Shock news for caravan industry as ...
hit troubled times
By Dennis Amor
manufacturers, Diamond and Billabong, have hit troubled times. Family-owned Diamond Caravans has ceased
trading and is in liquidation. Creditors have met and
Victorian company should be wound up. Shane Leslie Deane and Nicholas Giasoumi were appointed liquidators.
The manufacturer's website has been taken down and telephones
disconnected. Diamond had over 10 years experience in the caravan industry
and described their lightweight aluminium caravans as having the 'Diamond
Touch'. It had a network of dealers and in a recent Twitter message
proclaimed: "You feel so much better when you have happy customers."
Meanwhile, Billabong Custom Caravans has been placed in administration.
The shock news came as the company was advertising for
experienced caravan workers to join its team. A creditors' meeting will be
held at the offices of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand in
Melbourne on October 31. Founded 12 years ago and with nationwide outlets,
the company manufactures quality, handmade custom caravans at its Campbellfield factory and more recently appeared to be concentrating on
the family market.
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Customers reassured system
HACKERS have targeted a
major Gold Coast-based resort and caravan park
management company, it has been revealed.
The cyber criminals accessed
login details which allowed them to access an email account used to
communicate with Australian Tourist Park Management (APTM) guests and
"We have been able to confirm that the likely purpose of the
activity was to attempt to conduct company invoice payment fraud," the
"None of these attempts were successful."
The accessed email
contained only limited contact details of people who may have attended an
event, function or made an online reservation or inquiry to an APTM-operated
park before March 23 this year.
"No other guest or customer information,
including financial, credit card, bank details, passport or driving licences, usernames, passwords, login details, tax file numbers, date of
birth etc. were affected," the company said.
APTM, which was acquired by
the National Roads and Motorists Association last year, reassured
customers it had now "re-secured" its system after consulting IT and
It has also has contacted the
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner about the incident.
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Nova Caravans to play
New $1.2 million project will offer
edge training for RV industry
Industry will soon have access to cutting edge training thanks to a new
project funded under the state government's Workplace Training Innovation
Fund. The welcome $1.2 million project, which will deliver the
Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Manufacture for the first time at
scale, on-site and with collaboration between industry and the training
provider, was announced by local MP Bronwyn Halfpenny
(pictured). The Caravan Industry Manufacturing Excellence project
is being led by Caravan Trades and Industries Association of Victoria in
partnership with Melbourne Polytechnic and Nova Caravans.
parks 'thrown to the wolves'
THE boss of a Maryborough caravan park in
Queensland has warned that free camping will kill off family businesses.
Wallace Motel & Caravan Park's John Kennedy claimed the Fraser Coast
council would not dare to provide free camping in Hervey Bay or Burrum
Heads where they operated their own "very profitable businesses". "But
here in Maryborough, where they have none, we are thrown to the wolves,"
he complained. Mr Kennedy claimed there had been a concerted push by lobby
groups, allegedly led by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia, to
convince councillors to provide free camping in towns ... or lose
'positive', Apollo tells shareholders
MAJOR RV player Apollo Tourism and Leisure has told shareholders it is
pleased with its performance during the last financial year.
It makes the comment in its annual report to investors, which came as the
Brisbane-based global company's shares took a pounding on the stock market
to reach their lowest level for a year. Since its humble beginnings in
1985 renting out just one pop-top caravan from a shed in the city's north,
Apollo has grown into a multi-national company focused on manufacturing,
renting, selling and distributing a range of RVs including motorhomes,
campervans and caravans. The report said Apollo's revenue for the year
ending June 30 was $355 million, representing a 122 percent rise on the
previous year and returning an after-tax net profit of $19 million.
