Music to promote varied benefits of national park expansion

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Promote Preston members Barrie Thomas and Julieanne Hilbers warm up the vocal chords with Latehorse singer/songwriter Shane Thomas.
Camera IconPromote Preston members Barrie Thomas and Julieanne Hilbers warm up the vocal chords with Latehorse singer/songwriter Shane Thomas. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

The group campaigning for Wellington National Park to be expanded will use the sounds of folk rock to further spread its message and raise much-needed cash.

Promote Preston – the group behind the Imagine Greater Wellington National Park campaign – is holding a ‘Music @ The Mill’ concert in a bid to raise awareness.

Donnybrook singer-songwriter Latehorse, who is an advocate for the initiative, will headline the concert at Wellington Forest Cottages on February 4.

Promote Preston spokeswoman Julieanne Hilbers said the concert would help raise awareness around how Preston Valley’s natural environment could be used to benefit tourism and the economy.

“Around the world, where there are national parks the surrounding communities benefit from that association,” Ms Hilbers said.

“A greater Wellington National Park can provide eco and adventure tourism business and job opportunities, along with allied services such as accommodation and meals.

“As well as the possibility of value adding for local food producers with a market generated by increased visitors.

“Preston Valley is evidence that without a national park status, tourism-based opportunities do not eventuate.

“Ferguson Valley which is on the western boundary of the Wellington National Park has benefited from such a relationship over the past 20 years with 34 businesses registered with the Ferguson Valley Marketing Group.

“This has not occurred in the Preston Valley where the forests are kept as state parks and are used for logging.”

The concert will also feature the Electric Gypsies, with tickets available online for $20.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails