WINTER MIGRATION: Spotted at the Piabla Beach Front Tourist Park retirees Lynn and Neil Carlson have been in Hervey Bay for two-and-a-half months escaping the cold winter of their Victorian home.
WINTER MIGRATION: Spotted at the Piabla Beach Front Tourist Park retirees Lynn and Neil Carlson have been in Hervey Bay for two-and-a-half months escaping the cold winter of their Victorian home. Jessica Lamb

Tow laws would hurt Coast caravanners

RETIRED Victorian couple Lynn and Neil Carlson are in their second year of a fledgling tradition to migrate north to Hervey Bay and escape the cold winters of South Gipps-land for three months a year.

In Queensland, countless tourists just like them, would have suffered had tough new laws, requiring them to buy a larger vehicle to tow their caravan, been introduced in Queensland next month.

The changes are currently on ice while the State Government speaks with industry leaders and legislators in Canberra.

The grandparents-of-10 tow their 17.5ft caravan weighing an estimated 1100kg with a "reliable” and "well looked after” Ford Falcon.

In Queensland, this same car which the Carlson's felt safe enough to be comfortably travelling Australia driving, would likely not have made the grade. Under the proposed laws, even 4WD owners wouldn't be allowed to increase their towing capacity.

Former machinist by trade, Ms Carlson, said changes like these in Victoria would have affected the pair's choice of holiday destination.

"Not everyone has the kind of money to buy new cars and we would never embark on a journey without having a reliable, serviced and safe vehicle,” she said.

"Hervey Bay is an incredible destination with great weather, friendly locals and I would hate to see the grey nomad and backpacker trade spoiled.

Mr Carlson, who made his living in sales before retiring eight years ago, agreed.

"We would recommend Hervey Bay to our family and friends,” he said.

"In fact it was my aunt who recommended it to us. She is 95 and still comes here after 25 years.”

Mr Carlson said while accidents were always a possibility on the road, taking your time and using common sense was key to towing safely.



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