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Caravanning News is registered with the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive

October 2017

Monthly readership: 20,096 to 27,629
(previous six-months)

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Breaking News headline
For full list, click above

Emergency services at scene of a car and caravan rollover on NSW's Newell Highway at Jerilderie near Old Urana Road.

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

* Bruce Hwy claims another caravan crash victim ... 90,996 people reached.

* Caravanners in 70s airlifted to hospital after accident ... 64,886 people reached.

* Caravan industry denies having free rein ... 25,721 people reached.

* Caravan crooks cut though hitch ... 19,720 people reached.

* Stolen New Age caravan ... 19,289 people reached.

* Cops warn after Mt Isa park robberies ... 17,120 people reached.

* RV gas pipes pose explosion risk ... 14,907 people reached.

More letters to the editor

Spit closure means wasted resource

CAMPERS on the Gold Coast's Spit now risk $1200 fines (see story here).

The reasons behind its closure, I believe, is political crap.

Most of the mess left at the Spit was always from the local goons drinking and leaving their trash behind.

I've slept at the Spit for six years.

Now the park will sit empty most of the time.

What a wasted resource ... probably in the name of a new casino and boat docks.

I'm sure that's what it is all about.

Gerald Young.

Join and enjoy the benefits

BUNDABERG is to get a new RV park, but only CMCA members will be allowed to stay there (see story here).

Fred Taylor thinks it's unfair.

Well, as the CMCA is doing all the work and setup, plus managing it, so it should be.

Fred also has the right to join the CMCA and enjoy the benefits.


Great weekend

BAILEY treated owners of its caravans to a free weekend away (see story here).

It was a great weekend.

Thanks again to Bailey Australia.

Colin Rushton.



Rigs hit Queensland's Isis Highway as they had to the CMCA's national rally (Photos: Caravanning News) Rigs hit Queensland's Isis Highway as they had to the CMCA's national rally (Photos: Caravanning News)

Rigs hit Queensland's Isis Highway as they head to the CMCA's national rally (Photos: Caravanning News)


MORE than 2000 club members set up camp in a Queensland city for this year's massive CMCA rally. Around a thousand RVs converged on Bundaberg in the Sunshine State for the club's 32nd national get-together. The Isis Highway leading into the city's Recreation Precinct was choked with RVs of all shapes and sizes as the nine-day event got underway. Members enjoyed a packed programme of events and also acknowledged Bundaberg's pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler with a themed fancy dress rally ball.  The final few days of the rally were somewhat wet ... with the city receiving seven times its October rain average and total falls setting up a new 64-year record.  Have your say

Caravanning at crossroads in evolutionary cycle


Rod Caldicott ... freedom camping researchBy Dennis Amor
Have your say

AUSTRALIA is failing to meet the needs of freedom campers, according to a university researcher.

Dr Rod Caldicott, from the Southern Cross University's School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, makes the claim in a thesis which has earned him a doctorate.

The former Richmond Valley Council tourism and promotions officer says his research delved "headlong into the murky swamp of freedom camping".

But he hoped it would bring "greater understanding" to a relatively understudied aspect of tourism ... freedom camping. which he described as "a wicked problem".

During his five-year study, Dr Caldicott warned that caravan parks were being sold off for redevelopment at a time when more and more caravans and other RVs were manufactured.

Meanwhile, regulators were not keeping pace with the new breed of traveller with all mod-cons and who did not need powered sites or other facilities.

Freedom camping
not bound by market-based commercial norms and park regs

He said many would happily pay "10 bucks a night" to camp on public or private land.

Despite freedom camping being practiced for hundreds of years, authorities began regulating camping when caravan parks entered the scene in the 1930s and 40s, he said.

"Freedom camping is a practice whereby domestic or international travellers occupy by deliberate choice a recreational vehicle as a mode of accommodation in an open space that is not bound by market-based commercial norms and camping and/or caravan park-based regulations."

Dr Caldicott believed the development of caravanning in Australia was at an interesting crossroads in its evolutionary cycle.

