Further development of ecotourism and a National Koala Park is a must, thanks to the incredible natural assets we have stretching from the coast up to Dorrigo.
– Dominic King, Mayor of Bellingen Shire
The Great Koala National Park would provide opportunities for small business establishment to run nature-based experiences, jobs in the service industries and jobs in forest management and restoration. Importantly, these jobs are sustainable, secure and satisfying.
Tourism is one of Australia’s biggest industries, and protected areas are a big driver of regional economies. Destination NSW figures show that nature-based tourism earned NSW almost $20 billion in 2017! It’s a massive industry, and the Great Koala National Park would ensure that the Coffs Coast is well placed to get a piece of the action. Speaking of koalas, the last estimate of the value of the koala to Australia was $3.2 billion per year. They’re just too valuable to lose!
Work is ongoing to undertake regional recreational planning for the Great Koala National Park. Recreation is now a really big industry – as well as being good for our health. For example, mountain bike riding in Rotorua, New Zealand, is now worth more to the town than the timber from the plantations that the mountain biking takes place in! With good planning, the Great Koala National Park will provide fantastic recreation opportunities for bushwalkers, bikers, four-wheel drivers and horse riders!
Designs have already been made for a gateway visitor centre to be situated on the Pacific Highway to house a koala hospital, café and education centre, to act as a launch point for koala spotting in Bongil Bongil National Park. The GKNP would offer opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventure tourism—one of the fastest growing tourism sectors. And of course, with increased visitation comes opportunities for small businesses and individuals to take advantage of the new national park and direct employment through the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Find out how you can show your support for the Great Koala National Park