The operators of two caravan parks in Shepparton say they could struggle to stay afloat due to a reduction in the amount of people coming to the city for fruit-picking jobs.By Riahn Smith
Shepparton short-term accommodation providers say their livelihoods could be put at risk if local orchards are unable to find buyers for their fruit.
Two caravan park operators said industry uncertainty following SPC Ardmona’s decision to cut fruit quotas could seriously impact the ongoing viability of their businesses.
Strayleaves Caravan and Cabin Park manager Debbie McKenzie said fewer fruit-picking jobs would mean fewer people coming to stay in Shepparton during the peak summer months.
‘‘Everyone’s talking about half the fruit intake (so) we’re all thinking we’ll get about half of what we got last year, but we’ve really got no idea,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a bit scary because we just don’t know how it’s going to pan out.’’
Ms McKenzie said it was unclear if even regular seasonal workers would return for the next season after getting less work during the past few years.
‘‘Maybe they’ll call in and stay a week or two waiting for work, but they’ll get told ‘next week, next week’ and then they’ll have to decide whether to stay or go,’’ she said. ‘‘I guess it depends on how many times they get told ‘next week’, they won’t stick around doing nothing for long.
Another Shepparton-Mooroopna caravan park owner, who did not wish to be named, said discussions about bulldozing 750
‘‘If you take the number of people required to pick three quarters of a million trees out of the seasons there will certainly be a flow-on effect to the community,’’ he said.
‘‘What about the people that house people, sell the nuts and bolts and service the equipment?’’
He said his business’ turnover had already declined about 10 to 15 per cent during the past two years thanks to contracting services, which directly link fruit-pickers with work and accommodation.
‘‘People don’t have a view of a caravan park as a community resource, they treat it as something that will always be there,’’ he said.
‘‘Fruit growers need to say to people that these businesses need to be supported.’’
Tourism Greater Shepparton president Cheryl Hammer said any decline in tourism or economic activity in Shepparton was concerning, but said support and advice was available.
‘‘In light of what’s happening, the accomodation providers might need to look at other opportunities to maintain business,’’ she said.
‘‘As an industy group one of our roles is to work very hard with our operators and local business who might be feeling the impacts of these types of decisions.’’
SPC Ardmona could not comment specifically on how Shepparton’s accommodation providers would be affected, but did say continued operation was critical for the region.
A male allegedly armed with a hunting knifed stole cash from a Euroa McDonald's last night.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Drivers crossing the Echuca-Moama bridge faced delays this morning at 11.30am when a tractor lost its wheel.
Rochester’s old Courthouse is undergoing a facelift thanks to a restoration grant.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Australian sporting legends are at Heathcote Golf Club this morning for the MS Ashes Trek golf day to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.
Cobram Barooga Apex Club have raised more than $3600 for Irvin House at Cobram District Health.
Deniliquin RSL Club's A grade bowling championships came to a head on Sunday, with preliminary matches in B and C grade also taking place.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has thrown his support behind the government’s proposed new domestic animal ownership laws.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.