Great Koala National Park a top priority for residents.
Great Koala National Park a top priority for residents. Warren Lynam

Poll reveals Coffs residents concerned for koalas

A READER poll run by the Advocate has identified the Great Koala National Park as a top priority that residents see important for the future.

The NSW Government will set aside 20,000 ha of state forest as new koala reserve under its Koala Strategy, however the Great Koala National Park proposal aims to set aside 175,000ha of native forests "currently subjected to logging”.

This would be added to existing protected areas to form a 315,000ha reserve in what would be Australia's first national park dedicated to protecting the national icon.

"We're delighted that the Coffs community recognises the opportunities that the Great Koala National Park would bring to our area,” Nambucca local and Great Koala National Park spokesperson Caitlin Hockey said.

"Not only would it be a huge step towards saving koalas but it would bring huge economic and social benefits.

"The community groups that support the Great Koala National Park have been working hard to develop opportunities for mountain biking and cycling, for four-wheel drive and horse-riding routes and for short and long-distance walking tracks.

"We are confident that the park can be a fantastic asset for diverse community groups and for nature-based tourism.”

The GKNP proposal has been backed by Labor and the Greens.