Victorian caravan ‘invasion’ prompts virus concerns
NUMEROUS Victorian-registered caravans have been spotted on the Bruce Highway in the Gladstone region, prompting fears that COVID-19 carrying tourists have invaded Central Queensland.
A Miriam Vale man, who declined to be named, said he made the trip to Brisbane and back last week and saw a number of Queensland registered four-wheel drives towing Victorian registered caravans on the highway locally.
Since then he said he had seen many more of the same four-wheel drives and caravans, as recently as yesterday afternoon, one being followed by a motorcycle policeman.
"When I first saw it I thought this is a bit strange, why would you have a car registered in Queensland and your caravan registered in Victoria," he said.
"I saw another four or five that same day on the Bruce Highway.
"I have made a point to look out for them now and I have seen many more, including today, when I saw one in roadworks followed by a (police) man on a white motorcycle."
The man said he understood the border was closed to Victorians, but some people may have already been in Queensland, or come across the border from NSW when it opened, as they hadn't been in virus hot spots.
"So many little towns like where I live rely so much on tourism and tourists in caravans," he said.
"But people do get quite concerned when they see Victorian number plates now, because of what's been happening down there."
Calliope Road Policing Unit Commander Senior Sergeant Shaune English said despite the number of Victorian registered caravans on local roads, there may be a simple explanation.
"There could be any one of a dozen reasons for it," he said.
"It could be people borrowing caravans, a loan caravan or you can also hire caravans.
"A lot of the rental companies they register where their home base of the company is, not necessarily the state that the vehicle is being used in.
"There was a time where one of the major car hire companies, that all of their cars were Victorian registered, because that's where they were based."
Snr Sgt English said he hadn't received any reports of Queensland registered vehicles towing Victorian registered caravans.
"It's also possible that it's a newly bought caravan that hasn't been converted to Queensland registration yet," he said.
Kin Kora Village Caravan Park in Gladstone said it had not seen any Queensland registered vehicles towing Victorian registered caravans.
A spokeswoman for Brisbane based Leisurecaravans.com.au said all their hire vans were Queensland registered.
She said she was not aware of any Queensland-based caravan hire businesses that had Victorian registered caravans for hire.
It is understood most of the caravan hire businesses in Queensland register their vans in their home state.