Lifting region with records
IT IS possible that two world records were recently broken in Barcaldine but, while international officials check the figures, the national community of Australian Motorhoming Lions members can rest assured they achieved their main aim which was to reinvigorate the economy of the region.
Australian Motorhoming Lions Club president Len Waddington, who is based in Gympie, said the group of 107 members nationwide had decided to help the community of Barcaldine with two record-breaking attempts, involving RVs, while also attracting hundreds of people to spend money in the region.
Mr Waddington said that on May 23, 870 motorhomes from all around Australia, as well as visitors from New Zealand and England, took part in an attempt to create the 'longest connected image of LED rope lights' and the 'longest parade of camping RV vehicles' on May 26.
"We're fairly confident and we did everything by the book and everyone's now prepared to wait for the results,” he said.
"But our main focus was to raise funds here.”
He said the LED rope lights as the longest connected image stretched 5987 metres along Barcaldine Isisford Rd - and bumper to bumper the RVs went for a length of 9.2km.
The current record is for 655 metres and is held in China.
"It was at 8.30pm and it looked spectacular,” Mr Waddington said. "The lights had to be on for at least five minutes.
"There were lots of parties going on and decorated RVs and fires on the side of the road. It was really marvellous.”
On the morning of May 26, he said, the RVs lined up to create the largest parade of camping vehicles (RV) with 870 vehicles - the record is currently 672 set in 2003 at Canelli, Italy.
"Our main achievement is to stimulate the economy out here, which was excellent.”
He said, with Barcaldine Regional Council, they also held a challenge where for every $50 spent in each of the towns, people received an entry in the draw for $500 for each of those towns - Alpha, Aaramac, Barcaldine, Jericho and Muttaburra - with $3000 cash up for grabs.
"The atmosphere was absolutely great. I wanted everyone to leave and say it was one of the best times they ever had, and I think we achieved that.”
Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Rob Chandler commended all the RV travellers "for coming out here and for their spend in our local businesses”.
"It is very much appreciated. The fact they've taken the time out and they were very impressed with all the little communities as to how friendly and welcoming we are.
"The tourism industry is in full swing.”
Mayor Chandler said travellers were able to enjoy the natural and built attractions of the region as well as the "laidback lifestyle”.
"There is a bit of a lift across the communities now.
"There's patches of country that have really have missed out on rain and most places are still in full-blown drought and won't bring stock back until we get decent summer rain.”
Cr Chandler said the record-breaking bids had helped boost business and morale and he hoped travellers could spread the message,
"Our little communities are alive and well,” he said.
"We'll get going and these little communities will thrive again. If they all tell others about us, then by word of mouth, that's the best form of marketing.”