News

Prossie should be a reason to stop

Owner of Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium, Jeff Boyle, at the proposed site for a new tourist information centre and RV stop over.
Owner of Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium, Jeff Boyle, at the proposed site for a new tourist information centre and RV stop over. Peter Carruthers

A FUNERAL director, who has been campaigning for a driver reviver road stop at Proserpine for nine years, said it was essential motorists were given a chance to take a break in a bid to reduce fatigue and fatal accidents on the Bruce Highway.

Jeff Boyle, from the town's Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium, said travellers currently had nowhere to pull over and, due to poor signage, they didn't realise the Proserpine business and shopping district was located just off the highway.

"People drive along and think this is Proserpine,” Mr Boyle said. "It's crazy.”

Mr Boyle said it was "a long way” from Mackay to Bowen hence Proserpine would be an ideal stopping point.

He said a billboard with a picture of the town could alert drivers to the location of Proserpine, and the fact there were local amenities and shops nearby.

"We've got nothing at the moment, and no one realises there's a town there,” he said. "You don't find out about (it) driving down the highway.”

In direct contrast, Mr Boyle said last week he saw 54 vehicles at the Bloomsbury rest stop "because that's the only place they've got”.

While Mr Boyle's main aim was to encourage people to stop driving and take a break, he said if tourists and travellers also then came into town, that would be a bonus for the local economy.

As well as a driver reviver he backed the facilitation of an RV stop and reinstallation of a tourist information centre.

Plans to establish an RV-friendly location at Proserpine were set to be discussed at an internal council workshop between councillors and officers this week as part of the finalising of the Proserpine Master Plan.

Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox promised last week an RV stop at Proserpine was still on the radar but had simply been delayed due to the impact of Cyclone Debbie on the region and council's resources.

Currently the nearest RV rest area to Proserpine is a 72-hour rest stop at Collinsville, on Railway Road, which permits self-sufficient vans and RVs, but not tents.

There is an offer of land for a Proserpine RV stop from Wilmar Sugar but this has not been accepted yet.

Mary Brown, deputy mayor of the Hinchinbrook Shire, was involved in establishing Ingham's progressive approach to catering for the new caravanning generation and had one piece of advice for the community of Proserpine.

"Give it a go,” she said.

Ms Brown said alongside her area's five established caravan parks, three RV centres had been successfully set up.

The Tyto Centre, two blocks from town, allows caravaners and motorhomes to stay for a maximum of two nights at a cost of $10 per van per night.

There is a dump point but no power and it is administered by staff and volunteers from the Hinchinbrook Visitor Information Lounge.

At Forrest Beach, about 19km west of Ingham, caravanners and motorhomes are allowed to stay under the same conditions - minus a dump point.

This site is administered by the Forrest Beach Progress Association.

Lastly there's the CMCA Park, established on flood plain land with no development potential, close to the town centre.

This is open to members of the Caravan and Motorhome Club of Australia only, at a cost of $3 per night, with a dump point but no power.

Ms Brown said data collected from dockets at this site alone showed a visitor spend in town of between $10,000 and $13,000 each week.

She said records showed the average spend in Ingham was $125 per stay per van.

Ingham has similarities to Proserpine in that it is a town on the national highway, built largely on the sugar industry but with natural attractions.

Ms Brown said understandably there were concerns from caravan parks in her region about how RV stops would affect their trade, hence the need for data collection and a trial.

"The most telling point for us was almost 90% of the original RVers surveyed indicated they would never have stopped in our town if we didn't have the Tyto site - so it's not a question of competing markets,” Ms Brown said.

She urged the Proserpine community, chamber of commerce and Whitsunday council to "come together in a spirit of collaboration and look at solutions”.

"Give it a go - and if it has no impact or a negative impact, review it," she said.

Mr Boyle agreed Proserpine needed the boost of people to visit and spend money at local businesses - all of which a driver reviver and RV stop might help to achieve - but he believed an RV stop on its own would not save lives.

"Accidents are happening all the time because people just don't stop,” he said.

"If we can make them stop, even for only 10 minutes, they've got a better chance.”

It is estimated more than 1.1 million people use driver reviver stops around Australia each year, with government recommendations urging drivers to stop every two hours.

Topics:  driver reviver proserpine rv stop whitsundays


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Big day in eco classroom

LETTING GO: Another successful turtle release by Jhala Thompson, Georgie Amos, Annabelle Head, Fiona Broadbent, Billie Edge, Libby Edge, Makrika Mackenzie, Charlotte Brown, Teah Goodall of Eco Barge Clean Seas.

SCHOOL CHILDREN took part in an Eco Barge clean-up.

Sailors wrap up race week

Twister crew hard at work skippered by Kevin Fogarty.

Sailors wrap up race week.

Airlie Beach Race Week turns on 'Champagne racing'

Reignition, skippered by Charles Wallis, in action on day four of Airlie Beach Race Week.

Airlie Beach Race Week turns on'Champagne racing'.

Local Partners

Big screen now bigger, better. But you'll have to wait to see it

CYCLONE Debbie has dashed his dreams for an Airlie Beach cinema at Beach Plaza, but Ron Harris's grand plan for a local planetarium and cinema is still in orbit

Tribute to a timeless band on Mackay stage

The Ultimate Eagles Experience tribute show is coming to Mackay.

The ultimate eagles experience

Jemma's bewitching voice

STAGE PRESENCE: Suzie Mathers and Jemma Rix in a scene from Wicked The Musical.

Wicked musical theatre star Jemma Rix has released her debut album.

This laughter yoga video will have you in fits of giggles

BEST MEDICINE: Karen Flannery is spreading happiness through laughter throughout Hervey Bay.

New members needed for a laughing good time

Radio host Matt Okine leaps to small screen

Funnyman talks about the inspiration behind his show, The Other Guy.

Hollywood’s new highest paid actress

Jennifer Lawrence had to settle for third this year behind Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston.

CAN you guess who has dethroned Jennifer Lawrence?

Movie trailer dubbed too racy for TV

Alicia Vikander stars in Tulip Fever.

THE trailer for Tulip Fever is so saucy some networks have banned it

Liz Hurley, 52, has never looked better

She’s definitely not shy to pose in a bikini.

Life in your 50s has never looked as good as it does on Liz Hurley.

Big Bang Theory star spills details about Season 11

Mayim Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory.

MAYIM Bialik has shared some details about what fans can expect.

The Bachelor Australia: Awful joke leaves Matty stunned

Sharlene’s mouth hangs agape after her car crash breakup.

I’m actually one of the bachelorettes — I’m not the external caterer

Samsung set for bigger, beach friendly Note 8

Samsung will be going bigger than ever to launch its Note 8 after this year's launch of the S8.

Water, dust, now sand-resistant?

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

How we got a rental straight away on the Coast

Rita and David Allara, moved down from Townsville, paid three months up front rent to secure the place at flash new unit block in Kings Beach.

Genius move helps secure rental property

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!