Shareholders were assured the outlook was positive, with increased rental
bookings for the year ending June 2019.
charity for homeless may soon be on a roll
QUEENSLAND'S peak caravanning body is helping
a young boy achieve his dream. Caravanning Queensland has promised to
do all it can to help Brisbane's 11-year-old Ashton Brown who is on a
mission to help the homeless. The big-hearted
Year 6 student has been operating his own charity ‒ Homeless Helpers
‒ for the past two years providing meals, blankets and other necessities
to the less fortunate but now believes a caravan would be a great asset to
his work. And CQ chief executive Ron Chapman told
Caravanning News that his organisation was only too willing to help
the young hero.
abandons free camping trial in border town
GOONDIWINDI Regional Council has decided to abandon a free-camping trial
in the town on the NSW and Queensland border.
Mayor Graeme Scheu said the council had decided it could not warrant
investing extra ratepayer’s funds into the possibility of extending the
trial at Redmond Park in Goondiwindi. Councillors arrived at their
decision after a lively council chamber debate. "We were presented with
just two options: either discontinue the town free camping trial or inject
further resources into the management of the site in order to demonstrate
a suitable level of compliance to extend the trial," Mayor Graeme Scheu
Franklin helps business blossom
A GRAND old lady from yesteryear is helping a young woman's business to
blossom. Florist Ebony Travers from Geelong in
Victoria has taken to the road in a restored and modified Franklin caravan
built in the 1970s. Rather than setting up a permanent shop for her
Wildfolk Flowers enterprise, she now has the ability to work from
wherever she pleases. "There was a lot of driving around Victoria to
purchase and renovate the 'van," 23-year-old Ebony told Caravanning
News. "But once it was home, myself, partner, mum and dad spent
countless hours transforming it."
invited to weekend of learning
Owners of New Age caravans will be heading to Henty in New South Wales
later this month. The manufacturer and owners'
group New Age Tribe have invited them to join in a weekend of learning
about off the grid caravanning. The gathering at the Henty Field Day site
on October 19 and 20 will include technical sessions and a welcome sausage
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official! We built biggest ever LEGO 'van
CARAVANNING Queensland and Top Parks have been officially recognised as
holders of a new Guinness World Records title for the largest ever
LEGO caravan. Guinness World Records
adjudicator Brian Sobel announced the news after inspecting the caravan at
the Brisbane Holiday Village. It beat the record set up in the UK by
73,472 bricks. Built to celebrate the 50th annual Queensland Caravan,
Camping & Touring Supershow, it took a team of up to 20 adult fans of LEGO
from across Queensland and interstate to accomplish.
cybercrime, warns association
CARAVAN industry businesses are being warned
to take precautions against digital criminals.
This follows recent cybercrime attacks on unwary small and medium
enterprises. The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has received
reports of malware and other cybercrimes and says this is a timely
reminder to ensure businesses are well protected. It appears the crimes
involve trying to extract information for the purposes of invoice fraud.
couple scoop $100,000 prize package
A REDBANK Plains couple is planning
a big trip after scooping the top prize, worth more than $100,000, at
the 50th Queensland Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow. Scott and
Carla, who requested their surname not be used, were the winners of the
biggest prize ever given away by Caravanning Queensland at its annual
industry showcase, and at any caravanning industry event in Australia.
They are now the proud owners of a one-of-a-kind, 50th anniversary Cub
Camper Trailer and a Volkswagen V6 Turbo Diesel Amarok. Their windfall was
even more unexpected because they went to the supershow only looking to
buy a basic 12V camper shower.
targets excessive power bills
THE days of unscrupulous caravan park owners
charging exorbitant power bills may be over in
the Sunshine State. People living in caravan parks will now be able to
buy their energy directly from an authorised retailer.
Queensland Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said changes to energy
legislation now brought greater choice for park tenants who were
previously only able to buy their electricity from the owner of the
embedded energy network. Meanwhile, thousands of caravan park dwellers in
NSW have signed a petition calling for action to stamp out overcharging.
Australian Residential Parks Association vice-president for Tweed Ken
Cummins, who lives in a caravan park, claimed some tenants were being
charged three times the normal cost of power. "These park managers are
driving around in their Mercedes Benzes and BMWs and ripping pensioners
off left right and centre," he told media.
