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The journey

Castlemaine Drill Hall and Post Office – Barry Gamble

A World Heritage listing, as well as the journey to achieve it, can achieve strong regional and community development, supporting tourism recovery and jobs with the potential to create a second gold rush for the region.

Key events to date in the journey towards World Heritage listing include:

2021

Research comparing the Central Victorian Goldfields with goldfields around the world and in Australia finds that “The Central Victorian Goldfields stands out as exceptional among global gold rushes … Quite simple it is unparalleled” (Gamble).

To begin the process of finding the region’s most exceptional sites, mapping the region’s thousands of goldrush heritage sites and capturing the myriad of goldrush stories is underway. 

1,000 local people tell us what needs to happen for tourism to help make their life better through the Happiness Index Survey. Planning for a better type of tourism occurs, including identifying investment priorities that will spread the benefits of World Heritage listing across the region, create jobs and strengthen local communities. 

2020

Project scoping, stakeholder engagement and national/international World Heritage expert engagement underway. Advice from international World Heritage experts is that the goldfields are ‘exceptional’.

Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) developed and tested, comparative analysis underway. Management plan development, branding, ongoing governance proposals and investment priority co-design underway to support vision to bring opportunities for every person and community across the region from a World Heritage listed region.

2019

The City of Ballarat and the City of Bendigo commit human and financial resources to progress the project.

Thirteen local governments partner and commit funds with additional support from State Government to commence key projects to commence the bid.

2017

Participants at the Goldfields Heritage Development and Opportunity Summit agree on the benefits of a region-wide serial listing approach for World Heritage listing based on the Cornwall West Devon Mining Landscape model, and working collaboratively towards that objective with focussed advocacy towards the Victorian Government.

2016

Central Goldfields Shire Council resolves at its December meeting to propose to key stakeholders that a Goldfields Heritage Development and Opportunities Summit be held in 2017 with a view to progressing key Goldfields development initiatives including World Heritage Listing which drive job creation, economic development and added liveability attraction.

The Federal Coalition Government stated: “The Coalition acknowledges the significant opportunity that exists to further promote the region’s extraordinary gold rush heritage. We would welcome an approach from the Victorian Government on this matter (WHL) in the future.”

Victorian Minister for Planning stated of Goldfields World Heritage Listing: “It’s a fantastic initiative… It’s a very, very significant history right through the region from Bendigo to Ballarat and some of the smaller townships around it as well. I think it is a worthy candidate for consideration.”

Victorian Goldfields World Heritage Listing Symposium held at Federation University Australia in Ballarat with 70 participants.

2015

City of Greater Bendigo, City of Ballarat, Mount Alexander Shire, Hepburn Shire and Central Goldfields Shire mayors jointly write to State Government to proceed with Goldfields World Heritage Listing stating” leveraging this unique opportunity will help position our region as a premier destination for international and domestic tourists”.

2014

Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan – Strategic Direction 3: “Strengthen and diversify our economy … Establish Australia’s first heritage region, linked to goldfields heritage, as an iconic destination to value our natural heritage and promote tourism within the region.”

2012

Scoping study, Developing Victoria’s Goldfields into Australia’s Cultural Heritage region, funded by Grampians and Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committees and Tourism Victoria recommends advancing WHL as a means of branding the entire Goldfields region and that WHL was legitimate, authentic and realistic.

Loddon Mallee South and Central Highlands Regional Strategic Plans – the development of the Goldfields as Australia’s premier heritage region a key plank in the priority to ‘strengthen and diversify our economy’. Further supported by alignment and references in the respective Regional Growth Plans.

2008

Proposal for inclusion on Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List: Victorian Goldfields World Heritage Site: Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park developed by Heritage Victoria.

2006

Media release: The Bracks Government is seeking World Heritage listing for Victoria’s goldfields, where Australia’s egalitarian identity emerged and the wealth that made Melbourne marvellous was generated.

1989

The Hon John Brumby MP, the then Federal Member for Bendigo, became the principal spokesperson for a campaign seeking World Heritage Area listing for the Central Victorian Goldfields.

1978

Land Conservation Council creates the Castlemaine-Chewton Historic Area.

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