Driver lives with
terror on victim's face
who killed grey nomad jailed
TRUCK driver whose vehicle struck and killed grey nomad Suzanne Caudell as
she worked as a traffic controller on Queensland's Bruce Highway has been
jailed. Rockhampton District Court heard that Thomas White had
suffered recurring nightmares since the horrific accident near Marlborough
in January, 2013. He was sent to prison for three years, suspended after
10 months, after admitting dangerous operation of a vehicle. The court
heard White, an accident-free truckie for 31 years, had been driving too
fast through road works when he hit the brakes of his B-double and swerved
into 64-year-old Mrs Caudell (pictured above). "He cannot forget or erase from his mind the
terror on Mrs Caudellís face,Ē defending lawyer Doug Winning told Judge
Paul Smith. Mrs Caudell had just taken over control duties from
husband Colin who watched helplessly as the giant truck hit his wife. Members of the Southern Cross RV club, Mr and Mrs Caudell were
working as traffic controllers to earn extra cash for their dream trip around
Australia in their Southern Cross fifth wheeler. A shocked Mr Caudell said
after the tragedy: "She was my mate, she was my lover, she was my best
friend, she was everything that I needed. We were going to grow old
together and now someone's taken that away from us."
Have your say
Music video goes
Steamy romps in Elite caravan
SAUCY scenes from country
singer-songwriter Kasey Chambers' new video were filmed inside a luxurious
Victorian-built Elite caravan. The award-winning entertainer's
three-and-a-half minute black and white official
Wheelbarrow, features steamy
fondling and romps on the caravan's queen-size bed. The single has been
released from Kasey's new album Bittersweet, launched at the annual
Gympie Muster and attended by thousands of caravanners and campers.
Campbellfield-based Elite Caravans said they had received a call from the
film crew requesting the use of a caravan for the shoot. "We were happy to
let them use a Balistic," a spokesperson said. "Blokes, take note of the
pose you need to hold at the door of your Elite." To view the video,
Have your say.
policy will mean more budget sites
By Dennis Amor
Have your say
CARAVANNERS and other
travellers will soon be enjoying more budget camping on Queensland's
popular Sunshine Coast.
This follows news that local
councillors have given the green light for an interim policy on limited
The welcome move will allow
more freedom to approve basic overnight camping areas on the holiday strip
which attracts millions of travellers and families every year, many of
them southern grey nomads seeking the area's winter sunshine.
A Sunshine City Council report said the
new policy was an important move in helping the drive tourism market, which accounted for
70 percent of Queensland's overnight leisure market.
It would enable the region
and local businesses to generate economic benefit from the expanding
market while a comprehensive drive tourism policy is developed by council.
"This interim policy
provides a clear framework for council to approve limited facilities
camping without the need to satisfy the requirements that are ordinarily
applied to accommodation parks," the report said.
It stressed that limited
facilities camping would serve a different tourism market than that
catered for in caravan parks, which have come under fire from travellers
because of their high site fees and lack of facilities for pets.
Under the new policy,
overnight sites will only provide rubbish bins, water access, toilets
and/or a dump point.
Permits would be issued for
a maximum of 12 months ... with the risk of cancellation if strict conditions
are not adhered to.
Former boss 'sad' at sell-off
Chinese take over Regent: report
THE giant Chinese Daide
Group is understood to have bought Victorian-based Regent Caravans.
Regent crashed in 2012 but was later taken over by newly-formed Caravans
Australia. A CA spokesman declined to comment on reports that Regent
was now in Chinese ownership, saying the parent company's boss was in
China. It is believed that Regent caravans would still be manufactured at
its Campbellfield factory but there is no information on proposed
long-term plans. The Chinese are known to have been showing interest in
the Australian caravan market for some time. Former general manager of CA
Graeme Groves told
Caravanning News shortly after the 2012 takeover that "Regent Caravans
has been resurrected, dusted off and put back on the shelf. And this time
it's here to stay." Mr Groves left the company in August, 2013. He
told Caravanning News this week that he was "sad" such an iconic
brand would be sold off. "I had nothing to do with the sell-off of Regent
Caravans to the Chinese and did not know this was happening until a couple
of weeks ago after hearing Chinese whispers," he added.
Have your say
Tiny tow raises many smiles
THE world's smallest
caravan has earned a place in the 2015 Guinness World Records book.
