World Heritage listing of Australia’s Central Victorian Goldfields aims to share the extraordinary story of the Central Victorian Goldfields with people from across the globe and create social, cultural and economic opportunities for every community and person across the region.
RUSH! Animation by Avenue.Design
To achieve this, a two-year program is underway to get the bid to tentative listing stage for consideration by the State of Victoria and Australian Governments.
This includes developing the bid, growing the region’s profile, building local capacity and attracting investment to deliver world-class visitor offerings and ultimately, securing World Heritage listing.
Leading World Heritage experts have confirmed that inscription of the Central Victorian Goldfields can be achieved, telling us they are ‘the most extensive, coherent and best-surviving landscape anywhere, that illustrates the global gold rush phenomenon of the second half of the nineteenth century’ (Gamble 2020).
World Heritage listing of the Central Victorian Goldfields in recognition of its outstanding global heritage significance can be a major catalyst for transformative regeneration of the region.
Thirteen local governments, led by the Cities of Ballarat and Greater Bendigo, have partnered to progress the listing and unlock its full potential.
The bid provides an opportunity to raise the socio-economic profile and outlook of the region’s cities, towns and local communities. Parts of our region are thriving, but other parts are among the most socially disadvantaged areas in the country and many are experiencing population decline. This is coupled with the devastating impacts to the visitor economy from COVID-19 and the 19/20 bushfire season.
Experience in other disadvantaged areas shows that World Heritage listing, when harnessed fully, can bring more and new investment, revitalise and reposition regions, create new opportunities for communities and secure jobs and young people’s futures.
The unique building blocks are the region’s gold rush story, heritage assets and international significance.
Due to the devastating impacts to the visitor economy from COVID-19, the urgency to support the region’s capacity to recover and thrive is paramount. The World Heritage Program now plays a critical role for the partnership as a catalyst for the recovery and regeneration of the region.
The region is ready, the timing is right, and the need is now even greater.
To secure World Heritage listing to share the extraordinary story of Australia’s Central Victorian Goldfields with people from across the globe – the global mass movement of people, formative social and political processes and a spectacular period of world trade, industrial and commercial expansion, all showcased in the world’s best preserved goldrush landscapes, gold towns and some of the world’s most notable historic gold cities– and create social, cultural and economic opportunities for every community and person across the region.
Securing a World Heritage listing will bring significant benefits for the entire region. It will have a positive impact on the lives of the half a million people who live in the region – an area that covers nearly 40,000 square kilometres, around 17% of Victoria.
Interview with Barry Gamble, UK World Heritage expert about the benefits of gaining World Heritage listing. Produced by Wind & Sky Productions, 2020.