MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
helps RV's 'cottage
I WOULD like to
comment on RVM Australia securing easier access to design rules
(see story here).
In my opinion, some manufacturers can't even get simple things
like the weights right.
How on earth are they going to understand Australian Standards
They won't pay the money ... it would eat into their profits.
Maybe the industry should do some serious training of the poorly
paid workers who try to build RVs with little or no training.
At the moment, some seem to be using methods and equipment that
Unfortunately, some smaller players have built a cottage industry
and rely on public ignorance of how the game is played.
Praise for SA
on free camps
it comes to free camping, at least one council has the right idea!
Wattle Range Council in South Australia's southeast, just north of Mt
Gambier, has opened up several new free campsites.
Penola now has a free campsite at Greenrise Lake just a kilometre or so
south of the town.
It has water for washing, flush toilets, shade and BBQs as well as a dump
Tantanoola, between Mt Gambier and Millicent, has a free campsite across
the road from the hotel with dump site, water and new toilets.
Millicent has an overnight campsite behind the Information Centre which
has a dump site and is right in town.
Beachport now has a dumpsite just out of town beside the beach.
Well done Wattle Range Council ... I only wish more councils were as
Dumping scorn on waste idea
REGARDING your story on Ballarat City Council deferring its decision on
whether it will pay caravan parks to allow travellers to use their dump
I wonder if they are going to also let us fill our tanks with town water
Personally I cannot be bothered going into a caravan park to be let in
through the boom gates to empty our cassette.
I will keep using public toilets to empty our waste and fill up with
yourself out for school holidays
Gramping about to hit camping
years Glamping has become a new phenomenon in Aussie camping, but now
Gramping is about to hit the scene. The idea comes as Kids In Tow
(KIT) celebrates its first anniversary. Run in conjunction with the
Australian Caravan Club, KIT was founded by Gold Coast couple Colin and
Natali Hopgood. Expensive caravan parks with all their bells and whistles
are out for members, who believe the only requisite needed for children to
make fun and have a good time is other kids. "We have had many mini
musters with some families driving many hours just to meet up with people
they have never met," Mr Hopgood told Caravanning News. "What has
surfaced is the need for musters on the school holidays. It appears a lot
of grandparents have their grandkids at this time because most parents
have jobs. So we are working towards a program for 'Gramping' ... camping
with grandparents. It will incorporate the club's FarmStay program, so
there will be no cost for accommodation. This way grey nomads can still do
their thing, while the kids will be doing theirs." KIT is very 'stranger
danger' conscious, and has a closed Facebook and a 'KIT members only'
section on its website. This way the location of musters and the
whereabouts of members are protected. For more information,
Have your say
management change expected
Super fund controls Discovery
Have your say
taken control of Adelaide-based Discovery Holiday Parks, it has been
The award-winning Australian superannuation fund was already a 28 percent
shareholder but strong growth in the holiday park industry prompted the
$240 million deal, pumping up it shareholding to 98 percent.
There will be no management change for Discovery Parks staff who will
continue to be integrally involved in future growth.
Sunsuper is one of Australia's largest superannuation funds with more than
a million members and $26 billion in funds under management.
Chief investment officer David Hartley said the move was a strong
investment for Sunsuper's members.
"The holiday park industry is a strong and resilient sector and demand has
continued to increase, even when there has been a decline in other forms
of tourism accommodation," he said.
"This is a long term investment for Sunsuper and we plan to continue
growing the business with the view to increase the number of parks."
Discovery Parks co-founder and chief executive Grant Wilckens described
the ownership transition as an "important milestone" in the evolution of
Discovery Holiday Parks.
"We continue to see excellent opportunities in the caravan and camping
sector evidenced by the strong growth of our business which has delivered
more than 21 percent compound growth in earnings over the last five
years," he said.
Founded almost 10 years ago, Discovery Parks says it is now Australia's
largest owner and operator of holiday park accommodation and a major
provider of workforce and corporate accommodation.
It has 31 parks across all states of Australia.
