Published on 03 July 2020
Twelve Central Victorian Councils have welcomed $50,000 in State Government funding to help build the capacity of the region’s visitor economy, with improvements aimed at supporting a future World Heritage Listing bid for the Central Victorian Goldfields.
Campaspe Shire Council is a partner in a campaign to place parts of the Central Victorian Goldfields, home to some of the world’s most significant gold rush-era sites, on the World Heritage list.
The funding, from the Victorian Government’s Stronger Regional Communities Program (SRCP) will support the development of a Sustainable Tourism Toolkit, which will help to identify gaps across the region to be addressed so as visitors will be encouraged to visit the entire region, meaning the tourist dollar can be shared evenly.
The consortium of councils and project co-funder, the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive, will use the funds to conduct community and industry engagement across the Central Victorian goldfields region and bring in expert advice.
Civic leaders say the possibility of achieving a world heritage listing for the Central Victoria Goldfields was just the incentive needed to unlock the region’s full tourism and jobs potential, and to define the region as a significant tourism destination globally.
“Tourism is one of the mainstays of the region’s local economy. Not only does it result in jobs, income and investment, it also contributes to the vibrancy of the region,” Campaspe Shire Mayor, Cr Weston said.
“The campaign to recognise the Central Victorian Goldfields is just as important to us – with the township of Rushworth, Balaclava Mine and our Gold and Ironbark Trail in the south of our shire, all part of the same gold rush era. Attracting tourists to one area, brings a flow-on effect to another.”
Cr Weston, along with all local government partners, thanks the Victorian Government for recognising the unique potential of the Central Victorian Goldfields and their strong endorsement of the consortium’s regional development approach to the bid.
The consortium represents close to half a million people spread over nearly 40,000 square kilometres, 17% of the state.
Local Governments and the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive have collectively committed $200,000 over two years to progress the World Heritage Listing bid, which if successful is conservatively estimated to deliver $25 million annually into the local economy. The region’s local governments are now working to identify further funding required to progress the bid.
The Central Victorian Goldfields World Heritage bid local government partners are Ararat Rural City, Campaspe Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, City of Ballarat, City of Greater Bendigo, Golden Plains Shire, Hepburn Shire, Loddon Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire, Mount Alexander Shire, Northern Grampians Shire and Pyrenees Shire Councils.