His thesis encourages freedom campers, commercial operators and communities to collectively lobby government representatives in the hope they would respond to "well thought out and united proposals".

"The rally is for a balance," he said.

"That of preserving freedom-of-choice camping as a way of life and that of preserving natural and economic ecosystems through a regislative disruption supported by self-regulation and peer policing."

Such change would "aptly support" private enterprise to sustainably "re-enter” and other entities to "enter" a simplified, flexible and compliance-ready RV camping supply chain ... one better appointed to accommodate existing and growing new and still evolving RV market demands.

A Caravanning News photo of Bauple rest area taken two years ago

A Caravanning News photo of Bauple rest area taken two years ago

'Surely we've been down this track before'

New Bauple report leaves caravanners baffled

By Dennis Amor
Have your say

CARAVANNERS have been left bewildered after news that a consultant's report into boosting RV facilities at a tiny town just off Queensland's Bruce Highway will be taken to local residents for feedback.

They are baffled after learning that finding a suitable RV site in Bauple near Maryborough has again been the focus of intense debate and investigation by the local regional council.

"Surely the council has been down this track before," Victorian grey nomad David Howard told Caravanning News.

"I remember it opened a beautiful and convenient site right in the village centre after complaints that half naked travellers using an overnight site near the Men's Shed were upsetting kids at the adjoining school."

And a Facebook contributor observed: "Funnily enough the community has already been consulted with five years' worth of talking and lip service.

"If they don't know what they want by now, they never will."

The comments came after news that Fraser Coast Regional Council has received a report from Balfour Consulting, which was engaged to investigate RV opportunities in Bauple.

"Now that the report has been received, the council can take it back to the community for feedback," Small Communities Development Portfolio Councillor Anne Maddern said.

"Nothing is yet set in concrete. The council has the consultant's report and before we can go any further we have to get community feedback on the consultant's recommendations."


Police renew appeal

7yr hunt for missing caravanner continues

POLICE have renewed their appeal for public assistance to help locate caravanner Wayne William Steinhardt, who has been missing for seven years. Mr Steinhardt, 65, is known to frequent camping grounds across south east Queensland. In July, 2010, he advised his family he was moving from the Samford Showgrounds to Rathdowney and has had no contact since then. Mr Steinhardt is believed to have been travelling in a white 1985 Ford Falcon utility bearing Queensland registration 570 MYR, towing a 1977 Millard York caravan bearing Queensland registration AB9362. He may have also been accompanied by a small dog. Mr Steinhardt is described as Caucasian, 176cm tall with grey hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Policelink on 131 444. Have your say

New Age logoNew Age Caravans reveals fresh corporate logo
NEW Age Caravans has revealed a new corporate logo.
"The new brand identity release includes a fresh take on the existing logo, colours and style," the Victorian-based manufacturer said. It was confident the new logo would unify values and give consumers "peace of mind when investing in their dream home away from home". Have your say

Caravan convoyACC welcomes 48th group
THE 4500-member Australian Caravan Club has announced its 48th group.
The ACC Coral Sea Cruisers becomes the second group to service the Mackay area. The club, one of the largest in Australia, said the Cruisers had been given the stamp of approval after a rapid rise in membership. "Our club is very proud of the rapid increase in its membership in the Mackay region," ACC chairman Craig Humphrey commented. Until now, the region had been serviced by only one ACC branch, the Sugar City Pioneers which was formed two years ago. Read more button

Crook raided parks 'to pay for mother's funeral'
A THIEF told a court he raided two NSW caravan parks to help pay for his mother's funeral.
But the habitual offender's excuse failed to save him from a prison sentence when he appeared at Wollongong District Court accused of break-ins at Nelligen Holiday Park and Murramarang Resort. He was jailed for four years and four months, with a non-parole period of three years and three months. The court was told Joel William Heard, 33, who pleaded guilty, made nearly $5000 from his crimes, enough to pay for the funeral. Judge Haesler said Heard had contradicted himself during the court hearing and "was not a credible witness". Have your say