Connecting job seekers with
Belinda's frustration leads to new park
staff recruiting website
half full' person
Have your say
THE manager of
a NSW holiday park has launched a new staff recruitment website designed
specifically for caravan and tourist parks.
NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Park's Belinda Thomas hopes her new site will
help do away with the "frustration" of having to wade through a mountain
of job applications from people not really interested in finding work in
"I found that every time I posted a job vacancy I spent days reading
through resumes of people who, in some cases, didn't even know what
position they had applied for ... or even what industry it was in," she
told Caravanning News.
Her Hire Me, Holiday Parks website aims to connect keen job seekers
willing to pay a small fee with employers in the caravan and tourist park
Belinda has worked at holiday parks for more than 13 years, mostly in
management but also in frontline and operations positions.
"I am passionate about the people and experiences that holiday parks
offer," she said.
"To me, finding the right staff for the right job is the most important
step in building a profitable and productive business, but every process I
tried just caused me to become more and more disillusioned with popular
"I wanted to help fix this problem and being a 'glass half full' person
that I am, I chose to put my money where my mouth is and build this
"I believe the holiday park industry is big enough and specialised enough
that it requires its own industry-focused recruitment site."
Belinda said the most important step in building a better industry was
finding, training and motivating passionate people.
The recruitment website can be accessed by
CONCEPT CARAVANS GET BEHIND INGALL
IN V8 SUPERCARS
Ingall will return to V8 Supercar racing this year as driver for Lucas
Dumbrell Motorsport, sponsored by Victorian-based Concept Caravans.
The 2005 V8 Supercars champion will race a VF Commodore built by category
leaders Triple Eight Race Engineering, bearing number 23. Concept Caravans
features prominently on the side wheel panels. The sponsorship gives
Concept Caravans prominent exposure as well as numerous opportunities to
increase its brand awareness with a huge audience. "We are excited to be a
part of this team which has a long association with motorsport as well as
the experience of 'The Enforcer'," a spokesperson said.
Have your say
download free copies
BIG4 serves up recipes
Parks' new crowd-sourced recipe book has been a hit, with thousands of
Aussie holidaymakers downloading copies. It is packed with simple,
delicious meals which can be easily replicated in the kitchens of all 180
BIG4 Holiday Parks across the country. To create the recipe book, BIG4
asked their fans and customers to submit tried and tested camp recipes ...
and it turned out that Aussie campers have more than a few family
favourites up their sleeves with more than 670 recipes submitted, 70 of
which made the final cut. The recipe book is available for free download,
and printed copies can be bought for $15.50 for BIG4 Loyalty Club members
and $18.50 non-members (includes postage). BIG4 Holiday Parks chief
executive Ray Schleibs said demand had been overwhelming with more than
24,000 people viewing it online. Click
here to download.
Have your say
photo of the suspected murder scene taken after Simone's body was
found hidden nearby
GERMAN COPS OFFER REWARD
IN HUNT FOR SIMONE'S KILLER
police have offered a $15,000 reward for information which helps solve the
murder of a young woman at a NSW caravan park nine years ago. Bavarian
backpacker Simone Strobel's body was found hidden under a pile of rotting
palm fronds outside Lismore Tourist Caravan Park in February, 2005. Police
alleged at an inquest that the 25-year-old victim was suffocated to death
at the caravan park following a violent argument with her boyfriend and
then unceremoniously dumped before he reported her missing. No one has
ever been charged over the death. Bavararian police said it was hoped the
reward might encourage Lismore residents with knowledge of the case to
come forward. "The reward can be paid in Australia," a spokesman said.
Have your say
model riding crest of a wave
CELL Caravans' new model is riding on the crest of a wave, the Victorian
caravan company reports. The Toy
Hauler has attracted great interest from people wanting to take their 'man
toys' away on holiday with them, marketing manager Amy Ryland told
Caravanning News. "Others want office space, pop-up shops and have all
sorts of creative ideas for using the model," she said. Meanwhile, Cell is
seeking staff to join its team as sales of its extensive range of US-built
'vans continue to rise.
parks directory now available
THE 2014 Queensland Caravan Parks & Touring Accommodation Directory
is being distributed to visitor information centres around Queensland.
