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September 2018

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SEPT 30:
Caravanners battered by thunderstorm super-cell packing savage winds at Childers and Bundaberg in Queensland this afternoon.

SEPT 30:
Fight involving several people at Clermont caravan park overnight left 20yo man fighting for life. Police said he sustained severe knife wound to neck and is in critical condition. A 41yo man has been arrested.

Click on BREAKING NEWS above to see full list of stories.


* Gunman opens fire on grey nomads at Rockhampton ... 55,488 people reached.

* Couple in 60s attacked and robbed by hammer-wielding crook at Hervey Bay caravan park ... 39,955 people reached.

* Caravanners urged to help struggling farmers ... 16,576 people reached

* Travelling clinician fights fine for alleged illegal camping ... 15,142 people reached.

* Croydon Shire Council looking for caravan park managers ... 13,618 people reached.

* Warning after thieves strike at Inskip Point near Gympie ... 10,150 people reached.


Sale brings fears of 'redevelopment by stealth'

MILITARY Jetty Caravan Park has been sold to a private syndicate (see story here).

The new owners, who have not been named, have said they will continue to operate and improve the park, which has approval for 27 new townhouses.

That sounds like redevelopment by stealth. 27 townhouses in that area will wipe out most of the camping.


New road rule

I HEAR there are new rules regarding a speed limit when passing parked emergency vehicles with their red and blue lights flashing.

If something like this is to protect the emergency services I'm for it.

But its should be introduced nationally ... not state by state.

Darryl Smith.

For the record

I AM a grey nomad/caravanner and I've set up my health records in technicolour detail (see original story here).

This is because I have nasty autoimmune conditions.

However, I would probably opt out of the scheme if I didn't suffer from them.

Name withheld.

RV harmony

A QUEENSLAND caravanner is working on a programme to help create a better understanding between recreational vehicle owners and truck drivers.

There is a guy called Rod Hannifey, who has been doing a similar campaign on the truck side and it could be worth Ken's time to tag up with him.

We have just completed a 26,000km 'half lap' of Australia including SA, WA, NT and NSW towing our van, and the consideration and communication by truckies was absolutely outstanding.

I could not fault any of them.

Truckies have an incredibly stressful job.

Anything that us 'grey nomads' can do to share the roads harmoniously with them can only be a good thing.



Coromal caravans

Repositioned for growth, says chief executive

Fleetwood predicts 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. Have your say

Caravanners tell of two tremors


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.

Their 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 shake.

"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 caravanner said.

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.  Have your say

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, click here.

Caravan workerNew 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. Read more button

ACC canvassing local councils on national muster
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. Read more button

Apollo factoryApollo 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. Read more button

Rowan RamseyMP 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." Have your say

Evans Head parkReflections 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 exciting time. More button

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." Have your say

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 remote areas". Have your say

Lotto couponAnother 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. Read more button

Anger over proposed fees at Murray campsites
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 booking. Have your say

Industry 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. Have your say

Holidays on lay-byMaking 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 or monthly. More button

Improving relations between caravanners and truckies
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 at

Caravan showsStill 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. Reead More button

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. Have your say

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. Have your say

Fraser Coast videoNomads 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

Gordon SmillieIndustry 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. Have your say

SaddleworthSaddleworth 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. Have your say

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. Have your say

Great Ocean Road walk
Putting 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. Have your say

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Web pages designed and produced by Dennis Amor

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written permission of Caravanning News.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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Reflecting on
importance of
mirrors and
a UHF radio

REGARDING your story on a call for compulsory UHF radios and mirrors (see story here).

I have always advocated UHF radios and correct mirrors on tow vehicles.

Nothing more frustrating than following a caravan where the tow vehicle can't see who is following.

I've towed caravans for the last 12 years, and it seems to have got worse (or maybe more caravans on road).

Chris Lowe.

Battle being won

DOUGLAS Shire is winning its battle against illegal camping (see story here).

The solution to this issue is clearly in the hands of RVers.

Douglas shire has to be driven to and not through, so don't go!

The economic loss to the whole shire would soon become evident to the council ... and not just benefit the 'greedy few'.

Trevor Smith

The naked truth

THE photo of a solar panel and gas bottle mounted on illegally on 4WD shows how silly some people can be (see story here).

What a clown!

He couldn't have attracted more attention had he run down the street naked.

Deserved to be booked.

Terry Piper.