Repositioned for growth,
brighter future after shedding 'van production
FLEETWOOD is all set for
a brighter future after offloading its loss-making caravan manufacturing
operations, according to its end-of-financial-year report. Losses from
the RV division led to the Perth company selling the goodwill in its
Coromal and Windsor business to Apollo Tourism and Leisure for a mere $1
million. Managing director and chief executive Brad Denison said in the
2018 financial report that Fleetwood had now repositioned itself for
growth. "With our reset operational and financial structure, the next
financial year is all about integrating our acquisitions and delivery of
results," he wrote. Fleetwood reported revenue of $267 million for FY18, a
two percent increase over the previous year. Underlying earnings before
tax were $18.8 million. Pre-tax profit plunged 20 percent to $17.6 million.
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Caravanners tell of
IN QUAKES SCARE
Story-Photo: Dennis Amor
GREY nomads have told of being hit with two earthquakes while on a
dream holiday to Indonesia.
They were among 1200 passengers on a recent 14-day cruise on board P&O's
Pacific Aria who were left with memories of two major frights.
56,000-tonne cruise ship was reportedly rocked violently as they sailed
away from Bali, which had earlier been hit with a 6.3 magnitude quake.
One grey nomad told Caravanning
News that the
captain later told them its epicentre had been only about 12 miles away
from the vessel but claimed they were never in danger.
The first quake struck
as one couple in their 70s was having drinks on a balcony overlooking
rice paddy fields near Ubud.
They said the entire stone building began to
"It lasted for about a minute
and our guide was very frightened. He later told us it had been a very strong earthquake," they said.
A second quake struck later that night as
their cruise liner sailed away from the holiday island.
"There was a loud
scraping noise and I thought the ship had hit the bottom," another
Several explained how they were taking a break from their
round-Australia travels and never imagined they would experience two
earthquakes ... and a change in their Prime Minister, referring to the
sudden ousting of Malcolm Turnbull while they were away.
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CIAA video highlights changes and trends
A SURVEY has revealed some of the changing factors impacting on caravan
parks. Seventy members of the Caravan Industry
Association of Australia were questioned about changes and trends in the
industry and how they regarded the future of their businesses. An
eight-minute video of their responses has now been posted on YouTube.
It was suggested that caravan parks would fall into difference categories,
with some families preferring all the "bells and whistles", with grey
nomads opting for the more traditional type. Some parks would "morph" into
full-on resorts while others would have to meet the big and growing need
for pet-friendly cabins. To view the video,
strategy will help create jobs
THE Victorian Government has given its support for a new blueprint which
will help people seeking a career in the thriving caravan manufacturing
industry. Minister for Industry and Employment
Ben Carroll said the new Caravan Industry Jobs, Careers and Training
Strategy would help retain continued growth of the industry. Speaking at
its launch, he pointed out that it would help create jobs and boost the
economy. Developed by the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria, the
strategy aims to improve career pathways and training for those wishing to
enter the industry, and increase training opportunities for people already
employed in it.
ACC canvassing local councils on national
THE Australian Caravan Club is canvassing local councils who could help
host a national muster. An Expression of
Interest package has been sent to over 60 local authorities in Queensland
with a view to identifying and working with regional communities. The
5000-member club, which stages an annual national muster each October,
says it will work closely with interested parties to identify suitable
venues, activities and entertainment.
continues strong global performance
SUCCESSFUL acquisitions and internal investment had delivered a "strong
global performance" for a company which began its climb from a lowly
backyard shed in Queensland in 1985.
Brisbane-based Apollo Tourism and Leisure has become a major player in the
rental fleet operator segment and is one of the largest RV operators in
the world, with more than 4000 vehicles. The company, which now has
interests in New Zealand, Canada, North America, Britain and Ireland,
recently released its financial results for the year ending June 30 which
showed continuing strong growth in RV rental and retail sales revenue.
urges RVers to conserve water in outback
A SOUTH Australian MP has pleaded with caravanners and other RVers to
conserve water during their travels. MP for Grey
and Government Whip Rowan Ramsey (pictured) told Caravanning News:
"I’d like all travellers to consider where they access water from when in
outback areas of the state." His request follows alarm by locals at the
lack of understanding by some grey nomads at just how precious water is in
the outback as they hook their hoses up to their only drinking supply.
Some thoughtless travellers even wash their vehicles. "More times than
often water supply access to wash in outback areas is the same supply
people rely on for drinking and cooking," Mr Ramsey said. "None of outback
Australia is connected to the water network. A few have desalinated bore
water, but many completely rely on meagre water supplies for cooking and
drinking. I'd like RVers to consider this when making decisions about how
much water they use whilst travelling."