This free directory, colloquially
known as The Caravanners Bible, lists all member parks in the state
as well as a full listing of trades and services members. A must have to
complement anyone's caravanning adventures, it can be obtained by emailing
Have your say
Schools caned over tourist camp sites
The Caravan Parks Association of Queensland has expressed concern over
some Sunshine Coast schools offering budget sites to campers to raise
school funds. Operations manager
Kristy Ponting told Caravanning News that travellers could be putting
themselves in jeopardy. "Our concern is not that business is being taken
away from the commercial caravan parks, but instead that by offering a
caravan site on grounds that are not controlled or compliant to
regulation, tourists are being put at risk," she said. It has been
revealed that at least two state schools in the area are allowing
recreational vehicles to use their ovals.
Spirit of Tasmania wins gold
TT-Line’s Spirit of Tasmania service has been recognised as
Australia's best major tour and transport operator, ahead of some of
Australia's biggest operators. It
is the first time the service, which ferries thousands of caravans and
motorhomes to the Apple Isle every year, has collected gold in the
Australian Tourism Awards' category. With several other island tourist
businesses also collecting gongs, Tourism Minister Scott Bacon said they
capped off a record year in which more than a million people visited
Tasmania, a first-time achievement.
Have your say
Cairns park named Australia's best
BIG4 Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort has been named Australia's top caravan
park. It scored gold in the tourist
and caravan parks category at the recent Australian Tourism Awards in
Sydney. South Australia's BIG4 Adelaide Shores Caravan Park took out the
Silver gong while Nambucca River Tourist Park in NSW scored Bronze. Other
finalists in the category were BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park (NT),
BIG4 St Helens Holiday Park (TAS), RACV Cobram Resort (VIC) and BIG4
Peppermint Park (WA).
Have your say
for improved safety at road works
FORMER Queensland grey nomad Colin Caudell is continuing his push for
improved safety at road works. Mr
Caudell's wife of 35 years Suzanne was killed last year while working as a
traffic controller on the Bruce Highway north of Rockhampton in
Queensland. He watched in horror as a giant B-double truck collided with
her as she was holding a stop/slow sign at the Marlborough site. Members
of the Southern Cross RV club, they were working as traffic controllers to
earn extra cash for their trip around Australia in their Southern Cross
fifth wheeler. The truckie has been charged and will appear in court this
year. Meanwhile, the Caloundra branch of the Liberal National Party has
passed a motion from Mr Caudell calling for better safety at road works.
It wants an advertising and awareness campaign on road workers' safety,
including traffic controllers, government policing of all traffic control
sites to ensure correct signage, and policing and other enforcement of
speed limits through road works. Mr Caudell says on his Facebook page:
"The push for change is done in the memory of my wife." The motion will
now go to the LNP's State Council meeting in Toowoomba, to be held from
February 28 to March 2.
Have your say
support expected for CCIA's first show
ORGANISERS expect strong support for New South Wales' first major caravan
and camping show of the season. The
three-day Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW Expo will be
open at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground on February 7.
CCIA chief executive Lyndel Gray said the expo had become a "pivotal
event" on the Hunter and Central Coast events calendar and she expected
the attendance to exceed 24,000.
Slumped caravanner 'over seven times the alcohol limit'
A WOMAN allegedly found slumped in a vehicle towing caravan on
Queensland's Bruce Hwy was more than seven times the legal
alcohol limit. Police said the
47-year-old blew 0.367 when breath-tested on the major highway at
Lethebrook, south of Proserpine. She allegedly admitted driving from
Townsville earlier that day. She has been charged with drink-driving and
driving an unregistered vehicle. Caravanner Christopher James Schmidt. 56,
copped a nine-month jail sentence last year after being caught towing
while nearly seven times over the legal blood-alcohol level. He was
breath-tested as he refuelled his rig at a service station in Goondiwindi,
near the Queensland-New South Wales border.
