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Victorian Caravan Parks president retires with his job well done

August 25, 2006
Victorian Caravan Parks president retires with his job well done

VicParks President Bob Farmer retired at the 41st annual general meeting in Shepparton with his job well done.

David McIvor stepped up to the presidential plate supported by Vice President Stephen Lawler.

Bob Farmer told more than 200 delegates at the VicParks Conference in the Eastbank Centre in Welsford St that the growth program VicParks set out to deliver over the last three years is complete and now it is time to move on.

It has been my privilege to be president he said. He was honoured for his sustained efforts which included seven years as Vice President and three in the leading role of president with a life membership of VicParks.

David McIvor, who owns the Eldorado Top Tourist Park, on the Midland Hwy, Geelong was elected unopposed as was his new Vice President Stephen Lawler of Apollo Gardens Caravan Park in the Melbourne suburb of Craigieburn.

Caravan buyers think bigger RVs

The Recreational Vehicle sales market is ignoring higher fuel costs Caravan Industry Australia (Victoria) Executive Officer Peter Wright told delegates at the VicParks annual conference in Shepparton.

I am surprised, he said, but caravan buyers have a distinct preference for bigger caravans.

Dual axle is where buyers are going, Peter Wright said.

He said that 85 percent of caravans are built in Victoria which leads to about one third of all caravans registered being Victorian.

VicParks new president David McIvor
VicParks newpresident
David McIvor

Don Golightly friend to so many

John Wynn paid tribute to the late Don Golightly from the Bellarine Division of VicParks for his contribution to the industry by giving his time freely over decades. He was a friend to so many who are here today, John told caravan park delegates.

This is the first VicParks Conference he has not attended, he said.

His last practical support of the industry was working (successfully) towards exemption of Victorian caravan parks from land tax.

Don and his wife Judyset a great example to caravan park owners at a divisional level, John Wynn said.

Your correspondent was part of the RACV assessment team who recognized the dedication of the Golightly family when their Beacon Resort Holiday Park at Queenscliff became Victorias first five star rated caravan park.

The delight on the face of Dons daughter Lorraine as then RACV Chief Assessor Stan Parsons confirmed the five stars shone only a little brighter than the pride of Don Golightly.

John Wynn pays tribute to Don Golightly
John Wynn pays tribute to
Don Golightly

Campaign lifts caravan park image

Caravan and Recreational Vehicle Association Chief Executive, Ben Yates, told delegates about $300,000 being invested in National TV to raise the profile of Australias caravan parks.

Exposure through Womens Weekly was a longer-term draw than the immediacy which came from TV but CRVA also negotiated links with Burkes Backyard. The campaign has also included Outdoor Magazine.

CRVA worked on links with state associations tied to the state caravan Supershows, he said.

He said surveys showed that 61 percent of respondents said that fuel prices had changed the way they travel.

People are spending more timein the one location he said. More funds are allocated to expand and develop the CRVA web site, he said. And more research is planned into key indicators before a strategic review of CRVA which is scheduled for October.

Peter Wright of CIA Victoria
Peter Wright of CIA Victoria

Janine brushes off the competition

The sporting event of the VicParks conference at Sheppartonwas the Dunny Brush tossing competition.

This icon event of the Victorian caravan park culture was won by top tosser (no offence intended) Janine Hurn of McLean Beach Caravan Park on the Edwards River, Deniliquin, NSW about 70km from Echuca, Vic.

McLean Beach as the name indicates is big on water sports. Children and their families are major clients.

VicParks members have been tossing for more than 10 years to take home a treasurer chest of cleaning products provided by Paul Milward-Basin Heather Scheuffele of Benji Distributors. Winners enter the Hall of Fame and have the honour of paying to have their name engraved on the plaque on the handle of the infamous Dunny Brush.

As usual former VicParks President Phil Redmond was imported to provide the voice over for the event.

His sage advice on lobbing the long handled brush in the distant toilet bowl target has the ring of experience aim to get the big end in first he advised Janine Hurn and that is what she did.