Built by Londoner Yannick Read, the 2.39m fully roadworthy QTvan weighs in
at 131kg and boasts a full size bed, interior lighting, TV, drinks
cabinet, sink and even a kettle. Yannick said the thing he enjoyed most
about his tiny pride and joy was the smiles from people of all ages who
saw him towing it along the road. "It has lots of features you find in a
full size caravan," the part-time inventor and web writer explained. He
had named the caravan after three British obsessions ... queuing, drinking
tea and caravanning. His inspiration came from caravans built in the
1940s. Yannick said it was "awesome" to have his QTvan officially
recognised as the smallest caravan on the planet.
Have your say
challenged to 'paint-off'
Todd turns blue for a good cause
TODD Devine, whose
company supplies hundreds of cabins to Victoria's caravan parks, could be
forgiven for feeling a little blue recently. Todd's company, Todd
Devine Homes, has just taken part in this year's Blue September - Fighting
Cancer in Men. And it exceeded its target by over $3200 to donate more
than $8200 to the worthy cause. The end result was that Todd decided to
paint himself blue for an entire business day. "The more awareness we can
create about men's cancer issues, the more we can help to reduce the
horrifying statistics," he said. Todd explained that over 55,000
Australian men will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year. At
least one in three cases is preventable by implementing simple lifestyle
changes and regular health checks, he said. Todd has now challenged other
Victorian cabin suppliers, including Jayco, to join him next year for a
'paint-off'. Todd's company also supplies holiday cabins to Lifestyle
Villages, owned by Victorian Caravan Park Association vice-president James
Have your say
Thieves busy at
SA caravan parks
THIEVES have been busy at caravan parks in Port Lincoln, South Australia.
Police have now issued a warning to holidaymakers to take extra care. A
spokesperson said: "There have been a number of incidents reported to
police in which cars have been interfered with or had items stolen from
inside. Thefts have also occurred in the Ceduna and Whyalla townships."
People were advised to remove all valuables from their vehicle or conceal
them in the boot. "Opportunistic thieves will look into vehicles to see
what items can be easily stolen and even a small amount of cash or a bag
be the catalyst for becoming a target," the spokesperson added. Anyone
seeing someone behaving suspiciously near parked cars in caravan parks is
urged to call police immediately on 131 444.
Have your say
support for anti-sway device
AL-KO's revolutionary electronic anti-sway device has received the backing
of Victoria's caravan industry. "We are not in
the habit of endorsing products but we found this product was so important
to the safety of the consumer and the innovation of the industry," Caravan
Industry Association Victoria chief executive Rob Lucas said. "We are more
than happy to get behind it and support it." Since its
launch in mid-2012,
AL-KO's Electronic Stability Control (ESC) has left its mark on the
caravan industry and towing safety in Australia.
Chinese burn for
CARAVAN sellers have again been warned to be on the alert for scammers.
This follows another incident in which a Victorian woman was conned out of
$1350 by Chinese fraudsters faining interest in her Viscount pop-top. The
Camperdown victim, who is in her 60s, was contacted on her mobile phone
after advertising the caravan for sale for $5500. As requested by the
caller, who claimed he was working on an oil rig, she paid the $1350 to a
Chinese address through Western Union to have the RV taken to his alleged
home in Darwin. But her suspicions were aroused when she received another
request for a further $2550 for "insurance". The victim, who does not want
to be identified, told media: "It was a sickening experience", adding that
she would now only take cash and deal face-to-face with prospective
Have your say
at all-time high
THE growth of Australia's caravanning and camping
industry has soared to an all-time high, according to the Caravan Industry
Association of Australia. It revealed that caravans were the fastest
growing motor vehicle by registrations ... and the number was set to
grow. The association said 85 percent of Australians had experienced
caravanning or camping in their lifetime, with research showing this form
of holiday made families happier. "There is more to the value of camping
and caravanning than the cost," chief executive Stuart Lamont explained.
Boroma name alive
QUEENSLAND quality caravan builder Boroma may be no more, but a dedicated
band of enthusiasts is keeping the name alive.
Dozens of owners will gather at NSW's Casino Caravan Park on October 17
for their 11th annual Boroma Roamers rally. The three-day event will
feature a whole host of activities, including a special meeting to discuss
"all things Boroma" and the location of next year's gathering. It will be
the final rally organised by the current team and the search is on for
volunteers with new ideas to keep the group going forward. Boroma was
forced into liquidation in 2008 as the
global economic downturn hit hard, closing its doors when sales plummeted
and jittery customers cancelled orders. For more
information on the Boroma Roamers,
Have your say
cane errant rest area caravanners
TRUCKIES have taken a swipe at thoughtless caravanners who insist on using
their rest areas as camping sites. Weary truck
drivers have frequently complained of being squeezed out of heavy vehicle
parking areas alongside the nation's highways as more and more caravanners
hit the road. Australian Trucking Association NSW manager Jodie Broadbent
said problems arose when the areas were used as camping sites. "These are
not camping spots and pretend caravan parks so people should not be
putting up their awnings and having their cups of tea," she told the
Australasian Transport News. "These are dedicated rest areas for
truckies and we need to be making sure there are plenty of those." She
said rest areas for freight vehicles were important so drivers could
comply with legislative requirements. "Having somebody set up their
caravan and camp there is entirely inappropriate," she added. NSW Roads
Minister Duncan Gay has suggested a scheme in which truckies could
pre-book parking spots in rest areas.