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prepare to be all shook up
THE annual Parkes Elvis Festival in NSW, a
popular event on the grey nomads' calendar, will receive financial support
from the State Government for another three years. Caravan parks in
the area, which are generally packed to
overflowing for the annual five-day tribute to the King of Rock 'N Roll,
are already reporting bookings for the iconic event Announcing
continued financial backing, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW
John Barilaro said visitor numbers to the festival
‒ claimed to be one of the world's
largest Elvis Presley tribute celebrations
‒ had soared by an incredible 32 percent.
"The Parkes Elvis Festival has become a must-see, must-do event for
tourists from around Australia and the world," he added. Next year's event
will open on January 9 with the theme 'All Shook Up".
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holidays beneficial to women: report
THE number of Aussies taking caravanning and camping holidays is on the
rise ... and it seems women could soon be leading the charge.
Research results revealed in the Caravan Industry Association of
Australia’s Real Richness Report show that people who regularly
take caravan and camping trips are happier, energised and more satisfied
than those who do not. And more than half the women surveyed readily
agreed that caravan and camping trips could make them healthier. The study
revealed both physical and mental benefits, with three-quarters of
participants strongly agreeing that camping helps them 'recharge their
batteries', 63 percent strongly agreeing it relieves stress and 51 percent
strongly agreeing it can make you fitter.
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Roamers keep name live
A GROUP of faithful enthusiasts continue to keep the name of a now defunct
Queensland manufacturer of luxury caravans alive.
Members of the Boroma Roamers club will gather at the Gateway
Lifestyle Casino Caravan Park in NSW later this month for their annual
get-together. They say the October 12-14 event will be a great opportunity
to catch up with old friends and to make new ones into the bargain. Boroma,
once regarded as the Rolls Royce of caravans, shocked the industry by
pulling down the shutters in 2008. The Stapylton-based company was forced
into liquidation as a global economic downturn hit hard, closing its doors
when sales plummeted and jittery customers cancelled orders. For more
information on the Boroma Roamers,
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BIG4 and peak
body join forces
THE Caravan Industry Association of Australia and BIG4 Holiday Parks have
revealed a multi-year partnership to help Australia's leisure
accommodation market to grow. BIG4 chief
executive Steven Wright said his holiday park network was looking forward
to working more closely with the caravanning and camping industry's peak
body. "We have a number of exciting initiatives we'll be working on
together including large scale consumer promotions to draw more attention
to the benefits of holidaying in the great outdoors across our beautiful
country," he explained.
REFLECTIONS Holiday Parks' Moonee Beach park on NSW Coffs Coast raised
over $2000 for the RSPCA from its inaugural 'Doggy Date Night'.
The event attracted over 100 visitors and their canine companions. Park
manager Kelly Shaw said there were now plans to turn the event into an
annual affair after it received much positive feedback.
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travels benefit cost-conscious grey nomads
COST-CONSCIOUS grey nomads are benefiting from Sheng's love of the open
road. The Sunshine Coast traveller has chalked
up tens of thousands of kilometres checking out free and budget camping
spots all over Australia. "It's my dream job and lets me go to many places
that I want to visit," he told Caravanning News. Sheng is an
auditor for the popular Camps Australia Wide guide, regarded by
many caravanners and other RVers as the 'Traveller's Bible'.
really honoured, says battler
Kimberley caravan park
owner Janice honoured in song
THE owner of a caravan
park overlooking the Indian Ocean in WA has been recognised in a song.
Twice Golden Guitar Award winner Tom Curtain tells the story of battler
Janice Bell who established the Kimberley's Barn Hill Station caravan park
130km south of Broome, where he proposed to his wife
Annabel. Janice launched the business in 1986 while building a
mud-brick home for her family. The singer
decided to write the song after hearing of the tough times and hurdles she
had to conquer as a single mother. "It was just her passion, self-belief
and motivation that really blew me away," Tom said. "I asked why she
decided to settle there, and she said it was where the red pindan soil
meets the ocean." And that's the title of the music star's
catchy release, which is complemented by a
official video. "I really feel honoured,"
58-year-old mother-of-two Janice told Caravanning News. "I never
thought I would feature in a song, but it's very nice. I have had people
contact me and offer their congratulations."
