Ad sparks outrage
MONTO’S best-known assailant of free choice camping ignited social media uproar last week, and has left some travellers threatening to boycott the town.
But both Big 4 caravan parks and the Caravan and Motorhome Club of Australia have issued media statements, encouraging members not to lose faith in the Monto community.
Big 4 Cania Gorge caravan park owner Peter Rankin has taken a public stand against the council-proposed RV-friendly standing ground at the end of Monto’s main street, stating “grey nomads” wanted the “mums and dads of Australia to fund their million dollar lifestyle” (CNBT, May 29).
Big4 Holiday Parks acting CEO Kari Hunter wanted to assert her company did “not share the views of Peter Rankin”.
“We are disappointed that this branded advertisement was placed without consultation,” she said.
“This action is not in the spirit of our organisation and we are discussing this directly with the individual park involved.”
CMCA members set up a BlazeAid base in Monto to help the community during the floods, and although that group has promised to “continue to support you (the North Burnett shire) in any way we can”, they also wanted to set the record straight.
“Contrary to Mr Rankin’s claims, CMCA members are not typically ‘rich people who drive RVs worth anywhere between $100,000 and $500,000’,” CMCA chairman Vincent Moran said.
He said Mr Rankin’s claim the CMCA were an “insurance/co-operative based business” as false and said: “Our members represent a cross-section of Australian society”.
“If RV tourists feel they will not be welcome in a particular town, they will simply bypass it and stay elsewhere,” he said.
“This will in turn cause the whole town to miss out on the economic stimulus these travellers help provide.
“If we are supported, we will continue to visit (the North Burnett), to purchase goods and services from your businesses and support you in any way we can.”
The North Burnett Regional Council is awaiting word from the State Government over the land use at the end of Monto’s main street, before any decision regarding an RV standing ground is made.
It has been suggested Monto may have to be proactive to salvage its travelling tourism industry.