Have your say
over ACC muster
ABOUT 400 Australian Caravan Club members will converge on the tiny South
Australian town of Lucindale for their eighth national muster.
The seven-day gathering in Yakka Park kicks off on October 13. It is
expected to pour tens of thousands of dollars into the local community,
best known for hosting the annual Field Days organised by the Lions Club.
Muster committee coordinator Therese Gregory, who is also president of the
ACC Sundowners Branch, said local members were thrilled to be organising
the state's first national muster. Other branches involved were the
Limestone Coasters and Southern Cross Overlanders. A full programme of
social events, presentations by qualified guest speakers, games and
competitions, local tours and a dinner/dance will keep participants busy.
"A warm welcome awaits any local RVers who would like to visit the
muster," Ms Gregory said.
Have your say
Grant helps park to rock
3.5-star caravan park in a New South Wales town famous for its Elvis
festival will undergo a $79,000 facelift. Work at the 86-site Spicer
Caravan Park at Parkes will be financed through a Regional Visitor Economy
Fund grant. The funding will contribute to the development of new cabin
accommodation and upgrading to accommodate RVs under the RV-Friendly towns
scheme. Co-manager Ann-Marie Devlin told Caravanning News five
unpowered sites were now available for $12 a night. "We happily dropped
the price so we could qualify for the scheme," she said. Next January will
see the 23rd annual five-day Parkes Elvis Festival rocking the town, also
famous for its radio telescope used by NASA throughout the Apollo program.
"It sets the town alive and the whole place really rocks," Ann-Marie said.
"We are packed out every year."
Have your say
favour their own state
NINETY percent of caravanners and campers in WA last year were from the
state itself, according to new figures. A
Tourism Western Australia visitor snapshot revealed this form of holiday
was most popular among the 35 to 44-year age group. Three out of five
international caravanning and camping visitors were under 35 and mainly
travelled alone (50 percent) or as an adult couple (28 percent). Both
domestic and overseas visitors preferred regional WA, with Exmouth proving
the most popular among foreigners (43 percent). Locals were not so keen
... only nine percent favouring the destination.
Have your say
gongs for green seven
CARAVAN and tourist parks across Australia have been recognised for their
commitment to sustainability and environmental practice.
Seven have received awards this year for achieving the high standards
required to meet the Caravan & Camping Industry Associationís (CCIA)
Gumnut Eco Program. CCIA NSW chief executive Lyndel Gray said that since
its launch 12 years ago, the program had helped over 280 businesses in the
caravanning sector identify and improve sustainability opportunities in
areas such as water and waste management, energy efficiency, landscape and
design, corporate responsibility and staff and community culture.
Melbourne show has
attractions for young and old
THE final touches are being made to the seventh annual Melbourne
Leisurefest which will feature over 300 exhibitors.
Opening on October 2, the four-day show at Sandown Racecourse will
showcase the best products in the caravan, camping and 4WD industries.
"This year's show is jam-packed with activities for young and old," CIA
Victoria chief executive Rob Lucas said. "There are also new attractions
to the show including the towing track, educational seminars and the Kids
Caravanning Explorerís Club."
Over 30 at inaugural
New age dawns for owners
NEW Age caravan owners
have held their first gathering. More than 30 enthusiasts attended the
inaugural event at Cowes Caravan Park, Philip Island, Victoria. Spokesman
Bryan Crow said the four-days comprised "fellowship and sessions on tech
talk, reversing and handover procedures". To read more about the event,
click on the MORE button.
'No accountability or
Ball games spark heated debate
KIDS playing ball games
in packed caravan parks at Christmas have ignited a heated discussion among
members of the online Caravaners (sic) Forum. A member, who plans to
spend some of the festive season in a caravan park, started the ball
rolling when he asked whether park managers should ban ball games around
caravans, especially as there was usually no accountability or
responsibility "when things go belly up". His posting attracted more than
2000 viewings on the 11,000-member forum. Many members appeared to be on
the children's side. One wrote: "I'd be very very surprised if any caravan
park banned such things as ball games, or even attempted to restrict them
to certain areas. I guess if people don't like what is associated with
caravan parks they shouldn't go to them. Sounds a lot like their problem
and no one else's." But another commented: "I find it incredible that many
respondents believe it ok to play cricket or football amongst caravans
that are also very closely packed together."