Have your say
welcomes new Apple Isle partnership
A NEW partnership between Tasmanian Tourist Parks and Family Parks has
been welcomed by the Apple Isle's tourism minister, Scott Bacon.
He said the new alliance would help boost Tasmania’s tourism potential and
its contribution to the local economy, adding: "This new partnership will make the
Tasmanian Tourist/Family Parks network the largest referral-based
association in Tasmania." The Minister said caravan park guests had poured
over $290m into Tasmania's economy in 2012-2013, on average spending 17
days on the island.
now offers specific sites for caravans
YALGORUP National Park south of Perth now has specific sites for caravans
and camper trailers after a $1.3 million upgrade.
Improvements include the addition of eight tent camp sites, four larger
group camp sites, a camp kitchen, two communal fire pits and two toilets.
And, Environment Minister Albert Jacob said, the park now offers specific
sites for caravans and camper trailers, bringing the total number of
campsites available to 34 ... double the number previously available. Mr
Jacob said the upgrade was part of the state government's commitment to
boost the number of affordable camping sites in WA's national parks and
Have your say
to escape the rat-race
LIFE is too short to be stuck in the rat-race, according to Victoria's
caravan and camping industry. And
one of the first steps in escaping the frantic pace of city life is a
visit to next month's Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow,
which kicks off at Caulfield Racecourse on March 6. Organisers of the
event, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary, point out there are
many breathtaking destinations to visit and memories to make when you own
a recreational vehicle.
permits to be scrapped
A VICTORIAN Government blitz on red tape will mean caravan owners will no
longer have to apply for council planning permits to build annexes in
caravan parks. The new rule is
among a raft of changes following consultations with associations and
businesses by Government Red Tape Commissioner John Lloyd. The reforms
will also mean Segways (upright scooters) will be allowed at tourist spots
in Melbourne. Most of the changes will be put in place to meet the
government's 25 percent red tape reduction target by July.
Have your say
Councillor's push for Branxton rest area
THE city of Branxton in the Hunter Region of New South Wales could be
throwing down the welcome mat for grey nomads, if a local councillor has
his way. The city will soon be
bypassed by the 40km, $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway and Cr Jeff Maybury
believes the old Branxton Oval would make an ideal overnight stopping
place for travellers who would spend at local businesses. He points out
that the Oval already has a dump point in its carpark and adjoining land
could be turned into a $5-a-night facility for self-contained RVs, with a
local charity collecting the fees.
Have your say
helps cancer rider achieve $1m target
BIG4 caravan and tourist parks raised $85,000 to help actor-turned
unicycle rider Samuel Johnson reach his $1m target for cancer research.
Johnson, best known for his roles on The Secret Life of Us,
Crackerjack, Underbelly II and Network Ten’s Rush, set himself
a lofty target after learning that his sister Connie had been diagnosed
with terminal cancer more than two years ago.
move for Sunshine Coast RV
SUNSHINE Coast RV in Queensland has moved to new premises ... just 400m
away! Agents for Coromal, Windsor
and Nova caravans, the Caboolture company says the relocation in Lear Jet
Drive offers improved frontage to the nearby busy Bruce Highway. "There's
greater exposure and we will be able to serve our customers better,"
commented sales representative John Sills.
Have your say
add to success'
Carol 'over moon' at
CAROL Ward, who
admits to having an "unwavering passion and commitment" for the caravan
and camping industry, has joined the Victorian Caravan Parks Association.
With an extensive background in the Australian hospitality sales and
marketing arena spanning more than two decades, Ms Ward has taken up the
newly-created position of membership development manager. VicParks said
the new position had a wide and varied portfolio with the view to
strengthening the association's membership offering. Having held positions
with both BIG4 and Pathfinder Outdoor Destinations, Ms Ward is well known
in the caravan park industry. "I am over the moon to be able to work
alongside our CEO, Elizabeth White, as well as the entire team at VicParks,"
she said. "The work that has been done over the past three years is
outstanding and I am very keen to add to its continued success."
