inches away from the victim's arm and head as it revved.
"He felt he was going to die," she told Judge John Allen.
She said there were threats to break the terrified man's arms before he was punched in the face, causing bruising, swollen lips and bleeding from the nose and mouth.
Judge Allen said the victim had suffered "ten minutes of terror".
The motive for the attack was unclear and appeared to be senseless violence entirely unprovoked against an elderly and vulnerable victim, he added.
Haywood ̶ said to have an extensive criminal record ̶ was jailed for four and a half years and will be eligible for parole on March 10 next year. Have your say
Get-together called off for second year
fears lead to cancellation
ORGANISERS have called off this month's planned Boroma Roamers' rally at Casino in NSW due to travel restrictions. "Sadly, COVID has affected many people in many ways and we are sorry that this is the second year that our rally has had to be cancelled," they said. It appeared the Queensland-New South Wales border restrictions would not be relaxed in the near future. "This means that any Roamers from Queensland who travel to NSW would not be able to return," they explained in a message to members. "Some caravan parks are now demanding proof of vaccination against COVID before allowing entry. This would put added pressure on your conveners to ask attendees to comply with this rule." The organisers suggested that NSW Roamers wanting to attend a rally at Casino or some other venue should make contact. Have your say
'Pressing need for education'
in tune with caravan safety
THERE is a pressing need for caravanners to be educated on their vehicles' ratings and masses, according to the Caravan Council of Australia. General manager and founder Colin Young has even composed catchy lyrics emphasising the necessity of staying safe. "It is quite obvious that the misunderstanding ‒ and the ignoring ‒ of caravan ratings and masses are a prime contributing factor in the number of serious problems on the road," he said. "Another prime contributing factor is the poor maintenance and preparation of many caravan, and sometimes their tow-vehicles, before commencing a trip."
'Pit stop for many caravanners'
Bruce Hwy's Apple Tree Creek rest area set for major facelift
FEBRUARY next year will see the start of a major facelift of the Apple Tree Creek rest area and park on Queensland's busy Bruce Highway. Bundaberg Regional Council Parks and Gardens spokesperson Wayne Honor said the park was not only popular with local residents but was also a pit-stop for many caravanners and other travellers passing through the region. It already offers a new disability amenities block and sewage disposal facilities. He said the upgrade would include many new features to improve the area for both locals and travellers alike to enjoy. "Having these works completed means visitors will be able to relax and enjoy some time in the fresh, open air before starting up their journey on the road again," he told media. Work on the upgrade is expected to be completed by April. Have your say
CEO welcomes 'flexibility'
Australia's peak caravanning body welcomes partnership
AUSTRALIA'S peak body for the nation's caravan industry has formed a partnership with DLL. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said it welcomed the leading global vendor finance company to its National Industry Sponsor family. The association and DLL's Commercial Finance Business Unit would work together to bring awareness of DLL's floorplan financing solutions to RV and caravan manufacturers and dealers, it explained. Chief executive and managing director Luke Trouchet, pictured with DLL's Daniel Foster, said his company liked DLL's flexibility. "Rather than just helping us with some of our financing, the company has the ability to be that all-encompassing partner to us," he explained.
'It's the only sane way forward'
Supporters drown out critics of park's soon-to-be introduced COVID rule
SUPPORTERS have drowned out critics of NSW's Curlwaa caravan park in the small Murray River town near Wentworth which will soon accept only guests who have been fully vaccinated against COVID. The news prompted Facebook comments criticising the decision, with some opponents threatening to sue and boycott the park. Owner Ric Young said his decision was based on safety. "This will ensure the health and safety of all our caravan park users and maintain our COVID-19 Safe status," he wrote on his park's Facebook page. "We hope everyone understands the need for these changes." From November 1, guests will have to provide physical proof of vaccination. "We are a registered COVID Safe caravan park with great COVID safe practices including sanitising stations, regular COVID compliant cleaning and density limits in our indoor areas," he said. The announcement attracted nearly 900 Facebook comments, mostly supporting the decision and with only a small minority criticising the move. Supporter Peter Barrett commented: "I think it was the only sane way forward and those ignorant and uninformed about life are better staying away with their negativity." Meanwhile, David McEvoy thanked Mr Young for showing strength in making the decision. "Ignore that very vocal minority," he wrote. And Emily Grant commented: "Unfortunately the minority can be so loud sometimes - thank you for holding firm and leaving this post up. Because you didn't delete it, the majority is now drowning out the nonsense, which is heartening to see." Have your say