By Garth Morrison Editor GoSeeAustralia.com.au and GoSeeNewZealand.co.nz
The Australian RV Camping Forum, which has been looking at the issues which surround responsible camping, has changed its name in a move which reflects the already established responsible New Zealand direction on the vexed question of Freedom Camping.
Stuart Lamont, CEO of the Australian caravan industry body Caravan RV & Accommodation Industry of Australia Ltd (CRVA) suggested to the recent (Aug 14) meeting of ARVCF that the name of the group of committed stakeholders be changed to Australian Responsible RV Camping Forum (ARRVCF).
His suggestion was agreed to. Stuart said that the Australian Responsible RV Camping Forum title will more clearly identify to government that the stakeholders are taking responsible measures to ensure that environmental responsibility is followed.
At the VicParks annual conference at Creswick Victoria in August GoSee noted that leaders across the caravanning and RV industry recognise the camping rights of road travellers. It is appreciated that without the traveller there is no industry.
Gerry Ryan, OAM, founder of Australia's biggest recreational vehicle manufacturer Jayco which holds 45 per cent of the Australian RV market made this point in a keynote address to the VicParks conference. The egg definitely comes before the chicken.
There is also an appreciation across the industry that it will be a brave (or foolish) organisation which attacks the democratic right of every Australian to travel their country and camp wherever it is legally appropriate.
This reality was supported by the diplomatic approach of Tim Kelly of Rigby Cooke Lawyers at the Victorian Caravan Parks Association (VicParks) annual conference Creswick workshop which was billed as " Illegal Camping and Competitive Neutrality".
"Illegal Camping" was touched on and deferred by both Tim Kelly and VicParks President Steve Bartlett during the workshop. The workshop concentrated on "Competitive Neutrality".
Commentsmade on Illegal camping were cautious and did not definehow this was to be addressed. The takaway for GoSee on the subject was that unless enforceable Illegal Camping signage is support by councils prepared to carry action through there is little to discuss.
Attendees at the ARRVCF meeting on August 14 were: Stuart Lamont (CRVA); Jono Schollum (Spaceships Australia); Julian Ledger (YHA Ltd.); John Evans (S.A. Tourism); Kim Harrington (QTIC); Andrew Rickett (THL); Kylee Warner (NSWDPI); Graham Wallace, Bob Farmer (GoSee Australia); Peter Eller (Apollo); Malcolm Street (Journalist); Richard Barwick (General Manager), Elizabeth Dallen (Member Benefits Officer Minute Taker) - Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd.
Apologies: Diana Worner, Ken Kipping and Vincent Moran (CMCA), Amanda Rohan (QTIC); Katrina Greeves (BOA); Stacey Chilcott (Apollo); Bob Brown, Theo Whitmont (CCIANSW); Grant Webster (THL); John Webb (Wicked Campers)
Editors Note: A byline on a GoSee story indicates opinion.