Have your say
parks support $4000 trial
Council defers dump
council may pay caravan parks to allow caravanners and other RVers to
empty their toilets at their dump points for free. Ballarat City
Council believes it would be cheaper
than installing public black water disposal facilities in the former gold
rush town. Four caravan parks would be paid $10 every time a traveller
used their dump points, the money coming from a $4000 council fund to
finance the 12-month trial. The council had been recommended to give the
thumbs up to the trial, but decided to seek more information. Cr
Peter Innis told Caravanning News some minor issues had been raised
and needed clarifying. "From a personal point of view I think we should do
more to attract caravanners and other travellers to the town," he said.
"If this trial is a total failure, that's fine. But we will do something
else." He accepted that the experiment would upset some people. "You have
got to try these things," he added. A council report suggested that when
visiting towns, major purchases by RVers included $235 on fuel and vehicle
maintenance, $160 on groceries and other living expenses and $51 on
accommodation. "By making dump points available free of charge at local
caravan parks, it is expected that some of this economic benefit will be
captured by local businesses," it said. Parks supporting the trial are
BIG4 Ballarat Goldfields Holiday Park, BIG4 Ballarat Welcome Stranger
Holiday Park, BIG4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park and Eureka Stockade
Have your say
travellers mean 'money in the bank'
QUEENSLAND'S Sunshine Coast has been urged to do more to tap into the
lucrative grey nomad market.
Writing in the Caloundra Buzz magazine, the local Chamber of
Commerce's Bill Darby said the travellers could mean "money in the bank"
for the holiday strip. "We are not known as being RV friendly," he wrote.
"But the Sunshine Coast is presented with an enormous opportunity to grow
tourism expenditure through this market segment." He believed the area had
"innumerable sites" for attracting travellers. "All we need is for council
regulations regarding RV parking to be the enabler and to also provide a
few extra sewer and water access points. The rest will take care of
itself," he said. "If you are in the hospitality, tourism, transport or
medical services sector, this is a lobby you need to be part of. Let's
ramp up the visitation from this lucrative, responsible and rapidly
growing market and reap the financial benefits."
Have your say
Pedy park joins national chain
BIG4 Holiday Parks has welcomed a new addition to its 180-strong network
of caravan and tourist parks.
Coober Pedy's Stuart Range Outback Resort, well known for its hands-on
approach to attracting tourists to the world famous opal mining town, says
it is delighted to be joining the national chain. The 4-star park offers
daily coach tours ... and delicious pizzas!
CampAware cuts crime by half
CRIME at foreshore camping areas on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula has
plunged by half since police introduced its proactive CampAware programme.
The popular area attracts hordes of caravanners and other travellers but
many experiences have been soured by reports of theft, damage, assault,
obscene exposure and drunken anti-social behaviour. Authorities decided to
tackle the problem head-on, with increased police and ranger presence, the
CampAware scheme and regular patrols on an all-terrain vehicle. "The
vehicle allows us to have a quicker response time and it had broken down
the barrier between us and the people because they can easily approach and
interact with us when we're in the vehicle," Crime Prevention Officer
Julie Simpson told media.
Have your say
care needed to prevent RV fires
NEW South Wales' fire chief has urged caravanners and campers to take more
care after figures revealed firemen dealt with 131 caravan and mobile
property fires last year. "There is
something special about camping, being in the outdoors with family and
friends ... but it can turn into tragedy," Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins
warned. In the past 10 years, FRNSW firefighters have attended nearly 1000
incidents involving caravans, campervans and mobile homes, with more than
60 injuries and eight deaths.
United effort staves off rent rises
CARAVAN park dwellers have heaved a collective sigh of relief after
hearing that plans to slap GST on their rents have been scrapped.
The draft Australian Tax Office plan would have applied to mixed-use parks
which have both long term residents and temporary sites for caravans or
tents. But it has decided to abandon the move after a nationwide protest.
