Ad sparks ou­trage

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

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