COVID-19: Industry update #10

< Date: 01 May 2020

May 1, 2020

Prepare to Reopen Your Business 

This week, Caravan Industry Association of Australia was provided a briefing from Neville Power, Chairman of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission.  The following topics were discussed.

Progressive Release on Restrictions

It is expected that the National Cabinet will begin to provide announcements on relieving social distance measures that have been enforced over the previous months, whcih the Prime Minister confirmed today in his National Cabinet address. This process will involve the progressive release of restrictions with a two-week transition period between each announcement.  This process will allow the Health Department to track and trace any COVID outbreaks as they may occur, along with allowing supply chains to begin to increase capacity.

Subject to any significant COVID-19 outbreaks, this process is expected to end by September with a return to ‘normal conditions’ as most social distancing measures should be eased.

Prepare to Reopen Your Business and Response Plans

Government is now calling on businesses to begin to prepare for reopening and increased operational output for the immediate months ahead, including  post September.  Crucially, businesses need to be able to operate in an environment where COVID-19 is still present but controlled.  The government is asking all businesses that they have COVID-19 response and crisis management plans in place to support this.  This includes managing the potential for a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace, identifying the reporting process to relative authorities and stakeholders, providing relative staff and customer contact details for tracing, and the process for cleaning and hygiene management.  This will ensure that as social distance measures are progressively removed, businesses can support the government in managing any potential small outbreaks of COVID-19.

Safe Work Australia have developed a dedicated resource for Caravan Parks, Offices, Vehicle Rentals and Dealers, Freight and Manufacturing.  Topics of information include:

  • Duties Under WHS Laws
  • Workers’ Rights
  • Cleaning Checklists
  • Health monitoring
  • Risk Assessment Templates and Emergency Plans
  • Hygiene and Cleaning Processes
  • PPE and Mask Overview
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Physical Distancing Measures

It is important that all businesses review the material made available in addition to your state based WorkSafe information.

The government is also requesting that all businesses need to consider how they can reconfigure their business models in a post COVID-19 economy. This includes increasing digital infrastructure, examining current supply chains and logistics, as well as how you can engage with new and existing consumer segments.

Domestic Travel Update

International travel restrictions will remain in place for some time, with the challenge associated with significant outbreaks in other countries that Australia is unable to control.  Government has indicated that Tourism Australia will be pivoting towards a stronger domestic tourism focus, which Caravan Industry Association of Australia strongly welcomes.  

The domestic visitor economy represents $80.7 billion of visitor expenditure annually and creates 417 million nights around the country.  When we consider the economic importance of domestic tourism along with 9.7 million outbound trips undertaken by Australians each year who will now be looking to travel domestically, there is a significant opportunity for the caravan and camping industry.  Further information regarding specific caravan and camping marketing initiatives will be announced soon. We continue to work with Tourism Australia regarding future opportunities regarding the sector.

Manufacturing Update

The Federal Government is placing an increased focus in local manufacturing, this includes a significant investment into modernisation and reskilling with the government expected to provide substantial investment into this sector.  Specifically, the government will be looking at progressing advanced manufacturing processes, providing support for upskilling employees and focusing on ensuring the security of supply chains.  The government has indicated that this will not be a return to a historical production line style of manufacturing.  However, it is about ensuring Australia’s manufacturing is competitive and self-sustaining.

Association Update

The National Association continues to work closely with Federal Government to ensure Australia’s caravan and camping industry is well positioned to support the recovery efforts post COVID-19, this includes the following initiatives:  

  • Capital expenditure grants for businesses;
  • Funding to support rental companies to reposition their fleets;
  • Provide guidance to the National Cabinet on the reopening process for caravan parks;
  • Funding to support industry wide marketing: 
  • RVSA funding to support manufacturers transition in the coming months. 

Reach Out to Us

We, in conjunction with your individual State Association, continue to advocate strongly on behalf of industry.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to the National Association or to your State Association if you have any queries or to raise a specific issue that you require to be addressed with Government.