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OCT 30:
The 15-site, $10-a-night TYTO Self-Contained RV Park at the Ingham Information Centre in Queensland has reopened until November 30.


* Tiaro rest area assault victim airlifted to hospital ... 73,557 people reached.

* Warning on misleading compliance plates ... 28,383 people reached.

* Tough new laws for heavy-vehicle rest areas ... 15,255 people reached.

* Cops hunt caravanner who lost bikes and rack from RV ... 10,734 people reached.

* Discounted fees at Fraser Coast caravan park ... 6850 people reached.

* Toddler airlifted to hospital after accident at Rainbow Beach caravan park ... 6757 people reached.


Problems with compliance plate info

I RECENTLY bought a caravan from a registered trader. We were happy with our purchase until we found the following.

On the compliance plate, the ball weight was recorded at 240kg but it was actually between 325kg and 315kg.

We contacted the trader who agreed to tow it back to his yard to see what he could do.

His comment was at best he might get it to 280kg. And in his opinion would still be unsuitable.

We requested a refund. The dealer refused, stating that he would find us another caravan

The industry needs a shake up. I agree that the trader went off the compliance plate and claims this is all he is required to do.

In light of possible mods being made, I suggest that on resale caravans should be made to resubmit to the weighbridge to ensure compliance and correct compliance plate recorded weights.

It would also ensure that compliance plates affixed to caravans are checked by an independent person to ensure they reflect the actual weight.

We remain out of pocket to the tune of $40k-plus and still no caravan or refund.

Name withheld.


REFERRING to last month's story on the GoFundMe plea after a caravan rollover (see story here).

Who's heard of insurance instead of everyone else having to pay?




POLICE believe dashcam footage could help track down thieves who made off with a caravan from Nanango in Queensland. They have appealed to drivers with one of these devices who travelled between Goomeri and Gympie through Kilkivan on October 25 between 8.30am and midday to contact them. The vision is being sought to help in the investigation of the reported theft of a Jayco Discovery caravan with Queensland registration 591QRN. The single-axle caravan was allegedly stolen from the Nanango area at about 8.20am on October 25. Police want to speak to the driver of a white Nissan Navara and an orange road bike, registrations unknown. Anyone with information is urged to contact police, quoting reference number QP2002209395.

Levy 'ripping millions from seniors'


Ms Frecklington (centre) at the Explorer Motorhome factory today

Ms Frecklington (centre) at the Explorer Motorhome factory

By Dennis Amor

QUEENSLAND'S LNP leader Deb Frecklington has promised to scrap what she calls a "heartless" tax on grey nomads.

She made the announcement while on the election campaign trail which saw her touring the Explorer Motorhomes factory at Redcliffe north of Brisbane.

She said that axing the tax would save Queensland buyers an average of $2300 in duty on a second-hand motorhome sold for $110,000.

With the average cost of a new motorhome or campervan being $140,000, it would save buyers of new vehicles an average of $2800 in tax per sale.

Ms Frecklington said that ditching the tax would not only save seniors money, but also encourage more drive-tourism in the Sunshine State and support local manufacturing jobs.

'Removal of tax will make
it fair and reasonable for
all grey nomads'

"The grey nomad tax was announced two days before the last election and it's ripping millions of dollars off retirees every year," she said.

"Queenslanders who have worked hard for their whole lives should not be slugged with extra taxes. I want seniors to buy more Queensland-made campervans and explore our great state."

Explorer Motorhomes' Shelley Riding told Caravanning News that Ms Frecklington's announcement to scrap the tax was "very good news for our industry".

"The removal of this tax will make it fair and reasonable for all grey nomads," she said. "This will save our customers thousands of dollars on new and used motorhomes."

She explained that motorhomes and campervans were exempt from the Federal Government luxury tax, but this was overturned in 2018 by the Palaszczuk government.

"An additional 2 percent of dutiable value was added to vehicles worth more than $100,000, weighed less than 4.5 tonnes and that could be driven on a standard licence," Ms Riding said.

