MORE than 500 people have already signed a petition supporting a level playing field for Fraser Coast whale-watching operators.
Tourism portfolio councillor Stuart Taylor launched the "Fair Go" petition one week ago, calling for the elimination of fees relating to whale watching in Hervey Bay in line with areas such as Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
The petition also calls for the reduction of red and green tape relating to the Great Sandy Strait.
Cr Taylor said the Fraser Coast community had demonstrated its support for the region's whale-watch operators, with hundreds of early signatures on the Fair Go petition, which will be presented to National Parks Minister Steve Dickson on July 2.
So far more than 20 businesses are supporting this cause, including the Chronicle.
The petition is available for people to sign at businesses - including Chronicle offices in Hervey Bay and Maryborough - and at the council office.
"These local businesses understand the philosophy that tourism is everyone's business, and they are willing to stand up for their tourism industry," Cr Taylor said.
"We now have until July 1 to get as many signatures as possible."