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Travellers look to stay on in Australia’s caravan parks

Travellers look to stay on in Australia’s caravan parks
March 25, 2020

With estimates that as many as 75,000 travellers could be stuck in caravan parks across the Australia as states and territories close their borders, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia has noted

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s advice that travellers should be welcome in caravan parks.

With Prime Minister Morrison having last evening provided further announcements regarding social distancing measures to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, subsequent formal advice has been made on the provision of caravan parks.

The statement advises “the prohibition of “hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses (excluding permanent residents and workers in these premises) will be a decision for each state and territory.”

The statement went on to say, “where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so.”

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia’s interpretation of these amendments is that the Government is moving towards limiting short term visitors and leisure travellers from using caravan parks and campgrounds. However, the Government acknowledges the essential service they provide to permanent residents, workers and transit population as they move towards their primary residence.

As the decision regarding the status of caravan parks rests with State Governments, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) is are working closely with member State Associations to provide further clarity, with announcements expected throughout the day as the State Governments provide further information.

CIAA General Manager, Chris Johnson told the ABC “there's a lot who can't get home and they need to bunker down and get a safe place to ride this out.”

However, there are reports that some regional towns have called on caravaners to stay away, worried they might bring the Coronavirus while there are suggestions that supermarkets in regional towns are also only selling to locals.

However, with the Federal Government having made it clear that caravan parks should not take in non-essential travellers, Johnson says the confusion has been cleared up.

He advised “there was a lot of confusion as to what was essential travel and what was not.

"The Government has seen that workers, people who live within caravan parks, and also people who are travelling around Australia and cannot get back to their place of residence, are classed as essential travellers and are welcome at caravan parks."

Images courtesy of Caravan Industry Association of Australia/Facebook.

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