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Reflections in time for festive season
THE first stage of a $7 million improvement plan for Reflections Holiday
Parks Evans Head should be completed in time for Christmas and the New
Year. Work will include installing new cabins in
line with the those launched at the group's Seal Rocks park this
year. Expressions of interest are also being invited to get the popular
kiosk at Evans Head up and running again on a long-term tenure basis.
Reflections Holiday Parks chief executive Steve Edmonds said it was an
Police plead for patience
POLICE have appealed to road users to be more patient with caravanners.
The plea came as officers from Queensland's North Moreton region teamed up
with Crime Stoppers and staff from the Department of Transport and Main
Roads to set up a display at the ANZAC Memorial Park at Kilcoy. Its theme
was Be Patient and Give Others Space. Senior Constable Rebecca
McMeniman explained: "Do not be impatient and travel too close to vehicles
towing caravans. Just remember you want to get to your destination safely
just as much as the driver in front of you."
Government grant for Ardrossan
ARDROSSAN Caravan Park on the Yorke Peninsula in SA has landed an
Australian Government grant. The $75,000 will go
towards the $154,404 cost of building two luxury two-bedroom cabins to
replace four pet-friendly ones which are ageing and costly to maintain.
The grant comes from the $641.6 million Building Better Regions Fund
Infrastructure Stream. The fund provides organisations with grants of
between $20,000 and $10 million to support projects which involve the
construction of new infrastructure or the upgrade or extension of existing
infrastructure which provide "economic and social benefits to regional and
nomad scoops fortune with lotto win
YET another grey nomad has come up trumps on the lotto ... scooping nearly
half a million dollars. The man joins a lucky
band of travelling caravanners who have struck it rich with a lotto
flutter while zig-zagging their way around Australia. The identity of the
latest winner is being kept secret but it is known he comes from New South
Wales. "There's no doubt about it, they are a lucky bunch," a Lotterywest
spokeswoman told Caravanning News.
Anger over proposed fees at Murray
REGULARS are hopping mad over plans to introduce fees and bookings at
three camping sites along the Murray River in Victoria.
The popular areas at Will's and Farley bends near Echuca and Stanton's
Bend at Rutherglen have been free to caravanners and campers for years.
Parks Victoria director (park planning and policy) Stuart Hughes said the
sites were chosen because of their popularity. He believed that
overcrowding could cause conflict and said there were hundreds of other
camping sites along the river which could be enjoyed without making a
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congratulates new PM
CARAVAN Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont
has congratulated new Prime Minister Scott Morrison and deputy Josh
Frydenberg on their election. He said both had
previously "constructively engaged" with industry representatives and
looked forward to this continuing. "It is important that any Australian
government recognises the role that tourism, and the caravan industry in
particular, plays as a key driver of sustainable economic growth and job
creation particularly in regional and rural Australia," he said. Mr
Morrison had demonstrated strong support for small business with an
"enviable record of job growth" in his role as Treasurer. Mr Lamont
believed he would have "a better understanding of the needs of the tourism
sector than most politicians", having previously been Tourism Australia's
first managing director.
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holidays easier on the pocket
MACLEAY Valley Coast Holiday Parks on NSW's
mid-north coast has launched an innovative lay-by payment option.
The move is aimed making holiday planning a little easier on the pocket,
especially leading into the busy seasons. The lay-by option is available
when booking online for stays of $200 or more and gives consumers the
choice between making direct-debit instalments either weekly, fortnightly
Improving relations between caravanners and
QUEENSLAND caravanner Ken Wilson trying to improve relations between grey
nomads and truckies. He recently launched his
new website which aims to make RV travellers better understand how to work
with truck drivers on Australian highways, It also deals with
relationships at rest stops and other areas where the various groups come
in contact. Mr Wilson says on his Truck Friendly Program site: "As
a caravanner myself, I love the lifestyle. However, I have seen many
incidents involving caravans, RVs and trucks on our highways and urban
streets that have put lives at risk. Many have been caused by just not
understanding how to work with other road users like the trucks on our
roads." Caravanning Queensland, the state's peak body for the caravanning
industry, is supporting the initiative. Meanwhile, Mr Wilson, from
Bundaberg, has appealed for sponsors. He can be contacted via is website
time for a show
EXHIBITORS at caravan shows all over Australia have reported booming
business as our love affair with RVs continues to soar.
Caravan manufacturers and other businesses connected with the caravan and
motorhome industry said their order books were bulging as millions and
millions of dollars in sales and orders were struck. And for enthusiasts
who have been unable to get to the shows - or can't get enough of
wandering around display after display of tempting products - there's
still time to grab a ticket for shows still to come.
