Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Govt grant for late 2020 Binna Burra Festival

Binna Burra Lodge has been given $50,000 in State Government funding to run a festival to celebrate the partial re-opening of the tourist facility on Lamington Plateau.

The grant was announced before the final meeting of the Binna Burra Lodge Recovery Taskforce by State Development Minister Cameron Dick.

“While the complex road repairs and recent rain make it hard to pinpoint a specific date when the site can be partially reopened, this announcement reinforces to Binna Burra management and the community our continuing support,” Mr Dick said.

“The funds will support planning and staging for an event to celebrate the road to recovery and we look forward to locals and visitors again returning to Binna Burra and the wider Scenic Rim area.”

A bushfire on September 8, destroyed the heritage-listed Lodge and all but one of the accommodation cabins and caused major stabilisation issues on the access road.

Mr Dick said a taskforce of government agencies, the Lodge Board and the Scenic Rim Regional Council was immediately established to oversee and co-ordinate recovery works.

“We wanted to help link displaced staff with new employers and develop and deliver a recovery action plan.

“Binna Burra is a major employer and contributor to the local economy, and the Scenic Rim relies heavily on the tourism market, so we were determined to streamline recovery actions and support the Lodge and region.

“Nearly 50 actions were identified and 46 are now complete or well underway, and three involve longer-term plans.

“This is a great outcome and, as we saw with the recent reopening of the Binna Burra kitchen as the Headmaster’s Cafe at Beechmont, a real morale boost for the Lodge Board, staff, locals and visitors.

Taskforce outcomes include:

• Nearly 40 of the 56 displaced workers gaining new employment or being linked to training through TAFE or other courses

• onsite demolition planning

• removal of debris and hazardous materials

• geotechnical assessments for road stabilisation and repairs

• building and site heritage preservation

• restoration of walking trails

• utilities provisioning and testing

• site security

• promoting short to medium-term promotion campaigns to bring tourists back to the region.

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said that working closely with the taskforce had accelebrated the recovery process following the bushfire.

“News of the devastating Lodge fire made headlines around the world and we look forward to being able to celebrate the rebirth of the iconic Binna Burra with the same attention seeking headlines.”

The Sky Lodges, Groom’s Cottage, the Tea House and the campsite are expected to be the first facilities to open later this year.