And the Caravan, RV & Accommodation Industry of Australia has welcomed the
news, with chief executive Stuart Lamont congratulating the ATO on
responding to industry and stakeholder concerns expressed during the
consultation process. "The announcement by the ATO is welcomed to take
away the concerns from residents facing uncertainty on what the GST
decision may have meant for their rental payments," he said. "This outcome
is an example of what can be achieved when the entire industry comes
together united in a common cause."
Have your say
national industry body planned
Show briefings as merger
will be held at caravan shows for members of two major Australian caravan
industry organisations as they move closer to a merger. The Caravan,
RV and Accommodation Industry of Australia and the manufacturers' peak
body, RVM Australia, say they are committed to delivering a new national
industry organisation by July 1. A joint statement said professional
advice was being considered ahead of board meetings this month. This was
to "ensure that the most effective use of stakeholder funds is employed
during the process, and that the interests of all sectors of the
caravanning industry remain represented within the new organisation". The
working party looking at forming the united national body comprises David
Duncan, Chris Goddard and Ben Binns from RVM Australia and Stuart Lamont,
Steve Bartlett and Mark Lindsay from CRVA. They are said to have already
worked through "a number of key issues" relating to the proposed new
single entity. "It is acknowledged that such an outcome is ambitious but
achievable," the statement said.
merger is expected to be a key talking point when CRVA holds its national
conference at Hobart's Hotel Grand Chancellor on April 2.
Have your say
spotlight on rest areas
THE Queensland Government is quizzing the state's travellers, including
grey nomads, on their experiences of roadside rest areas.
The online survey comes as the government engaged PSA Consulting
(Australia) to prepare a Best Practice Guide to help local
authorities and community groups design and manage the facilities. Three
workshops are also being held in the Sunshine State at which people can
give feedback and offer ideas.
Murramarang resort rebranded
NRMA Holiday Parks and Australian
Tourist Park Management (ATPM) have rebranded ATPM's Murramarang
Beachfront Nature Resort. Although
remaining in ATPM ownership, from March 1 the 4.5-star park at South
Durras in NSW will be known as NRMA Murramarang Beachfront Nature Resort.
ATPM bought the resort in December, 2010, and rebuilt it as a
nature-based, fully inclusive family resort which become part of the ATPM-owned
Escape2 Holiday Parks. ATPM chief executive John Tilton commented: "We are
proud our resort has captured the eye of NRMA and look forward to our
continued working relationship."
Have your say
soar for remedial work at Miara caravan park
REMEDIAL work at flood-ravaged Miara Caravan Park north of Bundaberg in
Queensland will cost $173,000, nearly twice as much as first thought.
Raging waters from the adjoining Kolan River last year cut a swathe of
destruction through the 134-site park, one of four operated by Bundaberg
Regional Council. The torrent was so ferocious it split the mouth of the
river into three separate waterways, one dividing nearby Moore Park Beach
to the south. The 3-star caravan park was closed for about three months
while major repairs were carried out to its infrastructure. In a new
update, the regional council said the initial works had been carried out
involving the use of sand nourishment techniques to stabilise erosion
programme rollout set for completion
THE RV manufacturing industry's peak body, RVM Australia, is on target to
complete the roll-out of its RV Manufacturing Accreditation Program this
year. Launched last April, RVMAP is
a key element of the association's effort to ensure total industry
compliance. Chief executive David Duncan said the programme had been
completely reviewed last year to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
"The review confirmed that RVMAP is very much what our industry needs, and
we have now fine-tuned it," he said.
fans offer helping hand
Splashdown for new water
WHEN a NSW
park wanted help in naming its latest attraction it turned to Facebook.
