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Choices, Choices
Freedom of choice camping from a member’s perspective; as a member, that’s you
Words and Images by: COL COLEMAN N22212

Aysons Reserve, Elmore, Victoria

I have just finished reading View from HQ by our chairman in the new-look January The Wanderer and his comments regarding our freedom of choice lifestyle.

I know the organisational wing of our club, including the volunteers in The National Member Services Team, is hard at it combating the well financed, well organised, long running campaign by the caravan park lobby to force us into its parks.

The chairman’s article begs the question: what can we as members do?

There are a couple of things we can do that are neither time consuming nor difficult.The first involves a pen, a form and snail mail, and the second a computer. Most of us have been dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age. Many of us may have to venture into some uncharted waters, but that is what grand-kids are for. You just have to slow them down a bit to get to where you want to go.

It’s easy; start by signing up to the Leave No Trace Scheme. Basically, it is a commitment to do the right thing and most of us do that as a matter of course already anyway.

The number of members that have signed up, although growing, is almost insignificant when you look at our total membership. We need these numbers to grow significantly because it is no longer good enough for our representatives to say we behave in a certain way and have government ministers just accept it. We need to be able to back it up. Every time a minister, or his or her staff, notices a motorhome on the road or parked up somewhere, the first thing they should notice is the LNT sticker and that we are all displaying one.

We are living in a new world of communication, one that is far more widespread than any of us would ever have imagined possible. It is a 24-hour cycle and runs at breakneck speed. We need to embrace this technology and use it to our advantage.

A small band of dedicated members has set up a website called Freedom of Choice Camping – http://www.freechoicecamps.com.au/index.html – and the number of RV enthusiasts accessing it is growing rapidly. That is  good, but to be really effective, we need it to be part of your RVing way of life. The website provides instant news on what is happening or, you could say, what the opposition is up to in your neck of the woods.

Designed and maintained by people with either grey hair or little hair it is absolutely easy to use. Each state is listed across the top of the web page and one click brings up every town in that state which has had an article written about our way of life. Links are then listed so you can read those articles at your leisure. Look at the What’s New section daily receive the latest articles.

One of the tabs listed across the top of the page is FB, which stands for Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Freechoicecamping. 

Now, don’t run away, it is a great tool for instant news. I know most of you may be frightened by it but we are mature adults so let’s be game in our old age and use it to our advantage.

If you are not already a Facebook member, follow the link, sign up, and restrict access to friends of your choice. You will now be in a position to instantly do your bit to help in the fight to preserve our chosen way of life. You can be as involved as you like but as an initial step all you have to do is click on the thumb symbol and you have struck your first blow. Once you have mastered this why not take an interest in adding some helpful comments to some of the topical articles when called for or partaking in surveys that are sometimes being offered by newspapers, councils and government authorities, etc.

The meter on the Freedom of Choice Camping website is currently sitting at 2151. 

Now for some fun, cast your mind back to Yes Minister.

Chaffey Dam, NSW

Just imagine this scenario: The CMCA representatives are sitting opposite the federal minister for tourism. Sir Humphrey is lurking in the background, laptop at the ready. We are telling the minister how we have been unfairly treated and how governments of all persuasions have only heard one side of the story, until now.

Sir Humphrey Googles ‘freedom of choice camping’ and 120,000 jumps out and grabs him. He kicks the minister under the table and he immediately starts to listen more intently. This is what we the members can do to make it count.

Become involved and help in a smart, constructive way.

Dawn at Cobar Reservoir, NSW

Tags: Freedom Camping Camp RV Motorhome Caravan Campervan LNT Leave No Trace Self Contained Grey Water Shower Toilet
Category: Features
Written: Sat 01 Mar 2014
Printed: March, 2014
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