"This tax applied to new and used vehicles, but caravans and trailers were exempt. We believed this was an unfair tax on our small section of the industry."
Have your say

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Caravanners escape unhurt


Caravan rollover

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

Silverton no camping sign  Travellers not keen to open wallets

Locals frown on free-camping
in NSW's tiny 'movie town'

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

  'Quite a surprise to us'

Kedron Caravans hopping
mad over Chinese copycats

By Dennis Amor

ONE of Australia's most reputable caravan manufacturers is hopping mad after discovering that a copycat Chinese company is using its brand name. Brisbane's three-generation-run Kedron Caravans, which was founded nearly 60 years ago by Barry Gall, has accused the manufacturer, believed to be in Shandong, of "piggybacking off a great name" and is now in a legal tussle to protect its well known identity. Its Brendale factory produces some of the toughest RVs in the world, while its sales yard on Gympie Road at Kedron claims to be the longest established caravan centre in Australia. Commenting on its Facebook site, the company said the issue "was quite a surprise to us when we first heard". Photo: A Kedron-named caravan being offered for USD23,900 on a Chinese site Have your say

Coraki Riverside caravan park'Time for more structured agreement'

'Specialist managers' take over Coraki Riverside caravan park

AFTER being managed by several publicans, Richmond Valley Councilís highly-regarded Coraki Riverside Caravan Park and Camping Grounds in NSW is now in the hands of "specialist managers". Tuckurimba residents Peter and Maureen Baker, who have a strong track record in motel and caravan park management, recently took over the reins after a competitive expressions of interest process earlier this year. According to council general manager Vaughan Macdonald, holidaymakers and residents will benefit. "The Coraki Riverside Caravan Park has been managed by three different Coraki publicans over the past five years and it was time to put in place a more structured agreement to ensure its long-term sustainability," he said.

Bendigo Leisurefest'We must comply with current restrictions'

COVID virus puts an end to this year's Bendigo Leisurefest

CARAVAN Industry Victoria has confirmed the cancellation of next month's Bendigo Leisurefest. "We must comply with the current Victorian Government restrictions to keep everyone safe, no matter the effect it has on consumers, business and livelihoods," chief executive Rob Lucas said. "There are obligations for us, including the need to provide as much advance notice as possible to members and exhibitors on such a decision." His association would continue to lobby the Victorian Government to ease restrictions for outdoor caravan and camping shows. It was important to allow the association, members and exhibitors to operate in a COVID-safe manner, ensuring that businesses in the industry could showcase and sell their products. The industry was seeing strong sales and inquiries which Mr Lucas described as "fantastic". "The challenge now for the industry to keep up with inquiries and meeting demand due to the restrictions and requirements for businesses to operate. Even with COVID-safe plans, there are significant challenges to get business back to full capacity." Have your say

The area where Simone's campervan was sited and the spot a few hundred metres
away where her body was found. Photos: Caravanning News (2005)

Million dollars on head of Simone's killer

By Dennis Amor

A MILLION-dollar price has been put on the head of the killer of German backpacker Simone Strobel (pictured) at a NSW caravan park. The State Government is offering the reward for information leading to the conviction of the person who mercilessly suffocated the fun-loving traveller at the Lismore Tourist and Caravan Park in February 2005. The Bavarian kindergarten worker's body was found six days later hidden under a pile of rotting palm fronds opposite the park where she and her boyfriend ‒ who has been named as a person of interest in the murder inquiry ‒ were staying in their campervan. No one has ever been charged over her death. Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the reward was a substantial incentive for someone to come forward with information about Simone's death. "For 15 years, police have been determined to uncover the truth of what happened to Simone," he said. "Both the Lismore community and her loved ones in Germany deserve answers." Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner said police believed there are people in Australia and in Germany who are withholding vital information. "We know the truth is out there, and we know there are people who are holding it back," he added. "We have continued to examine evidence and speak with witnesses over the past 15 years, but we need additional help from the public to finally determine what happened to Simone." Have your say

Complete Campsite RV  No physical location because of COVID

Creditors of failed camper trailer builder to hold virtual meeting

By Dennis Amor

CREDITORS of an award-winning camper trailer manufacturer which went into liquidation as the COVID crisis hit hard, will hold a 'virtual meeting' on October 30. Sydney-based liquidator Shumit Banerjee said there would be no physical location because of pandemic restrictions. Family-operated Complete Campsite on NSW's Central Coast specialised in soft floor, hard floor and hybrid offroad campers. It went into liquidation in July following a meeting of company members. Owners Grant and Jodie Joyce said it has been a "very difficult and devastating decision" to pull down the shutters. Launched in 1991, their company had scooped a swag of awards, including best camper trailer manufacturer and off-road camper of the year. Last year it launched what it called "a more streamlined approach" to sales by dealing directly from its Lisarow factory and attending shows, events and expos across Queensland. Have your say

