Beechmont flying ban – competitions cancelled

Beechmont pilots Allen Weynberg, Amanda Lanham, Ivan Pulgarin and Anya Krol at Rosin's Lookout.
Beechmont pilots Allen Weynberg, Amanda Lanham, Ivan Pulgarin and Anya Krol at Rosin's Lookout.

Canungra’s hang gliding and paragliding competitions, the Canungra Classic and Canungra Cup have been canclled for 2023 due to the closure of landing area for the Beechmont site at Rosins Lookout.

The competitions are traditionally held in September and October and have attracted pilots from around Australia and across the globe.

Canungra Hang Gliding and Paragliding pilot, Allen Weynberg said it is not possible to hold the competitions without the Beechmont site.

Canungra Law

The Club has appealed to the Department of Environment, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Minister for Sport and Tourism requesting access to two acres of land as a ‘bomb out’ area, but the request and appeals have been refused.

Allen said about eighty per cent of flying in summer is from the Beechmont site, which will send pilots to other areas to fly during the summer.

Advocates for the site include professional hang glider pilot Jonny Durand who learned to fly at Beechmont when he was 14 years old; and Paragliding World Champion Russell Ogden  who told Cross Country magazine the paragliding world is taking what is happening in Queensland very seriously.

“The cascading impacts are being felt across the sport and the local community.”

The site is regarded as one of Australia’s best flying sites and, combined with the Mount Tamborine site, has made the Scenic Rim a premier area for flying.

Luke Crooks, Allen Weynberg, Amanda Lanham, Ivan Pulgarin and Anya Krol – Gavin Zahner with glider

Ron Russell from Flying Bean Cafe has lived on Beechmont for two and a half years and has owned the Flying Bean for the last nine months. 

He said people often come in to the cafe asking if the pilots are flying and what has happened.  

“They’ve been part of Beechmont for the last forty years. It’s a real shame to see this go,” said Ron.

“We’ve lost Denham reserve, Killarney Glen … the government is promoting the hinterland but they’ve forgotten about all these things we’ve lost.”

Member for Scenic Rim, Jon Krause has asked the Department to address the  lack of landing site.

“I am aware of the concerns of the Canungra Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club after their request to formalise use of a landing area within the National Park estate was not approved.”

“I have raised that issue with National Park personnel and I am aware the Minister and Department have been asked to address the matter.”

“Rosin’s Lookout is one of Australia’s top hang gliding and paragliding launch sites.”

“I understand that it attracts hundreds of pilots from Australia and overseas each year, contributing greatly to the local Scenic Rim economy – it would be a shame to see this recreation cease from Beechmont.”

About Keer Moriarty 290 Articles
Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady with Canungra Times.