Scenic Rim Regional Council's out of the box approach to tackling the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 is reaping a bumper harvest for the region and creating new partnerships to support employment.
Popular Beechmont eatery Binna Burra Kitchen has reopened with a fresh new menu and providore store filled with premium local produce supplied through Scenic Rim Farm Box, an initiative of Council's COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package.
Division Three Councillor Virginia West proudly delivered the first Scenic Rim Farm Box to the Binna Burra Kitchen, which initially opened in early 2020 on the Old School Site at Beechmont.
"After a fire destroyed the 87-year-old Binna Burra Lodge in September 2019, the local Beechmont Area Progress Association, with the backing of Scenic Rim Regional Council, provided the Headmasters Café at the Old School Site to Binna Burra Lodge, so they could get back to business, employ local staff and rebuild its food and beverage team," she said.
"The reopening of the expanded Binna Burra Kitchen following subsequent closure due to COVID-19 restrictions is a boost for the communities of Beechmont, Binna Burra and beyond," Cr West said.
“The return of Binna Burra Kitchen means local staff are back in jobs, visitors are coming back to this part of the Scenic Rim and, importantly, it is another step toward Binna Burra and Beechmont’s economic recovery.
“The supply of premium Scenic Rim produce to Binna Burra Kitchen via Scenic Rim Farm Box also provides support to many in the broader Scenic Rim farming community who supply Scenic Rim Farm Box."
Binna Burra Lodge Chief Executive, Jonathan Fisher, said partnering with Scenic Rim Farm Box was key to being able to consistently offer visitors and guests an authentic local food experience.
“Scenic Rim Farm Box, who have been working so hard to get a consistent supply of products grown and made in the Scenic Rim, offer a logical local providore solution for us,” he said.
“The Scenic Rim is well-known for its quality food, and we here at Binna Burra are particularly well-known for our stunning natural beauty, and together we can provide something that is of an international standard within an easy drive of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.”
Scenic Rim Farm Box Operations Manager, Kate Raymont, who is a Canungra local, said it was a significant partnership for the Scenic Rim region.
“We’re very excited to be working with Binna Burra to help source premium fresh produce and products from across the Scenic Rim for use in the Kitchen, and we are equally excited about our custom Binna Burra editions of the Scenic Rim Farm Box," she said.
"When Binna Burra Lodge eagerly reopens to overnight visitors in September, guests will be able to order a custom Scenic Rim Farm Box, which will be waiting for them on arrival."
Cr West said it was rewarding to see local businesses working together to support each other during one of the most challenging economic periods in the region's history.
"On the back of drought, bushfires and a global pandemic, seeing local businesses develop partnerships and provide our visitors with an authentic Scenic Rim experience is testament to the character and resilience of our region," she said.
"It's been really exciting to make this first delivery today and see the enthusiasm and shared vision for future opportunities.
"I am proud of the partnering role Council has played in standing side-by-side with Binna Burra Lodge through bushfire recovery, as well as supporting many local producers through the Scenic Rim Farm Box initiative in lieu of this year's cancelled Eat Local Week.
"Councils have moved on from just providing roads, rates and rubbish, and this is a great example of our strong responsibility to support social and economic outcomes for our communities."
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