NRMA logoNRMA's foray into parks pays off
MOTORING group NRMA's forage into caravan and holiday parks has come up trumps.
It posted a healthy 37 percent increase in operating profit to $38.3 million during the last financial year. Chief executive officer Rohan Lund said that earlier this year, the NRMA significantly grew its holiday parks footprint when it acquired Australian Tourist Park Management. The $69 million deal resulted in NRMA owning or operating 39 parks across Australia. It also has a four-star hotel and budget accommodation. "With one eye to our centenary in 2020, we believe there are exciting opportunities for the NRMA to provide meaningful solutions to how our members get around, access services and spend time relaxing with their family and friends," Mr Lund said. Have your say

One Mile holiday parkNomads help Ingenia chalk up healthy profit
LIFESTYLE and holiday parks group Ingenia chalked up a healthy increase in profits during the last financial year, its annual report reveals.
The business has acquired an impressive portfolio of caravan parks and community villages and is now a major operator and developer of senior lifestyle and holiday communities on the eastern seaboard. The demand from grey nomads and families for holiday accommodation is reflected in Ingenia's results for the 2016-17 financial year, which show a statutory profit of $26.4 million, up 8.8 percent on the previous year. Read more button

City may get more dump points
ROCKINGHAM in WA is looking into the possibility of providing more dump points for caravanners.
Local Mayor Barry Sammels pointed out that although the area's caravan parks had facilities, none was available for general use. "The provision of public dump points in the City of Rockingham is currently being investigated as it has been identified that this type of facility may attract caravans and motorhomes into the city," he said. Have your say

Caravan on dusty roadReduced speed limits planned for unsealed roads
CARAVANNERS have welcomed news that speed limits on Victoria's unsealed roads are being reduced.
The State Government is preparing to trial a 70km/h limit on all non-bitumen routes. This comes after figures revealed that more than half the road fatalities this year occurred on country roads. More details about the trial will be released soon. Caravanner Brian Brigston applauded the trial, commenting: "Many of these roads are full of hoons who speed along as if there was no tomorrow. I have had too many near misses for comfort while towing my 22ft 'van. Anything to make these roads safer is to be welcomed." Police Minister Lisa Neville thought it had become a necessary measure to reduce the death toll on country roads. Have your say

Ashburton allocates $205,000 for park improvements
THE Shire of Ashburton in WA will spend $205,000 on improving two caravan parks.
The money was allocated in its 2017/18 budget. Onslow Caravan Park will receive $180,000 while another $25,000 goes to Pannawonica Caravan Park. Shire president Kerry White said that capital expenditure had also been allocated to upgrade tourist information bays and signage. Tourism was a key focus for the council, she added. Have your say

Caravanner in outbackClub delivers ideas on improving the north for RVers
THE Australian Caravan Club has submitted its own ideas to a parliamentary body on how to improve things for travellers in the country's north.
Better roads, safety of RVers and an efficient communication system were the core elements of its submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia. It was delivered by the club's deputy chairman Tom Smith and Graeme Tree from its Policy Advocacy and Town Support team and was in response to the terms of reference for the Inquiry into Opportunities and Methods for Stimulating the Tourism Industry in Northern Australia. "As our members are major travellers around Australia and in northern Australia ‒ having first-hand experience on many issues ‒ we were pleased to have the opportunity to provide a submission to the inquiry," ACC chairman Craig Humphrey said. Read more button

New reception area for Warburton park
VICTORIAN MP Cindy McLeish cut a ribbon to officially open Warburton Holiday Park's new guest reception and administration building.
Simon Edwards and David Pratt bought the holiday destination from Yarra Ranges Shire nearly two years ago and changed its name from Warburton Caravan Park. "Since we took over we have been continually updating the park, and have put in a lot of essential infrastructure underground, as well as building two new toilet blocks, camp kitchen, new gas BBQs, renovated cabins and new a machinery shed and workshop," Mr Edwards told Caravanning News. He said the newly opened facilities were designed to give guests a more welcome and efficient experience when checking in. "Moving forward, we will be continually improving sites, including adding some concrete slab and ensuite sites together with a range of new cabins. A further two new toilet blocks will also be added." Have your say