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grey nomads pay cash for plush RVs
PROSPECTIVE grey nomads are shunning personal
loans and forking out millions of dollars in cash for their luxury RVs,
according to Apollo Tourism and Leisure. "Very
few use any form of finance," chief executive Luke Trouchet said. During
the last year, the global Brisbane-based company sold $139 million worth
of RVs including caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers, and there's no
sign of sales falling.
QUEENSLAND police are urging grey nomads and
other travellers to tighten up on their security at caravan parks.
This follows a spate of thefts from holiday parks and campsites around the
State and comes after thieves made off with bicycles from a caravan annexe
at the Cotton Tree Caravan Park on the Sunshine Coast. Senior Constable
Lynda Dowd said people should ensure valuable items such as bicycles,
fishing rods, wallets, purses, mobile phones, eskies and alcohol are
secured and where possible placed out of sight. "Police often see high
numbers of incidences occurring at camp sites, involving caravans and
their annexes," she said. "In most cases there have been no signs of
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chief operating officer for Discovery Parks
FORMER On the Run chief operating officer and Westfield Marketing
executive Michaela Webster has taken over the role of chief operating
officer at Australia's largest holiday park company, Discovery Parks.
South Australian Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Award winner
(corporate) Ms Webster oversaw the growth of the South Australian fuel
business into a fast food, coffee and convenience store network and has
worked in senior marketing roles with Westfield in Australia and the UK.
Discovery Parks chief executive Grant Wilckens said Ms Webster ‒ who
recently worked on Discovery Parks' licensed park strategy as a consultant
‒ was ideally placed to oversee the next stage of his company's growth and
new offering with intent
AUSTRALIA'S biggest manufacturer of RVs has launched its first ever
tent-trailer range. Jayco has designed its
inaugural Australian-made JTRAK with camping enthusiasts in mind. Pitching
is speedy and easy, with an exclusive key feature being an inflatable
annex option. JTRAK is also the first Jayco product to showcase the new
generation of Jayco chassis with JTech 2.0, designed specifically for
off-road adventures. With a 950km tare weight and 4.8-metre body length,
the tent-trailer offers four floor plans to suit families. Jayco claims it
is the perfect trailer for getting off the grass and exploring further.
Prices begin at $18,000.
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Years of planning comes to
Official opening marks
'blue ribbon' day for JB
CARAVANS, launched eight years ago with an output of just one caravan
weekly, has officially opened its new multi-million dollar factory in
Campbellfield, Victoria. Caravan Trade and Industries Association
Victoria chief executive Rob Lucas described it as a "blue ribbon" day for
the company. "Seven years of planning has come together now in a fantastic
new facility," he said during the official ceremony. Mr Lucas, JB owner
Alex Bi and staff were joined by Hume City Council Mayor Geoff Porter and
MP for Broadmeadows Frank McGuire. Mr Bi (far right in photo) thanked
customers, the association and suppliers for supporting his company. With
the help of a government grant JB was able to employ an extra 55 workers,
many from the now defunct local car manufacturing industry. The factory
incorporates many technological advances and allows its 100-plus workers
to harness their caravan building skills.
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'over the moon' after win
BERNARD Hudson is now the proud owner of a
brand new Jayco camper trailer. He won it after entering the Caravan
Industry Association of Australia's Win a Weekender competition,
run in conjunction with Jayco, Dometic, Top Parks and NewsCorp. A thrilled
Bernard collected the prize from Jayco's Sydney headquarters where he
undertook an induction in preparation for his first trip. "I was over the
moon," he said. "I'm getting a bit old in the
backbone to be sleeping on the ground now."