Vanners reminded of new road rule in NSW
CARAVANNERS are reminded they could cop a hefty
fine if they speed past stationary emergency vehicles with flashing blue
and red lights in NSW. A new law introduced on
the first of this month requires all drivers to slow down to 40km/h when
passing stationary police cars, fire engines and ambulances ... or face a
$448 fine. The rule will be reassessed at the end of its 12-month trial.
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CCIA to take over Canberra show
THE Caravan & Camping Industry Association of NSW will take over the
Canberra Home & Leisure Show from 2019 onwards.
The event will be re-branded to become the Caravan Camping Outdoor
Lifestyle Expo Canberra. CCIA president Theo Whitmont said it was a
"fantastic strategic opportunity" to reinvigorate an existing event and
turn it into an outstanding showcase for the industry. "It's all about
continuing to drive consumer demand for the products and experiences our
industry offers and delivering new business opportunities for our
members," he added.
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feature in new Fraser Coast video
FRASER Coast Regional Council in Queensland is proud of its achievements
in attracting grey nomads to the area. In addition to providing a
variety of free and low-cost rest areas for caravanners and other
travellers, the council this year decided to offer them free internet
access at its libraries. Councillor Paul Truscott said locals urged the
council in 2016 to introduce measures to attract more RVers to the region.
The council has now released a new six-minute video, fronted by Cr
Truscott, showing how the growing number of travellers to Maryborough has
had a positive impact on local businesses and the community. To see the
video, click here
mourns death of a pioneer
THE Caravan Industry Association Victoria is mourning the death of Gordon
Smillie, one of its iconic pioneers. Chief
executive Rob Lucas said Mr Smillie had been an active board member for
over 20 years and would be sadly missed. "He truly was a pioneer of our
industry with many of his marketing initiatives still relevant today," he
said. "I was fortunate to have had many discussions with him and it was
easy to see why he was so widely loved and respected – he truly was a
great man." Mr Smillie was made a Life Member in 1976 for his contribution
to the industry and was awarded the industry’s highest individual honour
in 2012 when he was inducted into the Victorian Caravan Industry Hall of
Fame. He was also a Life Member of the South Australian Caravan and
Camping Association. In the early 70s the popular Scotsman adopted a
unique approach to promoting caravanning and safety by filming fun
educational films with TV stars, including Bert Newton and Johnny Young.
For many years he was a key link between manufacturers, dealers and
customers as the caravan industry started to grow. Mr Smillie founded
Australia's largest caravan insurer CIL Insurance. Photo: Mr Smillie
(left) with Bert and Pattie Newton.
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declared RV-friendly town
SADDLEWORTH in South Australia is looking forward to an increase in
tourists after it was declared an RV-friendly town.
Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council Mayor Allan Aughey was pleased the CMCA
had bestowed the status on the Gilbert River community. "Joining the RV
Friendly Town network will deliver direct benefits to the local business
community," he said. "With the self-contained RV tourism market estimated
to be worth more than $2.5 billion annually, Saddleworth is now
well-positioned to access this lucrative tourism market." For RV
travellers passing through the area, Saddleworth Recreation Grounds
Caravan Park offers unpowered parking for $10 a night, with power
available for an additional fee. It offers toilets, showers, a dump point
and potable water. The length of stay can be negotiated.
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Respecting the privacy of others
A QUEENSLAND caravan park has appealed to its guests to respect the
privacy of others. "Walk the roadways, not
through sites," Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park in the State's far north
says in its recent What a Load of Croc newsletter. "To access your
way throughout the park only walk the roadways. Under no circumstances
walk through people's sites as this is not only breaching privacy but can
cause safety issues by tripping over cords and hoses." Caravanners at
parks all over Australia regularly complain about thoughtless guests
taking short cuts and tramping over their sites. The Karumba park also
reminds people to drive slowly. "When you check in to our park you are
informed that the speed of all vehicles is walking pace. Please adhere to
this very simple request," the newsletter says.
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your best foot forward
TOURISTS are being invited to put their best foot forward and experience
Victoria's Great Ocean Road and caravan parks.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and traditional landowners will
present a unique coastal experience for campers at Torquay and Anglesea
next month. Corrina Eccles of the Wadawurrung women will lead a guided
tour along 40km of the Surf Coast Walk from Torquay to Aireys Inlet.
Committee chairman Ken Northwood said the event was the first of its kind.
"We are incredibly privileged to have Corrina lead this three-day guided
walk, sharing cultural knowledge and stories of Wadawurrung Country and
the Aboriginal heritage along the Surf Coast," he said. The walk includes
accommodation at Torquay Foreshore and Anglesea Family caravan parks.
Contact the parks for more information.
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