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Treasurer, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick

JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud

Treasurer, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick

Binna Burra Road will reopen today marking an important recovery milestone for the community and local tourism after last year's devastating bushfires.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the road had been closed since bushfires swept across the Gold Coast hinterland in September 2019.

“The bushfires caused severe damage to the road and throughout the World Heritage-listed Binna Burra rainforest reserve, including the Binna Burra Lodge," Minister Littleproud said.

“While the impact of the fires has been heartbreaking, the road reopening is cause for optimism.

“Significant work has been done to ensure the road is safe. Our number one priority remains ensuring the safety of the community and all involved in the recovery efforts.

“The reopening of Binna Burra Road not only supports the reopening of Binna Burra’s Sky Lodges and its continued reconstruction, but also paves the way for visitors to return to Lamington National Park.

“Australia was ravaged by the bushfires, it has devastated our community and our landscape. Re-opening the road will play an important part in rebooting the local economy as it recovers from the double hit of bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Australian and Queensland Governments have been proud to jointly fund this estimated $35 million project through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.”

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the bushfires were devasting for the local community.

“But just as we have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the many other natural disasters this state has endured, Queenslanders are tough, resilient and optimistic.

“Now, more than ever, as we roll out our plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, we will provide the necessary support to keep our businesses operating and thriving.

Mr Dick said the project to repair severe slope damage along Binna Burra Road had been complex due to the steep terrain.

"This meant works to stabilise the slopes required expert personnel trained in rope access construction and specialist geotechnical equipment to be abseiled down the cliff face," Mr Dick said.

"With the road to be reopened under traffic control on 31 August, final works are expected to continue until October 2020, weather and site conditions permitting.

“In addition, with Binna Burra Road reopening, the majority of rainforest trails in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park will again be available for walkers, with their restoration funded under a $1 million Tourism Recovery Fund initiative under the DRFA.

“Binna Burra had also been the beneficiary of other support to help with recovery including $1.775 million in joint Australian and Queensland Government DRFA funding.

“This funding is to help with clean-up operations, tree clearing, demolition of the old sky lodges and cabins, a revision of the master plan and development of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

“To encourage tourism to the region, which is particularly important as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palaszczuk Government has also provided $1.67 million development of a Via Ferrata, Australia’s first permanent cliff climbing and adventure course attraction, at Binna Burra.

“It is expected to be completed by October 2021 and will be another welcome attraction to this iconic Queensland tourism attraction.

“As we Unite and Recover for Queensland jobs, we will continue to work with Binna Burra Lodge to see this jewel in Queensland’s tourism crown return bigger and better than ever before,” he said.

For more information on the Binna Burra Road reconstruction go to https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/binna-burra-road-reconstruction-works

For more information on Binna Burra Lodge go to www.binnaburralodge.com.au

Media contacts:

  • Douglas Ferguson 0455 448 985 (Minister Littleproud)
  • Lesley Major 0419 288 284 (Minister Dick) 

Fast facts:

Binna Burra Lodge

Binna Burra Lodge was founded in 1933 by Arthur Groom and Romeo Lahey.

It sits within the sub-tropical rainforest of Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, centre stage to some of Australia’s most spectacular natural features.

The lodge was the first Australian property to attain the internationally-recognised Green Globe Certification for its best practice environmental performance, and was listed in the top 10 Eco-Lodges and Green Hotels in the World.

Read more about its history here https://www.binnaburralodge.com.au/about/

Binna Burra fire

The Binna Burra complex fire, later named the Sarabah fire, started on 6 September 2019 and prompted warnings in several surrounding areas including Numinbah Valley, Springbrook, Beechmont and Witheren.

Firefighters, including crews from interstate and volunteers, worked tirelessly to contain the fire in an effort to protect life, property and the environment.

Ground crews were assisted by waterbombing aircraft, as the conditions were too dangerous for firefighters to enter the area by foot or in vehicles.

The bushfire toppled large trees and caused debris to fall across the road leading to and from the Binna Burra Lodge. It was too risky and potentially life-threatening to send firefighters along the road.

On Sunday, 8 September the fire escalated - bushfire warnings reached Emergency Warning level with a Seek Shelter message published.

Three houses and several commercial structures were destroyed in the Binna Burra area on 9 September. Further homes were lost in the surrounding areas.

This fire was formally declared out, and the incident was closed, on 24 December 2019.

Binna Burra Road

Immediately following the bushfires, emergency works were undertaken to make the site safe for workers. Reconstruction between Binna Burra Lodge and the Rangers Hut commenced in late October 2019.

Pavement restoration, drainage reinstatement, sealing, asphalt, some guardrail installation and line marking are funded through the Queensland Transport Roads Investment Program (QTRIP).

Eligible reconstruction works are funded jointly by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA)

Binna Burra Lodge Lunch Bell

Firefighters found the Binna Burra Lodge Lunch Bell among the wreckage and returned it to staff. The iconic bell is from the historic train that travelled from Canungra to the base of Binna Burra, transporting logs and timber during its build.

Via Ferrata: Cliff climbing course

The ‘Via Ferrata’ cliff climbing course, funded by the Queensland Government, will allow visitors to safely scale cliff faces usually only accessible to experienced rock climbers through a system of iron steps fixed into a rock face supported by a safety cable.

Construction and installation of the course will include climbing structures; bridges and viewing platforms; reception, training administration and equipment kiosk; access tracks; and car parks.

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