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Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has announced funding of $25,000 for work to commence on the first stage of a spectacular walk linking Woolgoolga Headland to Woolgoolga Beach thanks to the Australian Government’s Whale Trail initiative. Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Denise Knight joined Mr Hartsuyker for the announcement.

“One of the highlights of living in our area is being able to watch whales as they progress on their migratory journey every year,” said Mr Hartsuyker.

“Woolgoolga Headland is one of the few locations where tourists, locals and whale watchers can easily see these magnificent mammals from the shore. This funding will not only provide a viewing platform, but also information on different types of whales, their markings and migration habits.

“As part of the project, Coffs Harbour City Council is working with Southern Cross University to individually identify some of the whales that pass Woolgoolga each year. This will allow the public to develop a relationship with specific whales, which will in turn enhance protection of the species.

“The walk and viewing platform will create an immersive, information-filled area for the enjoyment locals and visitors, further enhancing Woolgoolga’s reputation as a whale watching hotspot.”

“I congratulate Coffs Harbour City Council on their successful submission for the Whale Trail grant and I look forward to seeing the completed viewing platform and walk,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

The initial stage of the project will see the commencement of the first section of the path and viewing platform. A further four stages will provide additional viewing platforms and continue the walk along Pollack Esplanade, before connecting up with the existing Solitary Islands Coastal Walk and Woolgoolga town centre.

The completed project will include colourful signage providing information on the management and protection of whales, images of whales stamped into the concrete viewing platforms, and additional environmental information on migratory birds, vegetation and landforms.

The National Whale Trail initiative is part of a $2 million investment over the next three years by the Australian Government under its Whale and Dolphin Protection Plan.

For more information about the Whales and Dolphins Protection Plan go to www.nrm.gov.au

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