THE caravanning industry's peak body expressed "much excitement and
hope" after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced his new Cabinet.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive Stuart Lamont
said he now welcomed the opportunity of working with ministers and their
departments with "positive dialogue" so the iconic Australian caravanning
and camping industry could continue flourishing.
"We look forward to liaising with Cabinet ministers in their new or
existing capacities to showcase the incredible story which is the
caravanning industry, and discussing how we can work closely with them to
achieve positive outcomes for both the industry and Australia more
broadly," he said.
Mr Lamont said the passing of Motor Vehicle Standards Act (MVSA) reforms
remained the most immediate and pressing issue.
"These have had an interrupted path through the Parliament and we now call
on the government to pass these important changes to the legislation so
that consumers can benefit from tougher compliance regimes and a level
playing field across imported and locally manufactured trailers, including
caravans," he explained.
'MVSA reforms will create new
opportunities for consumers'
"The changes announced in February this year, after much consultation, are
supported by the industry amid continued frustration at ongoing delays in
the legislative progress.
"The MVSA reforms will create new opportunities for consumers to benefit
from supporting industry businesses that are committed to doing the right
thing by their customers and within the law."
The industry generated $19.02 billion to the Australian economy annually,
much of which was in regional areas.
This created jobs and provided valuable inward capital for Australian
communities, Mr Lamont said.
"Importantly, it also provides many Australians with the opportunity to
get away and reconnect with themselves or loved ones in one of the safest
and most beautiful countries in the world," he continued.
"As an industry we have recently enjoyed strong results in manufacturing,
retailing and accommodation takings that are above the growth in the
economy in general as well as in other competitive industries.
"While this can be put down to a united industry working together towards
collective outcomes despite being diverse and geographically spread, we
have also needed to be nimble and embrace new opportunities to remain
"As such, the transformation of industry to meet consumer trends has been
an important driver in industry success.
"Even though the caravanning and camping industry is experiencing
confidence and certainty with regard to both industry investment and
consumer behaviour, it is now important that the government makes
decisions to drive the country and industry forward."
Mr Lamont thought the appointment of Michael McCormack as a
regionally-based minister in the capacity of Small Business was to be
welcomed "even if this is in the outer ministry".
"As an industry largely made up of SMEs, many of which are located in
regional Australia, we appreciate and applaud a minister who understands
the challenges of being a small business in the bush," he said.
The linking of local government and regional development through Senator
Fiona Nash was also seen as a positive for industry.
"Many industry businesses are frustrated at the inconsistencies of
regulatory enforcement that apply within local government," Mr Lamond
"Therefore, the opportunity of opening up new investment and encouraging a
better visitor experience in the regions is welcomed.
"As such, we are hopeful the new ministry structure will revive previously
shelved or stagnated projects."
Mr Lamont believed the elevation and naming of tourism into the Trade and
Investment portfolio supported by an assistant minister was "heartening"
and recognised the sector as an important contributor to the Australian
"With the caravanning and camping industry making up 17 percent of
commercial accommodation nights and 10 percent of visitor expenditure ‒
including having the highest average international spend across the sector
due to length of stay ‒ it is important that the sector's share of voice
is maintained within the Cabinet," he said.
"Furthermore, having the tourism and trade portfolios integrated allows us
to continue to explore export opportunities through one ministry, both in
services and product ... for which extensive potential exists within the
The caravan industry looked forward to exploring the areas of industry,
innovation and science with Greg Hunt and Craig Laundy, along with their
colleagues Paul Fletcher, Darren Chester and Josh Frydenberg.
"There are exciting possibilities in the industry and in infrastructure
development in the regions, which will help make the industry more
competitive," Mr Lamont said.
"An industry that is enabled to be at the forefront of technology
development will be able to provide valuable connectivity that will keep
Australians travelling around Australia long into the future."