Caravan Industry Association of Australia logoPeak body seeks board members
AUSTRALIA'S peak caravanning body is inviting applications from people interested in joining its board.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia said nominations were now open for individuals wanting to provide "strategic direction" for the industry through its nine-member board. A rotation requirement means about 50 percent of members are subject to re-election on an annual basis. Read more button

Future leaders nominations invited
NOMINATIONS are open for young people wanting to represent the younger view in caravan industry discussions.
Three positions are available on the Caravan Industry Association of Australia's Future Leaders Committee. To be eligible, applicants must be born after January 1, 1978, and be employed in a business considered to be part of the caravan and camping industry such as manufacturers, dealers, caravan holiday parks and service providers to industry and consumers. For more information or to nominate, click here. Have your say

Kids in park poolPay-before-you-camp scheme a hit
NRMA's pioneering pay-before-you-camp scheme seems to be a hit.
The industry-first layby system has already attracted plenty of responses from families wanting to ease the financial strain of holidays at caravan and tourist parks. They now have a choice of making prepayments weekly, fortnightly or monthly at no extra charge. NRMA Holiday Parks chief executive Paul Davies said a recent NRMA member survey identified cost as the biggest frustration for families when booking a holiday. Read More button

Julia Creek RV Friendly campsite

Popular creek-front stopover

Qld council seeks volunteers for Julia Creek RV-friendly campsite

QUEENSLAND'S McKinlay Shire Council is looking for volunteers to help run its RV-friendly site next year. The Julia Creek free camping area is for self-contained vehicles only and is a popular stopover for visitors with its creek frontage and short walking trail into town. Successful applicants will help ensure vehicle compliance, fill out permits and provide basic local information to visitors. "Training is provided and there are numerous benefits," the council said. For more information, contact Jo-anne Butler on (07) 47467690 or Have your say

Apollo annual general meeting
APOLLO Tourism and Leisure will hold it annual general meeting on October 25.
Shareholders will receive the company's financial statements and reports for the financial year ended June 30. The meeting will be held at Morgans, 123 Eagle Street, Brisbane at 11am. Apollo returned an after-tax net profit of $8.6 million on the back of $177 million in revenue during the last financial year. Its annual results showed this was 39 percent more than forecast. Statutory earnings were 16 percent higher at $15.8 million. The company, founded in a humble backyard shed in Brisbane in 1985, now has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US. Have your say

Bells Bay Camping GroundBells Bay under caretaker control
THE scenic Bells Bay Camping Ground near Toonumbar Dam in NSW is under caretaker management.
Kyogle Fishing Club has taken over on behalf of WaterNSW, current owner of the site. This follows extensive discussions between WaterNSW, Kyogle Shire Council and Kyogle Fishing Club to ensure the grounds remain open as a key and valuable tourism asset for the region following the sudden departure of the previous lessee. Read more button

Camping clampdown
TWEED Shire Council in NSW has banned overnight stays in the Chinderah Bay Drive area near the M1, with offenders now risking $1000 fines.
The clampdown follows complaints and a petition from locals and applies to anyone caught camping in streets, parks, reserves, foreshores or car parks within the vicinity. According to the local residents' committee, RVs have been seen emptying grey water and toilet tanks into the river. It also claims campfires have destroyed some of Chinderah's bushland. Have your say

Australian Caravan Club workshopWorkshop identifies need for donation boxes
ABOUT 50 members of Queensland's South Burnett business and local community attended a workshop presented by the Australian Caravan Club.
The event was coordinated by the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and South Burnett Regional Council. Caravan club deputy chairman Tom Smith, who chaired the workshop, said the need for information boards at freedom camps to highlight local attractions and businesses was identified. "Our club also recommended the introduction of donation boxes to offset the cost of maintaining freedom camps," he said. Have your say