Have your say.
Assurance from new
owners of Maroochy Palms
THE new owners of a popular caravan park on Queensland's
Sunshine Coast have promised that caravanners will not be squeezed out.
Regulars at the Maroochy Palms Holiday Village fear they will not be
welcome after a takeover by Gateway Residential Lifestyle Parks. The
previous owner of the BIG4 holiday destination has retired. Gateway is an
Australian owned and operated company which specialises in developing and
managing residential parks. It says its aim is to "consistently fulfil the
lifestyle expectations of our residents by creating and maintaining
sustainable, secure and vibrant communities". Some concerned caravanners
believe this could sound the death knell for family holidays at the park.
But Gateway's head of sales and marketing Tonia Ivanni told Caravanning
News: "We will be continuing tourism in this park as part of our plan
with only a few small changes to the number of caravan positions
Have your say
US-built RVs set for Down Under
BRIGHTLY coloured US-built caravans are set to hit Australian shores
before Christmas. Importer Apollo Motorhome
Holidays says red, lime green and bright orange Minnie Winnebago caravans
are already a huge hit in America due to their adventurous styling and
colour options. And US-based Winnebago Industries has decided they could
also be well accepted on the Australia market and has designed and
manufactured models specifically for Down Under. Australian RV dealer and
manufacturer Apollo Motorhome Holidays announced a licencing deal with
glasses to Ryan's winery plans
JAYCO caravans founder Gerry Ryan plans to pour millions of dollars into
his winery north of Melbourne. Mr Ryan and his
family acquired the historic riverside Mitchelton Wines in 2011, promising
to turn the Nagambie site into an iconic food, wine and hospitality
destination. Mr Ryan has now revealed $22-million plans for a 70-room
hotel and day spa, chocolate factory and a 90-cabin residential-leisure
park on Nagambie Lakes. Locals are said to be raising their glasses at the
news. They believe the additions will bring more tourists to the region.
Have your say
reveals Adria 2015 line-up
IMPORTERS have revealed details of the 2015 line-up of award-winning
European-built Adria caravans now available in Australia.
The Apollo Group said the five unique models were on show at selected
dealers. Business development manager Peter Eller said the range was an
outstanding selection providing Australians with the most innovative and
affordable caravans ever offered by the Slovenian manufacturer. "Travellers
will be amazed by the attention to detail and practical designs of the
2015 Adria range," he said.
under threat, claims CIAWA
WA's caravan parks are under threat, warns the peak body for the state's
caravan and camping industry. The claim comes
from the CIAWA in a 45-page submission to the Department of Commerce in
response to a consultation paper on the Residential Parks (Long Stay
Tenants) Act 2006. The 250-member association is concerned over some
aspects of the government review into the Caravan Park and Camping Ground
Act. Its lengthy submission claims that those involved with the review had
failed to recognise or identify that caravan parks provided an essential
housing option for low income or transient residents.
book on park permanents
A UNIVERSITY researcher who spent five years studying caravan park residents in
WA, has released a major new book on her findings.
Janice Newton from the Victorian-based Federation University Australia
turned the spotlight on pathways to caravan park living and social lives
created in a caravan park environment. Her book, Parkland: When Caravan
Is Home, offers new insights into a range of problems affecting
contemporary Australian society, around dimensions of work, health,
relationships, identity and belonging.
plans for new caravan park
CARAVAN park operators have questioned the wisdom of building a new park
in Broome, WA. The 596-site development at Cable
Beach, which would also offer 156 cabins, would be released under a
partnership between Tourism WA and the Shire of Broome, with Discovery
Holiday Parks as the preferred contractors. Public submissions will be
invited when the business plan is released. One local caravan park owner
claimed there was no need for another park because existing ones struggled
to fill their parks for 90 percent of the year.
Have your say
takes over Bairnsdale park
AUSTRALIAN Tourist Park Management has acquired the lease for Mitchell
Gardens Holiday Park in Bairnsdale, Victoria.
The nine-year deal with East Gippsland Shire Council brings the company's
property portfolio to 30. ATPM chief executive Mark Manteit said he was
looking forward to working with the council to manage and improve the park
facilities, maintenance and the overall guest experience. The park has
already been renamed and its signage will be refreshed in the coming
months with the new name and brand.
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