Janine steady
Janine steady

Tower stands fast after 50 years

Another key player in the caravan park establishment Tower Business and Real Estate made it to 50 years of selling caravan parks and celebrated with delegates in full party kit for the annual Hour with Tower. This VicParks institution, which always runs well past time please, shouts drinks to VicParks delegates as a primer for the VicParks Dinner Dance which trots on until 1am.

Allan Walls led the Tower team and cut a cake backed by his life support, wife Audine.

The Benalla based Tower was established in 1956 and has been a major VicParks sponsor for more than a decade.

Mayfair Gardens wins GoSeeAustralia thank you

Graham and Chris Hellings from Mayfair Gardens, Traralgon, won the $990 advertising sales package from ContACT, donated in appreciation of the support from caravan park owners for GoSeeAustralia.

Managing Director Graham Wallace suited up for the presentation, but in response to the relax and enjoy attitude of VicPark members thoughtfully removed his tie.

Allan and Audine celebrate 50 years of Tower
Allan and Audine celebrate
50 years of Tower

Mayfair Gardens has relocatable homes, plenty of space and modern facilities.

Recognition of Service Awards

  • Kel Arnott and Neil Wolfenden.

The AAA Tourism Award for the Most improved Park overallin Victoria went to Colac Colac Caravan Park, Lorna Rapley and Brenda Bishop.

AAA Tourism Special Commendation Award

  • Park Lane Tourist Park Barry and Denise Stewart and Luke Hellings.

Full details from the VicParks Awards are

Certificates of Achievement National Accreditation Program:

  • Anglesea Beachfront Family Caravan Park Errol and Tricia Morris.
  • BIG4 Badger Creek Holiday Park Andrew and Nola Ricketson.
  • BIG4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park Mark and Adrienne Cove.
  • BIG4 Bendigo Ascot Holiday Park Ray and Anthea Jones.
  • BIG4 Geelong Riverview Tourist Park David Woolman.
  • Breakaway Twin Rivers Caravan Park Craig and Samantha Gloury.
  • Cowes Caravan Park Mark and Julie Curran.
  • Lakes Bushland Caravan Park Ken and Joan Robinson.
  • McIvor Highway Caravan Park Kel and Sue Arnott.
  • Park Lane Tourist Park Barry and Denise Stewart and Luke Hellings.
  • Swan Hill Riverside Phillip and Barbara Camm.
  • Torquay Holiday Resort Miguel Del Rio and Bob and Lynne Williams.
  • Venus Bay Caravan Park Fenna van der Meulen.
  • Yarralyn Holiday Park Wayne Shegog and Camille Goodman.

Certificates of Achievement increase in star ratings:

  • Anglesea Beachfront Caravan Park Errol and Patricia Morris.
  • Barwon Heads Caravan Park John Paskas and Trina Kerans.
  • Cohuna Caravan Park Gary and Angela Pitson.
  • Colac Colac Caravan Park Lorna Rapley and Brenda Bishop.
  • Cross Roads Holiday Park Paul Phelps.
  • Marysville Caravan and Holiday Park Larry and Margaret Richmond.
  • Tocumwal Tourist Park Geoff and Jenny Tait.
  • Yarrolyn Holiday Park Wayne Shegog and Camille Goodman.

    Editors Note: Also See this follow on story

Lynn Oaten VicParks Executive Officer
Lynn Oaten
VicParks Executive Officer
From left Graham Wallace David McIvor Bob and Milena Farmer
From left Graham Wallace, David McIvor, Bob and Milena Farmer
That is  my dad
That is my dad

Tower power
Tower power
The Tower celebrations were serious fun
The Tower celebrations were serious fun
VicParks new VP Stephen Lawler gets a dance invitation
VicParks new VP
Stephen Lawler
gets a dance invitation
VicParks past president Phil Redmond right goes undercover
VicParks past president
Phil Redmond
right goes undercover