Congested campsites highlighted in consultations
THE vexed problem of overcrowded campsites was highlighted at consultations on a River Red Gum Draft Management Plan, Parks Victoria has revealed.
But it said free, dispersed camping would continue as the main form of camping in the River Red Gum parks, while the plan proposes that crowded campsites at Wills Bend, Stantons Bend and Farley Bend could have facilities upgraded together with a booking and fee system so visitors could better secure a spot. "It's great to see people taking an interest in this draft plan, which aims to protect and enhance the River Red Gum landscape, while encouraging recreation and tourism," Parks Victoria regional director Craig Stubbings said. Read More button

NSW ExpoCompletely new experience awaits Expo visitors
MORE than 150 exhibitors will showcase a myriad of products at next month's Caravan Camping Lifestyle Expo in NSW.
The event at Sydney Olympic Park's Showground will feature the latest recreation and 4WD vehicles, caravans, camper-trailers, camping products, holiday park displays and more. "This will be a completely new Expo experience unlike anything we've staged before, in a fantastic, easy to access exhibition facility," Caravan & Camping Industry Association (NSW) chief executive Lyndel Gray said. Visitors attending the show will be able to explore some of the most extensively appointed caravans, camper-trailers and motorhomes on the market. Read more button

Bingara set to welcome hundreds of caravanners
About 400 members of the Australian Caravan Club will roll into the local showground for the club's 2017 Annual National Muster.
Members will be travelling from all over Australia for the eight-day gathering beginning October 15. "Our national musters are very popular with club members, with some travelling thousands of kilometres across the Nullarbor from Western Australia," ACC chairman Craig Humphrey said. Read more button

Butane lunchbox cooker recallNew warning on 'lunchbox' cookers
A NEW warning has been issued about more potentially dangerous “lunchbox” gas cookers.
Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has urged caravanners and campers to return or safely dispose of Active & Co and Jackeroo brand portable single burner butane stoves sold at Kmart between December 2015 and April this year. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has recalled the stoves because of gas leaks. "People have been injured in two incidents in Western Australia and Victoria because of gas leaks from these devices," Dr Lynham said. "Anyone who has one should check the number of the certificate on the cooker. The recalled products have a model number PL-222 and a certification number GMK10262. If it has, they should stop using it immediately and return the product to any Kmart store for a full refund or dispose of the appliance responsibly." Have your say

Bushtrackers raise over $26,000 for local charities
THE Bushtracker owners group raised more than $26,000 for local charities during its recent muster in Victoria.
Over 83 caravans arrived in Echuca for the event. An auction of sponsored products raised more than $8300. President Greg Trent told local media the group comprised many "good people",  mostly retired. "All want to help make a difference in the communities we travel through," he said. "We travel between the states throughout the year and pick different places that we think could use some assistance financially." Have your say

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Letter man

Manufacturing industry will be held responsible

I WOULD like to comment on the caravan industry denying it is under-regulated (see story here).

Having worked in the industry building and repairing various makes and models of caravans, I would suggest that someone gets their facts right.

I despair at the poor quality and sub-standard build of many caravans on the market today.

Sticking a badge on a caravan by a self-serving bureaucracy claiming to be the epitome of credibility is nothing short of a joke gone wrong.

The worst part of this is the danger that looms on our roads.

My family and friends (and yours) are sharing the same roads with often shoddy products, and more caravans are becoming involved in accidents.

I agree that in some cases this includes driver error.

Yes, there are more caravans on the road but that's more reason that there should be more controls put in place, sooner rather than later.

Customers are finding it harder and harder to get defects remedied or even looked at.

It wouldn't be difficult for me to go on about the industry and its woeful approach to the public.

However, I am ever hopeful we'll see a change soon.

The caravan manufacturing industry will be held accountable ... change will come.


Cops praised for rest area initiative

POLICE have run safety lessons at Fletcher Creek rest area (see story here).

I think this is a great initiative.

Thank you Queensland coppers.

Jenny Joseph.