The operator of Gunnedah's new koala park has quashed concerns about the facility's location.
The CaPTA Group will run the $6.6 million tourist attraction, and its research and development manager Andrew Hearn said it was "very excited to get started" on building.
The Namoi Valley Independent spoke to Mr Hearn about concerns locals had raised on our Facebook page, particularly about the location.
But he said the site next to Balcary Park was the group's ideal choice.
"What we were looking for in a site is something easily accessible by highway, close to town and an interesting site with natural features that enables us to provide the experiences we want to provide to tourists to Gunnedah," he said.
"'Farmers and Graziers' in our mind ticks all of those boxes."
Multiple Facebook users noted the location was also next to the existing motorbike track, which could prove noisy for the koalas, but Mr Hearn said it wasn't an issue.
"I don't think the koalas will be impacted at all," he said.
"We've gone to great extents in measuring noise volumes on race days and the noise volumes our koalas are exposed to everyday.
"There's a lot of construction going on at one of our other parks currently, with heavy equipment being used, and the koalas are much closer and have shown zero increased levels of stress."
Facebook user Jannice Banks said native vegetation should be conserved, too.
"The new koala park is a wonderful idea, however ... Gunnedah is a koala park, yet habitats for our koalas [are] not being looked after," she said.
Mr Hearn said building the new park was "quite the opposite" to this.
"We've selected the site for the trees and natural features and fully intend to work around them," he said.
"Everyone that has been on site would notice that there are already large clearings due to historic uses of the site and, if anything, we would be improving the habitat."
The next step for the CaPTA Group in the park's development is to draw up a concept briefing.
"It's a briefing on what attractions we want on the site, how big we want them to be and what the specific requirements are for the animals we want to have on site," Mr Hearn said.
"The briefing then goes to an architect who then draws up the plan for the park.
"CaPTA Group is very excited to really begin this process now that we have a confirmed site."
Gunnedah Shire Council received $6.48 million in funding for the project from the state government back in June 2018.