CIAA calls for
AUSTRALIA'S peak caravanning and camping body is looking for people with
the skills and experience to help drive the industry forward.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has called for nominations
from individuals wanting to provide "strategic direction for the industry"
by joining its board of nine which has a rotation requirement requiring about half the members to be up for re-election on an annual
basis. This year they are Mark Lindsay (Parks), Grant Wilckens (Parks),
Gerry Ryan (Trade) and Gabby Montagnese (Trade). Members not subject to
re-election are James Kelly (Parks), Matt Slee (Trade), Martin Cotterell
(Parks), Dennis Austin (Trade) and Chris Goddard (Trade). Nominations must
be received before October 4.
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releases new pocket guide for park tenants
QUEENSLAND'S Residential Tenancies Authority has updated its pocket guide
for caravan park tenants. The booklet contains
important information on rights and obligations, moving in, tenancies,
moving out, domestic and family violence support and contact details. The
revised guide features a more user-friendly layout with side tabs, updates
on the consequences of breaching park rules and important information
regarding domestic and family violence in a caravan and/or leased site. It
is now available online and in hard copy. To order hard copies, call 1300
366 311. The authority stresses that all caravan park tenants must be
given the revised pocket guide, the proposed moveable dwelling tenancy
agreement (Form 18b) with a copy of the park rules before they pay any
money or commit to the tenancy.
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slides 'the icing on the cake'
Twisting and turning kids
enjoy park's new attraction
at North Star Holiday Resort at Hastings Point in NSW are finally enjoying
the park's multi-million dollar ultra-modern twisting and turning double
waterslides. But it was a long, costly and stressful fight for owners
Ian and wife Diana Beadel to get approval for the new attraction after
local residents tried to block the development, claiming it would generate
more noise and impact surrounding fauna. President of the Caravan and
Camping Industry Association NSW Theo Whitmont officially launched the two
new 8.2 metre-high tubular waterslides, saying the Beadels had created
"possibly the best caravan park in Australia". Mr Whitmont said the park
was once a bare campsite struggling to employ two people. "Now it is the
pride of industry, employs 75 people and has won the Australian Tourism
award of excellence twice," he added. The Beadels said the new waterslides
would be "the icing on the cake" for families holidaying at the resort.
Mr Beadel told Caravanning News that every year there was an
increasing level of professionalism in the industry in response to guests'
expectations. "However, one area that has always been a challenge is
providing facilities to satisfy teenagers and adults who are young at
heart," he said. "By the positive comments since the launch of these
slides it appears we have hit the target."
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NRMA adds six
more parks to its stable
NRMA Parks and Resorts has added another six
holiday parks to its stable. They are the
Stockton Beach Holiday Park (Newcastle region, NSW), Yarrawonga Mulwala
Holiday Park (Murray River region, NSW/Victoria), Warrnambool Riverside
Holiday Park (Great Ocean Road, Victoria), Halls Gap Holiday Park
(Grampians, Victoria), St Helens Waterfront Holiday Park (Bay of Fires,
Tasmania) and Bowen Beachfront Holiday Park (Whitsunday Coast,
Queensland). Further expansion of the 44-park chain is expected in the
coming months. NRMA Group chief executive Rohan Lund explained that the
organisation was committed to boosting regional communities by encouraging
more tourists who would support local economies. "Tourism produces flow-on
benefits for these communities and this economic injection – in the heart
of this drought – is more important than ever," he said. "We want more
Australians holidaying locally and as the NRMA’s tourism footprint
continues to grow so too does the opportunities for our members to have an
enjoyable and affordable holiday."
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regulars given the boot
REGULARS at a NSW caravan park are hopping mad after being told to vacate
their semi-permanent holiday sites by Christmas.
Dozens of families who regularly spend their annual holidays and the
festive season at the Palms Oasis Holiday Park have received eviction
notices from Ingenia Communities Group, which bought the property for $7.5
million. It now wants to turn the park at Bluey Beach into an over-55s
village. The mixed-use property had 187 tourism and permanent sites and 25
others approved for new permanent homes. One regular commented: "This
really is a slap in the face. It had become a family tradition to spend
Christmas there. I don't know what we'll do now."
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