Caravan group apologises over river patrol comments

THE Caravan Association of Queensland has apologised for comments which caused Calliope Shire Council's chief executive officer Graeme Kanofski to walk out of a meeting.

Mr Kanofski said he walked out "because I don't like being called a liar''.

Mr Kanofski and four councillors attended the meeting which was independently facilitated by Gladstone Area Promotions and Development Ltd (GAPDL) general manager Danial Rochford.

Some members of the association reacted angrily when Mr Kanofski said council officers patrolled the Calliope River free rest area and issued infringement notices when appropriate. The council has a two-day limit on camping in its Calliope River reserve.

A number of caravan park operators expressed concern at the meeting that campervanners were using free council camping areas and depriving local operators of business.

During discussion over the letter of apology at council's meeting on Friday, Mr Kanofski said local people used the reserve for family camp-outs in the traditional fishing and boating spot.

He said tired travellers also were entitled to pull up and rest at the area.

He said campervan owners bought such vehicles because they preferred not to use caravan parks and they had a right to camp in appropriate areas.

However, the council policed its two-day curfew.

Mr Rochford also wrote to council to say from the material supplied to him by council he could confirm the patrols were occurring every two days and that infringement notices were being issued.

Mr Kanofski said he disagreed with the caravan park operators' claims that motorhome and campervan users did not provide much economic benefit to places they visited.

He said statistics provided by the Campervan Motorhome of Australia Club showed otherwise.

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