Binna Burra lodge is reopening today, almost a full year after it was badly damaged by devastating bushfires.
The fires started within the area on September 6, 2019, prompting warnings for Numinbah Valley, Springbrook, Beechmont and Witheren.
Due to the terrain of the area around the lodge, it was deemed too risky to send firefighters in along the Binna Burra Road.
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The fire escalated on September 8, and on September 9, three houses and several commercial structures were destroyed in the Binna Burra area.
The fire was formally declared out and closed on December 24.
Significant work has since been done to repair the Sky Lodges, as well as the Binna Burra road, which reopened yesterday.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud says it’s been a big process, since the September 2019 blaze.
“The bushfires caused severe damage to the road and throughout the World Heritage-listed Binna Burra rainforest reserve, including the Binna Burra Lodge.
“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,” Minister Littleproud said.
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick says 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, click here.