Forestry NSW responds after groups slam 'inappropriate' park
UPDATE: FORESTRY Corporation of NSW has responded to claims made by a number of environmental groups that the construction of the Treetop Adventure Park at Sealy Lookout is 'highly inappropriate'.
"Forestry Corporation of NSW consulted with members of the public and various interested groups about the Treetop Adventure Park at Sealy Lookout and took community feedback into account throughout the planning process," a spokesperson said.
"The Sealy Lookout site within Orara East State Forest was chosen for the Treetop Adventure Park because it is an area of the forest reserved for recreation and scenic values.
"Forestry Corporation is proud to be able to provide this sort of nature-based activity in our State forests because it gives people, especially children, an opportunity to connect with nature. This type of tourism operation is in line with the recently announced North Coast Destination Management Plan (2018) in terms of the north coast tourism product portfolio and visitor economy.
"We hope locals and visitors who come to enjoy these kinds of facilities will also discover more about the rich Aboriginal culture of the region, as showcased within the forest, such as the Gumgali Track.
"We also encourage visitors to enjoy the next Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience tour, run by the Bularry Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation on May 12 at Sealy and Korora Lookouts."
6AM: A NUMBER of regional and local environmental groups claim their objections to the construction of a Treetop Adventure Park in Coffs Harbour's Orara East State Forest were 'ignored'.
The groups submitted objections to both NSW Forestry Corporation and to Ecoline, the company behind the development, during the consultation period however construction has since begun on the adventure park.
The NSW National Parks Association requested the proposal was 'immediately withdrawn' and another site found for the park that is 'outside of the national reserve system'.
In a statement, an NPA spokesperson said during the consultation period a map was provided, however it lacked information on location, size and aspect of the slope.
The statement also reads the development clashes with efforts made to identify the rich cultural heritage of the Gumbaynggirr community at Sealy Lookout.
The Bellingen Environment Council made the same statement saying it is 'highly inappropriate' to locate the park at Sealy Lookout.
"The adventure park proposal is highly inappropriate where the Forestry Corporation has in recent years taken considerable efforts to identify with the cultural heritage of the local Aboriginal community," the statement read.
The North Coast Environment Council also made a statement, saying the development site contains a significant number of known or likely threatened species.
Construction has since begun on the Treetop Adventure Park at Sealy Lookout, expected to be completed in stages over the coming months.
The park, which will feature zip lines and ropes courses, is park of an initiative to bring more eco-friendly tourist attractions to the area.