In 1998, when the disastrous Regional Forest Agreements were being developed, a World Heritage Expert Panel was set up to identify outstanding values in NSW forests.
The Panel identified that the forests of north-east NSW likely qualified for World Heritage under a eucalypt theme, and identified an area called ‘Moonee to Bindery’ as being one of the best global expressions of eucalypt-dominated vegetation. Much of this Moonee to Bindery area is contained within the Great Koala National Park proposal! In 2012 NPA undertook an assessment of World Heritage values of the forests of north-east NSW that confirmed the importance of the eucalypt theme.
Besides the magnificent forests, koalas themselves might be World Heritage some day! A movement, inspired by the killing of Cecil the lion in 2015, is calling for UNESCO to establish a World Heritage species program. The koala would be a prime candidate for listing, particularly so when their close relationship to World Heritage eucalypt forests is considered.
Our ultimate wish is to see the Great Koala National Park – and maybe even koalas themselves – be given World Heritage status! This is the ultimate feather in the cap of any natural area, and doesn’t just offer the highest protection but acts as a mecca for visitors. This would turbocharge the economic and social benefits that the Great Koala National Park will bring to the Coffs Coast!