Local Coffs Harbour families and businesses will come together this week to demonstrate their support for the Great Koala National Park, as the region hosts a koala conference (The Vanishing).
Local business owner Louis Riley said our community wants to ensure politicians take adequate steps to protect the much-loved koala, which is iconic to our region.
“My business is dependent on a thriving and healthy natural landscape. I see the benefits that protected areas bring first-hand. I own a local café situated in a regional park — tourists from around the world stop by and buy food and coffee, while also asking the question ‘where can I find koalas and kangaroos?”
Mr Riley, who co-owns the Emerald Beach General Store, will personally deliver an Open Letter to visiting parliamentarians on behalf of local businesses supporting The Great Koala National Park.
The handover will occur on Friday 9:30am-11:30am, 28 October, Coffs Harbour Surf Club, at a Stakeholder Meet & Greet with Politicians.
Parliamentarians attending the Meet and Greet include:
- Catherine Cussack, former Member of the Legislative Council;
- Sally Townley, Coffs Harbour Deputy Mayor;
- The Hon Sue Higginson, Member of the Legislative Council
President of National Parks Association Coffs Coast Branch Dr Grahame Douglas said 65 local businesses have signed onto the letter asking for the establishment the Great Koala National Park.
“This demonstrates the depth of local support for the concept. Securing a future for koalas and their habitats is not just about conservation, it is also about supporting all of the businesses and jobs that rely upon the amazing natural landscapes of this region.
“Research by Newcastle University predicts the Great Koala National Park will inject an extra $1.2 billion into the region and create 9,800 extra jobs over 15 years. The majority of businesses that NPA has liaised with understand the tourism benefits that the park would create, as well as the moral importance of protecting koala habitat for the next generation.”
Families will also gather 12-3pm Sunday 30 October at the Botanical Gardens for a Koala Family Picnic to enjoy a fun time and to show their support for protecting koala habitat.