Works have started across the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, as part of the Victorian Government’s support for the Gunditjmara Traditional Owners to protect and develop the land so more people can celebrate its history and cultural significance.
The Victorian Government is investing over $12 million in the project, including $8 million through the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund, to improve the tourist infrastructure of the area. The government investment also contributed to Budj Bim’s successful bid in 2019 to become a UNESCO World Heritage listed site.
The works include a new eel aquaculture and information centre, art installations, new raised walkways, a new cantilevered lookout, an upgraded information centre, entrance infrastructure, carparks and interpretive signage.
Construction has started on all five project sites within the cultural landscape, including Tyrendarra Township, Kurtonitj, Lake Condah, Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area and Budj Bim.
Budj Bim hosts the remains of over 300 Aboriginal stone houses – evidence of the Gunditjmara People’s permanent settlement in the area, as well as a sophisticated system of channels, fish traps and weirs used for farming eels. It is the only Australian site to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list solely for its Aboriginal cultural values.
The new works follow extensive consultation with Traditional Owners over the past 18 months. The Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund is designed to help grow and realise the potential of regional Victoria’s visitor economy which attracts more than 14 million domestic and international visitors every year.