Following footsteps of pioneers for Queensland’s national parks.

Written by Binna Burra

March 29, 2019

‘The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future.’ “The Laheys: Pioneer Settlers and Sawmillers’, Shirley Lahey, 2003.

Residents and visitors to the Scenic Rim in the hinterland area of the Gold Coast can thank Romeo Lahey (1887 – 1968) for preserving much of the stunning natural scenery which abounds throughout the region.

In April 1930, Romeo Lahey founded the National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ), where he served as President till his death in 1968.

Along with his fellow conservationist, Arthur Groom he also founded Binna Burra Lodge in 1933. Resigning as Director of the company in 1946 in protest at tree-felling on the property, he rejoined the Board in 1954. He was a founder of the ‘Save the Trees’ campaign in 1946 and Chairman until 1949.

‘Romeo Lahey had a vision to protect and present our natural landscape well ahead of his time’ said the current Chairman of Binna Burra Lodge, Steve Noakes.

‘He lobbied the then state government to create Lamington National Park which was proclaimed in July 1915. Nowadays it is included in the World Heritage Listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world which are of international significance for science and conservation.’

A plaque was unveiled on Mount Cainbable at the Lamington National Park in 1967, honours Lahey: ‘For his distinguished service to the community in furthering the National Park ideal of preserving area unimpaired for the enjoyment of present and future generations, and for his persistent efforts resulting in the proclamation of Lamington National Park on 31st July 1915’

‘For over 100 years now, National Parks have become a key resource of Queensland, accessible and owned by the public. As it was back in the 1930’s, Binna Burra continues to support low-impact public access to Queensland’s National Parks’ said Noakes.

‘At Binna Burra Lodge, we remain committed to the original ideals of Romeo Lahey and the importance of our national parks. And, like the NPAQ, we believe that taxpayers’ money should not be used to support commercial eco-tourism that could undermine our State’s national park system.’

‘Public interests remain more important than our private interests. Just like Romeo Lahey did, we continue to support nature conservation as the primary purpose of national parks’’ concluded Noakes.

Media contact: [email protected] 

About Binna Burra Lodge: 

One of Australia’s longest-established nature-based resorts, Binna Burra Lodge was founded in 1933 by Arthur Groom and Romeo Lahey. These two pioneering conservationists shared a vision to create a place where people could stay and experience the beauty of the Lamington National Park rainforest. Through interpretive walks and educational programs, they believed more people would become committed to preserving this natural wilderness for future generations.

Nowadays the lodge provides a range of soft-top and hard-top accommodation options for all segments of the Australian and international travel markets, along with quality outdoor, adventure and educational experiences

Chairperson of Binna Burra Lodge: Steve Noakes is a long term shareholder of Binna Burra Lodge, and a local resident living near the Lodge, adjacent to Lamington National Park. He has been involved in the tourism sector for 40 years being acknowledged as a leading advocate for sustainable tourism practices across the Pacific Asia region. He has academic qualifications in Business, Tourism, Hospitality and Teaching and has been an Adjunct or Visiting Professor at Universities in Australia, Norway and Finland.

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