Rob Lucas'We are delighted with the results'


AUSTRALIA'S unique virtual caravan show thought to be the first of its kind in the world was a "resounding success", according to the organisers. More than 67,000 people logged into the online event featuring 164 exhibitors, with the feedback from attendees being overwhelmingly positive. The five-day virtual exhibition was an innovative take on traditional caravan and camping shows, which are currently on hold due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. "Being the first caravan and camping virtual show in Australia, and most likely the first in the world, we are delighted with the results and the feedback from the customers and exhibitors," Caravan Industry Victoria chief executive Rob Lucas (pictured) said. More button

'Consumers deserve better protection than they are receiving'

Caravan industry's peak body welcomes
$7m Gvt push to implement 2018 RVSA

Stuart LamontAUSTRALIA'S peak body for the caravanning industry has welcomed the Federal Government's $7m push to implement the 2018 Road Vehicle Standards Act. Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont (pictured) said any further delays would continue to provide a way for unsafe or non-compliant vehicles to be registered without fear of retribution. "Australian consumers and those genuine industry businesses committed to doing the right thing deserve better protection than what they are receiving from the current MVSA legislation," he said. Meanwhile, his association had been "encouraged" by the recent Budget announcement committing $2b over two years to deliver road safety initiatives, including a $5.5m National Road Safety Data Hub to create the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030. "With the expected boom in caravanning over the next three to five years, it is important that consumer road safety remains paramount for the reputation of the industry and the wellbeing of the consumers that use industry products," Mr Lamont said.

Midland HighwayCaravanner unaware of mayhem

Three die in horror smash after caravan's solar panel comes adrift

THREE people died in a horror smash after a solar panel on the roof of a caravan came adrift in high winds on Tasmania's Midland Highway. Police said the RV was travelling north when the panel fell onto the southbound lane about a kilometre south of Ross, causing the driver of a vehicle heading south to swerve and collide with another vehicle travelling north. The southbound vehicle's occupants two adults and a child are understood to have died at the scene. Another child was airlifted to Royal Hobart Hospital in a critical condition. Two adults and a child from the other vehicle were also rushed to hospital. It is understood the caravanner did not see the mayhem behind him and continued his travels to Epping Forest. Police said he had now been interviewed. "This is a tragedy for all three families," Acting Police Commander Kate Chambers said. "An incident like this is distressing for everyone involved and will have a lifelong impact for so many people." Federal MP for Lyons Brian Mitchell has expressed his deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased. Have your say

Avoiding possible major problems

Council stresses importance of tyre placards on recreational vehicles

THE Caravan Council of Australia has stressed the importance of tyre placards on RVs. General manager Colin Young said the placards, usually incorporated into compliance plates, were meant to reassure buyers that the correct tyres had been professionally determined for optimum caravan handling and stability performance. "Clearly, for many caravans, this is not the case," he said. It was not permitted to suggest any specific tyre manufacturer's name or brand. "It is essential that caravan buyers fully understand all the information provided by the manufacturer on the tyre placard before they accept the caravan to avoid possible major problems in the future," he added. Have your say

Swimming pool'Inappropriate behaviour'

Man charged after alleged swimming pool incidents

A MAN has been charged after alleged inappropriate behaviour with children at a WA caravan park. Karratha detectives say the 63-year-old is next due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on October 16 accused of indecent dealing of a child under 13. The action follows investigations into alleged incidents at a swimming pool in the caravan park on Rosemary Road in Baynton. Police said the man was at the pool and it is alleged he approached numerous families offering free swimming lessons to children. It is claimed he interacted with various children and indecently assaulted an 11-year-old girl.

RVs damaged and tents blown away


A VIOLENT thunderstorm blasted a WA caravan park with RVs and tents taking the full brunt. Wind gusts of up to 118km/h were recorded. Some motorhomes were damaged and tents blown away at Kununurra's Ivanhoe Village caravan park. Trees were uprooted, with one crashing down onto the roof of an Avida motorhome. There were no reports of injuries. (Photo: Department of Fire and Emergency Services).

Storm hits Kununurra caravan park

Stuart LamontA 'challenging year' but ...

