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National reality of Australians at home in a motorhome is recognised 

October 28, 2008
National reality of Australians at home in a motorhome is recognised

Diana Worner says her bus-sized Swagman motorhome is her home. For more than eight and a half years the Chairman of Australia's Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia has lived in a world which is best described as a moveable feast.

Diana has a lot of like-minded company. The CMCA says itsmembership is 53,000 and growing so with that depth of practical motorhoming experience available GoSee asked Diana whether Street Kids, her motorhome is a home.

She says Centrelink recognises her Recreational Vehicle as her home. It is over 4.5 tonnes so it is not easy to miss it.

When I decided to go on the road full time I advised the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) that I did not have a fixed abode as I had sold everything.

As a resident of Australia I still wanted to vote. I have a letter from them to say I am classed as an itinerant voter and I am still registered on the electoral role at my last address (the house I sold) until such time I advise them of another address.

So I still vote in the Federal and NSW Government elections, Diana said. GoSee asked Phil Diak, Director of Media Communications of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to comment.

He says the Electoral Act decides where and what a home is and it is essential to tie your home (motorhome) to an address.

But so far Diana Worner remains on the electoral role. I have not received anything to the contrary, she said.

Diana says the CMCA has already cut to the chase. CMCA is pursuing a National Drivers Licence, but this is taking time because of the change of government last November.

CMCA is hammering away. We have, to date, not had any complaints from our members regarding a motorhome not being a home, she said.

Insurance is a potentially complex aspect of the motorhome as a home issue.

The Swagman finds its own water views
The Swagman finds its own water views

The CMCA already has a customised motor home policy available to its members.

CMCA has a tailored Insurance Scheme established in 1988 by broker Ken Tame Associates. The underwriters are Lumley Insurance which is based in Melbourne, Victoria, Diana told GoSee.

Ken Tame Associates acknowledges my mail forwarding address as my address along with other members (of the CMCA) in a similar situation, she said.

Editor's Note: GoSee understands that the question of whether a motorhome is a home comes down to a residential address.

We believe this can be managed professionally by providing the address of a mail forwarding company.

Ken Tame of Ken Tame and Associates says the National reality of Australians at home in a motorhome is recognised as the CMCA Insurance Scheme is designed for those who live permanently on the road.

We have to locate policy-holders by state to comply with stamp duty requirements and that is what we do, he said.

But, says Ken home on the road has health pitfalls too. The states cause the confusion with situations like Queensland where ambulance is paid with the electricity bill.

Diana Worner Chairman of CMCA has made her Swagman home for more than eight years
Diana Worner Chairman of CMCA has made her Swagman home for more than eight years

It is essential that when individuals have an address which is actually Highways of Australia there is separate cover taken to cover personal needs like ambulance service.

The variables extend to Tasmanians who are covered for ambulance anywhere but in South Australia. The Tasmanian and South Australian governments do not reciprocate on ambulance cover, Ken Tame says.

He says the CMCA member Insurance Scheme is a full cover option an all-rounder which helps bring Recreational Vehicles and their owners back safe and sound.

It includes a towing service which hooks up when mechanicals breakdown and takes the problem to the nearest town.

The CMCA has 90 Chapters across Australia so councils, state and federal ministers face an army of committed supporters for CMCA aims policies and objectives.

The CMCA Board reports that about 20 percent of its active members are also Chapter members. The CMCA is now approaching councils throughout Australia with its Leave No Trace Scheme.

This ties to its Recreational Vehicle Friendly Town Scheme. In combination the schemes create a strong base for CMCA requests for services and builds the level of RV support across Australia.

Luxury approach to life on the road
Luxury approach to life on the road

The CMCA Board reports that some Queensland showground camping areas have been instructed to carry out Competitive Neutrality processes. This means that the councils must prove that the cost charged for camping must be indicative of the cost incurred by the councils making their areas available.

Once this is done councils are free to offer the area for camping.

The board says that there are some cases where councils have decided to only allow their Showgrounds to be made available for camping if local caravan park/parks have absolutely no room available.

CMCA and the Equestrian Federation of Australia share common ground with their Showgrounds needs and a meeting with EFA CEO Franz Venhaus has resulted in an agreement that CMCA and the EFA will work together on issues affecting members of both organisations.

As a business option for Australian caravan parks who want Motorhomers among their clients GoSee has a self-managed extra page enhanced listing available promoting this facility. It includes the ability for caravan parks to say they are motorhome friendly.

It also provides the automatic addition of the GoSee Motorhome Friendly icon and the maximum length of motorhomes which can be accommodated by the caravan park.

A now for breakfast.
A now for breakfast.

This is a simple tick the box process. Many Australian caravan parks are happy to host Motorhomers and have the space and facilities to provide a positive, affordable, secure motorhome friendly stay.

On September 19 2005 GoSee reported Jayco Corporation's Managing Director, Gerry Ryan, OAM, founder of Australias leading caravan and recreational vehicle builder pointing to the motorhome growth opportunity for caravan parks.

Caravan parks have themselves contributed to the issue of Free camping by motor home and campervan owners, Gerry Ryan said.

He told members of Family Parks caravan park chain from Australia and New Zealand who visited Jayco that both cabins and Free camping were opportunities for the caravan and camping industry throughout Australia.

Gerry Ryan said caravan parks throughout Australia have an opportunity to provide drive-through camping sites and related facilities which met the needs of the rapidly increasing number of Australians getting on the road.

At the South Australian Caravan Parks conference in Victor Harbour in August 2006 SA Parks President Richard Davis said roadside camping should be approached in a positive way by caravan parks.

Richard Davis said that caravan park owners should look for solutions which attracted free campers to parks facilities by offering options which appeal.

Editor's Note: Here are some related Information Articles from the extensive GoSee library of features.

The GoSee Forums also contain practical information. A full search of all information on the GoSee website can be done via the Multi-Search box at the top of this page. Key in motorhome. Click Info Articles or Forums in the drop down box and click search.

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