More than 1600 of the park's fans on the online socialising medium offered
suggestions, with judges finally deciding NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park's
new water park would be called Splash Away Bay. With its sea creatures,
toddler zone, splash buckets, spirals , arches, shaded areas, BBQ and
seating area, the feature has already proved a resounding success. NRMA
Holiday Parks commercial manager David Birch commented: "The water park
was created for the enjoyment of our members and guests and it was only
fitting they had a say in naming it. We asked our Facebook fans to suggest
names, with the winner receiving a holiday at Ocean Beach." A panel from
NRMA narrowed it down to the top 10 names, with Facebook fans voting for
the final winner. Splash Away Bay scooped 36 percent of the votes.
Have your say
Sophisticated European styling
Jayco launches its new
launched its next-generation caravan – the Silverline. With its
aerodynamic exterior, the caravan sports sophisticated lines of
Euro-styling. "And the sporty aesthetics are matched by superior handling,
in both the tourer and the outback models," national sales manager Shane
Holloway said. "The front sweeps back and features a wide, almost
full-width window, tinted and double-glazed for comfort and protection. A
rear chrome bumper, diamond-shaped LED back lights, stylish external
graphics and alloy wheels add to its overall appeal." Silverline comes in
multiple lengths, from 21ft to 25ft, and 10 base layouts. They are fitted
with durable, super-strong nitrogen-filled tyres and the unique J-tech
suspension, allowing wheels to react independently of each other on bumpy
roads. Heavy duty Pedders off-road shock absorbers and coil springs can
handle demanding outback conditions. Silverline was extensively tested
over two years at the Australian Automotive Research Centre and covered
thousands of kilometres under extreme conditions.
Have your say
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Why so much angst
the 15pc of dissidents?
SO Kristy Ponting’s “tough love” approach to
stamping out low-cost school ground campsites on the Queensland Sunshine
Coast is driven by concern for the safety and welfare of campers.
I don’t think so.
"Our concern is not that business is being taken away from the commercial
caravan parks, but (that) ... tourists are being put at risk," says Ms
Ponting, spokesperson for the Queensland Caravan Parks Association, in the
February issue of Caravanning News.
To the contrary, commercial caravan park operators are motivated by
Nothing wrong with that - they’re running a business and need to make a
profit to survive.
But let's not pretend otherwise.
The caravan park industry is heavily regulated and operators need to meet
a number of stringent compliance issues. All this comes at a cost.
Yet their competitors – in this case, the local P&C committee - can simply
throw open the school gates and allow RVers to camp on the oval, without
any similar restrictions.
Of course, caravan park operators are going to be angry. No doubt they're
still fuming at the injustice of it all.
However, there are several key points that need to be considered when
debating this issue:
• Commercial caravan parks are filled to capacity over peak holiday
periods, so overflow campgrounds are necessary to accommodate all the
• The local school benefits from the additional income that its annual
campground fundraiser generates.
• For financial reasons, some RVers prefer low-cost camping options,
rather than the higher cost of commercial caravan parks.
• And finally, there is a small segment of the RVing fraternity who prefer
to avoid commercial caravan parks as much as possible. Communing with
nature in low-impact campgrounds is more their style.
As Ms Ponting has previously stated, some 85 percent of RVers prefer to
stay at commercial caravan parks.
Why then so much angst directed at the 15 percent of dissidents who prefer
alternative camping options?
By their very nature, RVers are an independent breed of travellers.
They value their independence and autonomy, and strongly resent
authorities trying to herd them into commercial caravan parks ... even if
it IS supposedly for their own good!
THIS story is a total crock and is just
another swipe at freedom camping by the caravan park lobby.
I think that Caravanning Parks Association of Queensland has totally
miscalculated its target this time.
The local community is up in arms over their attack on local P&Cs.
The response on Facebook to this story has been amazing and the
association deserves every bit of negative publicity its has generated by
By comparison, see what the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce has to say (Caravanning
Getting us offside
I AM not sure what sort of experience Ms.
Ponting has, but I can assure her that trying to force people (especially
old Australians) to use the facilities provided by her association members
just gets all of us offside.
We use caravan parks when it suits us, and
will continue to do so.
But we will avoid like the plague anyone who
endeavours to force us into something we do not need, or want.