Caravan industry's peak body 'optimistic' about the future

DESPITE the deadly COVID virus putting the brakes on caravanning and camping this year there is still a bright future ahead, according to the industry's peak body. "We are optimistic about the future of the caravan and camping industry, especially as Australians look to support local business, reconnect with loved ones and spend time in nature after such a challenging year," Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont (pictured) explained. His prediction comes after the newly released State of Industry 2020 Report outlined the industry's past performance and highlighted the opportunity for it to drive recovery. Read more button

Corindi Beach holiday parkVoted one of the world's best

Top gong for NSW park where 'burdens of everyday life fall away'

REFLECTIONS Holiday Parks is celebrating after its popular coastal holiday park at Corindi Beach in NSW was voted one of the world's best. Located near Coffs Harbour, it has earned a 2020 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice award, which puts it in the top 10 percent of the accommodation sector worldwide. Established in 2002 to recognise the best of the best in tourism, the gong is based on worldwide reviews and opinions from travellers. Park managers Amy and Jason Doyle said they loved to see the burdens of their guests' everyday lives fall away when they stayed at the park. Read more button

Roebuck Bay caravan park  New range of accommodation options

$9m plan to transform Broome caravan park into major drawcard

THE transformation of Broome's Town Beach area in WA is set to continue, with a $9 million overhaul of the Roebuck Bay Caravan Park on the cards. Shire of Broome councillors unanimously voted for Discovery Holiday Parks being granted a 21-year lease, which includes the option of a further 21 years commitment to spend $9 million on the renewal of Broome's only beachfront caravan park. This would include a new range of accommodation options, a lagoon swimming pool and improvements to infrastructure and drainage at the site, turning it into a major tourist drawcard. Read more button

Ningaloo Lighthouse caravan parkInnovative project will fill a gap

Tourism chief welcomes new
lease of life for Exmouth park

Tourism Council WA has welcomed plans for a world-class eco resort at the foot of Exmouth's Vlamingh Head, where the Ningaloo Lighthouse Holiday Park is situated. The park will be transformed into a low-impact resort, with a mix of accommodation options and facilities including restaurants and bars, swimming pools, and recreation and boating facilities. Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said the state had long lagged behind other destinations in creating new, sustainable resorts in regional areas. "This innovative project will fill the gap for world-class accommodation and resort-style facilities which is expected by many guests," he said. The resort will offer a mix of accommodation options, including eco tents, villas, caravan bays and hotel rooms. Comment bubble Have your say

Sisters Beach Locals support plan to attract RVers

Tassie council seeks operators
to run public camping facilities

TASMANIA'S Waratah-Wynyard Council is looking for operators to run a public camping site at Sisters Beach in the Applie Isle's Rocky Cape National Park. Locals who once criticised the behaviour of freedom campers, now support the idea of providing "controlled" facilities for the budget-concious RV travellers. Council community and engagement director Tracey Bradley said the authority sought to be "good hosts" of visitors to the area. "And we would like them to be good guests when they come to our place," she stressed. Read more button

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the prior written permission of Caravanning News.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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KEEPING up-to-date with what's happening in the world of Australian caravanning is easy, thanks to Caravanning News. Published online since 2005, each monthly edition is updated as major stories break. We attract up to 32,000 visitors monthly, with our Facebook and Breaking News pages being updated almost daily. Figures show the number of people reached on our FB page can top 61,000 weekly. To receive the latest Caravanning News updates on your FB news feed, just 'LIKE' our Facebook page ... nearly 23,000 followers have already done this.



Letter man

Quandary for Britt when it comes to using rest areas


REGARDING your story in last month's edition regarding signs and tough new measures at dedicated heavy-vehicle rest areas.

Those signs are not enforceable without being endorsed by the Queensland Transport Act or similar.

My truck-trailer is classified as a commercial truck and my trailer a semi-trailer by Queensland Transport.

She weighs 14.5 tonnes and I have to abide by a log book.

So, the question is ... can I still stop there for my rest periods?

Britt Millard.

Why HV tolls?

AS long-term caravan and now motorhome owners, we totally support truckies having exclusive rights to heavy vehicle rest areas. (see original story here)

We would also like to have the NSW government and toll road operators to take note of the Queensland minister's description that caravans and motorhomes are not heavy vehicles.

So why are we being charged heavy vehicle tolls?

Canít have it both ways.

Cash 'n Marilyn.