Support for council's RV reversal
AFTER spending six full years on the road, retiree Tom Lawton has nothing against caravans – if he did, he “wouldn't be out at the driver reviver serving them coffee”.
He does however fully support the Southern Downs Regional Council decision to reverse its verdict on making Warwick RV-friendly.
“I'm a grey nomad myself but I don't believe the town will benefit from becoming RV-friendly,” Mr Lawton told the Daily News.
What's more, the hard-working volunteer believes the scheme to be just that – a scheme by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) “to give their members free camping sites”.
“It seems the CMCA is using blackmail tactics, saying ‘you put this in town and in return we'll advertise you in our brochure',” Mr Lawton said.
“The fact is, we've already got free camping facilities – two in Allora, one by Dalrymple Creek and the other near the church and another at Dalveen.
“If they don't like them, if they can afford to spend $100,000 on a brand-new RV, they can afford to stay overnight in our caravan parks.”
One caravanner commented on the Daily News website saying if a town “forced” them into a caravan park to pay $25-$30, they will bypass the town and “everybody loses”.
The motorist said while they did not pay to stay in caravan parks, they “will spend $250 on fuel, $200 in Woolies or Coles and maybe a $100 dinner at the local pub”.
But Mr Lawton feels caravan and motorhome owners will stop at a town if they need to, regardless of whether or not it is RV-friendly.
“You're not going to stop and shop in a town for fuel and food if you don't need it,” he said.
In addition, the volunteer with St Vincent de Paul and Home and Community Care said the outlay in creating these “free camping sites” would hurt the local community.
“The expense to council having to put in rubbish bins and empty them will be a cost to ratepayers,” Mr Lawton said.
“As I said, we've already got these facilities – why do we need more?
“It will inconvenience locals who live here, who shop here and who pay rates here.”
Mr Lawton attended the forum on the RV-friendly issue in May where CMCA director Karen Griffin told the 100-strong crowd the scheme was “designed to put dollars into the cash registers of local businesses”.
“I was disgusted at that meeting, with 75 per cent were CMCA members all pushing their ‘let's get another RV-friendly town to get free camping',” Mr Lawton said.