The catastrophic Australian fire that is currently engulfing swathes of regions around the country had started out in September 2019. as a bushfire that decimated the culturally historic Binna Burra Lodge. The fire was swift, barely giving time to evacuate about a hundred guests staying at the heritage-listed lodge at the time the fire started.
Binna Burra Lodge Chairman, Steve Noakes said the experience of seeing the damage the bushfire made to the complex was fairly traumatic.The devastation was extensive and far worse than what Mr. Noakes had imagined. It practically took his breath away when he first saw the extent of the damage. Mr Noakes reported
“The places where people had gathered through generations, the dining area, the library, the lounge, and even parts of the newly built Skylodge buildings, are gone.”
Binna Burra Lodge a Significant Part of Australian Heritage
Since Binna Burra opened in 1933, the environmental lodge had provided temporary home to hundreds of thousands of ordinary people coming from different parts of the world, when they set to explore and experience the grandeur of the world-heritage rainforest site known as Lamington National Park.
Started 86 years ago by prominent Australian conservationist, journalist, photographer and adventurer Arthur Groom with fellow conservationist and national parks advocate and engineer Romeo Lahey, Binna Burra never took on the air of plush and luxury.
The quaint wood-slab cabins, and the reception lounge with its big fireplace were all built with ordinary folks in mind. Binna Burra gave access to the national forest with only one road in coming from the Gold Coast; from the ridge of Beechmont to a final climb through a single-lane through the eucalyptus forest going to the edge of the rainforest.
Spanning 86 years, the Binna Burra Lodge had served as a beacon to bushwalkers, camping out school children and tired business executives looking for moments of quiet respite.
Binna Burra is gone and its future remains uncertain at the moment, because restoring the site to its original condition has to take a lot of things into consideration. Mr. Noakes acknowledges that there are now different dynamics affecting the way land is managed today, when compared to how it was 86 years ago.
Professor Catherine Pickering from the Griffith University – School of Environment and Science at Griffith University, said that if rebuilding of the complex is to be tackled, the structures must be designed in a way that factor in changes in climate conditions. As it is, changing patterns of dryness and rainfalls have been expanding, which is also driving changes in the way humans must interact with the land and its ecosystems.
Still, the Binna Burra website carries on with hope for the rapid rebuilding and rehabilitation of Binna Burra Lodge with the help of the taskforce created by the Queensland State Government.
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