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September 2016


'It seems to be getting out of hand'

Furious truckies blast grey nomads for robbing them of resting places

By Dennis Amor
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OUTRAGED truckies have blasted the grey nomad brigade for taking over their parking spots at a major Queensland rest area.

They complain of being forced out of the Bruce Highway's Waverley Creek facility 11km south of St Lawrence by irresponsible caravanners and motorhomers persisting in parking overnight in the truck-only area.

Queensland's Transport and Main Roads Department is now liaising with police in an effort to resolve the problem.

It is also considering improving signage so police can enforce parking restrictions.

Veteran truckie and safety advocate Rod Hannifey, who contributed to the design of the site, told Caravanning News the problem was getting worse as more and more caravanners hit the road.

"I don't know why but there seems to be an enormous influx of caravans on the road this year," he said.

"Many of them want to spend their money in towns and on the road instead of at caravan parks, which are becoming much expensive.

"So they are free-camping ... and there's just not enough rest areas for all of us."

Caravans parked in the trucks-only area at Waverley Creek

Caravans parked in the trucks-only area

Mr Hannifey has raised the issue many times but said it was still an "unseen" problem to most politicians and authorities.

"They are not out there at night ... they don't care," he complained.

"We are only truck drivers and they don't regard us very highly, which is really disheartening."

He suggested signs be provided in truck-only bays informing caravanners they could be woken up and moved on.

"Nothing nasty, but a reminder they are doing the wrong thing," he said.

An irate truck driver from Adelaide wrote on Facebook: "It seems to be getting out of hand with more and more people using rest areas as free campgrounds, forcing truck drivers to push on, sometimes risking their lives and those of other people.

"Rest areas are not camping grounds, just as camping grounds are not rest areas for truck drivers.

"It is one thing for a wobble-box pilot (caravanner) to stop for a rest during the day, quite another to set up camp at five in the afternoon and not leave till nine the next morning."

Contributors to the Big Rigs National Road Transport Newspaper Facebook page called for better policing of the problem.

Rod Hennifey

Rod Hennifey: worsening problem

"It's simple ... fine them," wrote one.

"They are just after a free park. Fine them and it's no longer free. The word will spread in the caravanning world and the attitude will change.

"No point causing a war between caravans and trucks...  a lot of ex truckers are now driving caravans."

The Waverley Creek rest area is divided into separate areas for RVs and trucks.

But with so many southern grey nomads escaping their chilly winters to tour the warmer northern areas of the country, rest areas are often full to overflowing.

This results in many selfish and thoughtless caravanners and other RVers taking over truck-only areas.

Located between Mackay and Rockhampton, the Waverley Creek site is regarded as an ideal place for tourists and regular highway users to stop.

It operates as a Driver Reviver site in holiday periods and is a regular venue for BBQs and get-togethers organised by local organisations.

An upgrade several years ago and costing $18 million saw improved toilets, lighting, road surface ... and separate parking spaces for 14 B-double trucks.


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the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved

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