There has been considerable discussion over the last two weeks ever since the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance released their long awaited report National Competition Policy: Applying Competitive Neutrality Principles to public camping in Tasmania. Reaction to the report on some of the forums has been expressions of doom and gloom for the future of freedom camping in Tasmania.
However, many have missed the point so before anyone makes any rash decisions to cancel their sailing passage with the Spirit of Tasmania let’s have a look at the facts. Essentially little has changed in Tasmania since the Regulator some years ago mandated that competitive neutrality applied to council free camps.
The policy released last week simply codifies how it should be applied. Will there be any camp closures. The answer to that question is probably yes. There are a very small number of camps situated in close proximity to commercial caravan parks. Some of those few may be lost. However, the report provides some positive news. Should a council believe there is a net public benefit in not applying full cost attribution principles an application may be made for their continued operation. A net public benefit is demonstrated if the so called harm caused to a commercial operator through what they may view as unfair competition are outweighed by the benefits to the community as a whole arising from allowing the freedom camp to operate. Factors to be considered in any application include the economic goals of the community and consumer interests (as well as the interests of RVers). The costs of implementing and operating a pricing system will also be taken into consideration. As the Treasurer (Peter Gutwein) indicated in his press release dated 13th February, 2019 “..in most circumstances there is likely to be no change at all”. As always the real test of the impact will be time. In other words, will RVers still have access to freedom camp sites in the years to come? In our view the answer is yes and in fact the number will probably grow because of the certainty the release of this report now provides.
So, book your passage and remember the ACC Tassie Travellers branch members look forward to meeting some of you as you enjoy the sights of their wonderful State.
For many residents of Sydney their knowledge of the drought in NSW is what they see on the evening news. The fish kill near Menindee on the Darling River or the fact the Namoi & Barwon Rivers are dry and are no longer providing the township of Walgett with drinking water. But this drought is affecting areas a lot closer to home than many city people realise. One such example is a dairy farming family operating on the outskirts of Sydney. The farm (Country Valley Dairy) at Picton in Sydney’s south-west (some would suggest on the edge of suburbia) has been in the Fairley family for more than 160 years and they have endured dreadful drought conditions.
“The farm has been in the family for too long to walk away so in May last year we put out a call for help to keep going” said Sally Fairley. “John and I came up with the idea to ask some locals to adopt a cow by donating money to keep them in feed until spring.” The appeal went out on social media and there was a tremendous response but this scheme alone was never going to see them through this drought.
It was these social media posts asking for help that first captured the attention of ACC member Kathy Snell (Golden Westerners branch). It seemed timely last month when the ACC initiated its Drought Assistance support scheme, that the Fairley family farm could be a good candidate for assistance. Kathy called Sally Fairley for an update on how things are going. “Although some rain has fallen we’re still a long way from being able to declare the drought is over and some hand feeding continues. Any donations we receive now go towards paying outstanding accounts with our creditors, who have been most understanding of our situation” said Sally. Two weeks later Kathy was able to inform John & Sally Fairley that the ACC had approved assistance in the sum of $350.00. “Thank you so much for speaking on our behalf to your club as we really appreciate your support and kindness” said Sally Fairley.
“This is a good example of how the ACC can assist our farmers and farming town communities with a cash donation” said Graham Humphreys, the ACC Drought assistance contact representative. Branches and members are encouraged to think about how you can help out a rural family, community groups or a rural assistance body. Applications are still open, so don’t miss this opportunity. For more information and guidelines visit the ACC website and go to The Club > Club Documents > ACC Drought Assistance Support Guidelines.
When Bob Elkington and Jennie Morison from the Wait Awhile Nomads branch in Western Australia were checking out caravan dealerships to purchase a new caravan they selected Luxury RV. Recently relocated to Rockingham, the team at Luxury RV’s have over 40 years’ experience in the caravan industry and the team endeavour to provide the ultimate customer satisfaction. When Bob and Jennie were finalising the purchase they decided to approach Luxury RV`s General Manager Luke Bell to request sponsorship for their branch in the form of a defibrillator. Luke was more than happy to oblige. “This defibrillator will be a life-saving addition for the members of the ACC Wait Awhile Nomads group” said Mr Bell.
When Bob and Jennie collected their new Galaxy Caravan, Luke Bell also handed over the new defibrillator to Wait Awhile Nomads Branch Secretary David Braidwood. “Our branch members sincerely thank Luxury RV Rockingham for this extremely generous sponsorship. With a branch membership of 62 this defibrillator has the potential to save lives” said Mr. Braidwood as he took delivery of the new defibrillator.
“Congratulations to Bob and Jennie on picking up your New Galaxy Caravan! The Luxury RV team here thank you for your continued support and wish you both the very best for your travels” said Mr Bell.
Realising the importance of the availability of a defibrillator during branch musters and tag-a-longs, especially when travelling in remote areas, the branch members had been raising money towards the purchase of a defibrillator. They have now decided to donate some of the funds raised so far to St Johns who in turn have offered to provide qualified trainers at a future muster in the use of this very important piece of equipment.
The Club is looking at forming a branch in the Goulburn Valley. Derek Hale the State Membership Representative will hold an informal information session for those interested at the Shepparton RSL on Tuesday 19th February at 7:00 pm.
Derek and Gwen will be having dinner at the club from 6pm and you are more than welcome to join them and a table has been booked – “caravan group”. Please contact Derek if you intend to come along on this evening by the 12th February so numbers can be confirmed with the RSL.
This is a great opportunity to be part of something new in the region. So whether you are an existing member or wishing to join the club and live in the area please come along.
The Victorian State Muster will be held at Surfside Holiday Park at Warrnambool from Wednesday 24th to Sunday 28th April. This event coincides with Warrnambool’s Koroit Irish Festival which members are encouraged to attend while at the muster. As this is the venue for our Nation Muster later this year a meeting with Terry and Pam Hawkins will be held to find out how their preparations are going and to see it they require any help in October. There will not be any activities organised that will duplicate those offered at the National Muster.
ACC congratulates the Blayney community on the support provided to NSW farmers.
ACC members are encouraged to show their support by working within local communities by applying for funds through the ACC drought relief scheme - guidelines available under documents at www.australiancaravanclub.com.au (Sign in first).
This is the Story from the Blayney Chronicle- https://www.facebook.com/174840202578712/posts/2157357904326922
The Organising Committee of the Murray Bridge Chairman’s Muster have been more than been overwhelmed with the response to the Expression of Interest from Members wishing to attend. At the moment they cannot accept any more registrations until those people who have already registered have completed their formal registrations and payments. The caravan park is filled at this stage. Any further expressions of interest will have to go onto a waiting list, should places become available due to cancellations.