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Hello Brisbane, support for route

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Chamber of Commerce president George Cecato and Coffs Coast Tourism Association president Dene Zahner.
NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Chamber of Commerce president George Cecato and Coffs Coast Tourism Association president Dene Zahner.

A CAMPAIGN calling for a daily air service to be restored between Coffs Harbour and Brisbane is taking off, backed by widespread community support.

A pitch will soon be made to Qantas and Virgin to service the route.

Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce and Coffs Coast Tourism Association back the proposal, while a petition being circulated by W.H. Bailey and Sons, which operates The Bailey Centre, needs 10,000 signatures to be tabled in NSW Parliament.

Supporting the business case is the claim Coffs Harbour is no longer as 'Sydney-centric' as it once was, many arguing it is fast becoming more economically tied to the Queensland capital through business, education, medical and tourism links.

"There is an overwhelming request from our members to do whatever it takes to get the service," Chamber of commerce president George Cecato said.

"What we are looking for is an early flight of a morning and a late return to Coffs Harbour at night.

"At the moment, Coffs Harbour depends on Sydney because of the air link and there are benefits for the community, as connecting international flights are cheaper out of Brisbane."

There are concerns the Coffs economy has been impacted by the lost of the Brindabella Brisbane service.

The NSW Blues recently had to rely on chartered flights to jet between Sydney and Brisbane for their State of Origin training camps in Coffs Harbour.

"Coffs Harbour has lost a lot of major conferences because of the lack of flights to Brisbane and the drive time to Queensland," tourism association president Dene Zahner said.

"An air service would offer a lot to all of our tourism markets."

Coffs Harbour Airport manager Dennis Martin said the Coffs Harbour City Council would approach Qantas and Virgin in coming weeks.

"We have been working on a business plan for a Brisbane service comprising two daily flights," Mr Martin said.

"Since the loss of the Brindabella service we have received inquiries just about every day about the availability of flights."

To register your support, vote in our poll and sign the petition at The Bailey Centre, Park Beach Plaza, Woolgoolga Supa IGA or Bellingen IGA.

Topics:  brisbane, chamber of commerce, coffs harbour, qantas, virgin



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