Travellers, electrician and instrument technician, Brett Stenfors, and his wife, nurse, Mary-Jane, have joined the growing movement of mature aged road-trippers fondly referred to as ‘grey nomads’ who spend their golden years travelling Australia, working along the way with caravan in tow.
Having toured the country extensively with no fixed address, they say Broken Hill is the only town in the state that won’t allow them to stay over three months at a caravan park even though they’d be providing essential services in the city.
Self-confessed ‘gypsy’ Mr Stenfors told the Barrier Truth he’d contacted all three privately owned caravan parks around Broken Hill and was confused as to why owners wouldn’t allow them to rent a powered site for between three to six months while they worked in the city.
“We’ve travelled all over the country living in our caravan and pulling up for a few months at a time to provide the services my wife and I are skilled in while getting to know each community, so we were shocked to discover that we couldn’t book into any of the Broken Hill caravan parks, including Penrose Park, for more than three months,” said Mr Stenfors.
A spokesperson from Crown Lands told the Truth Penrose Park is a Crown land recreation reserve for short term camping and is not a designated caravan park. Similarly, Broken Hill Racecourse is also a primitive campground for recreation, but it’s managed by a Crown land manager.
“Penrose Park is considered a primitive camping reserve and stays are normally for a period of less than two weeks and capped at a maximum of 50 days in a 12-month period.
Broken Hill Regional Events Centre Reserve Land manager, Cheryl Krutli, told us they provide camping sites at the racecourse all year round, but cannot accommodate people long term.
Broken Hill Outback View Holiday Park owner, David McIvor filled us in on legislation regarding long-term stays in NSW holiday parks.
“I’m not sure who the couple spoke to, but our market is predominantly these people”, said Mr McIvor. “Nurses and tradies are a significant portion of our market but they do have to provide us with a fixed address.”
“Legislation under the Holiday Parks Long-term Casual Occupation Act 2002 outlines that caravan park visitors can stay up to 180 days (six months) over a 12-month period so long as they provide a fixed address,” he said. “And anyone wanting to occupy a site for more than three months needs to sign a Long-Term Casual Occupation Agreement.
“We always welcome the flexible workforce to our holiday parks and are happy to provide long-term accommodation, so long as visitors provide us with a fixed address. We don’t make the laws, but we do abide by them.
Broken Hill Outback Resort hadn’t replied to our request for comment by the time this story went to print.