June 6th, 2023Gold in them there world heritage bids: UNESCO bid boosted
The Victorian Goldfields UNESCO World Heritage bid has been given a hefty boost thanks to $3.8 million announced in the Victorian budget for championing Victoria’s outstanding heritage.
World Heritage listing of a limited number of globally significant sites is forecast to deliver real
and long-lasting benefits that will be shared by communities and people right across the Goldfields region, including in little local towns like Clunes and Creswick which have a significant part in the area’s golden past.
World Heritage status is expected to bring world-wide recognition and attention and is a proven, powerful catalyst for unlocking transformative opportunities for local communities. It’s estimated to be worth $1 billion to the region over 10 years. Connecting the world with the Victorian Goldfields is forecast to grow the area’s global visitor market, driving sustainable tourism and jobs.
Meanwhile, a targeted tourism investment strategy is expected to start delivering benefits in the short-term.
The bid is the initiative of a regional partnership made up of the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive and 13 local councils led the City of Ballarat and the City of Greater Bendigo.
Chair of the Victorian Goldfields Tourism Executive Cr Chris Meddows-Taylor says a tourism masterplan currently being developed features exciting World Heritage Journeys which will disperse the increased visitors – and visitor dollars – throughout the region.
“It will take in our smaller regional and rural communities meaning there are no winners and losers, only winners.”
Macedon Ranges Shire Council Mayor, Cr Annette Death, said it was pleasing to see more funding provided for the bid to join about 20 other Australian sites currently showcased on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
“This worldwide recognition would complement our own tourism initiatives here in the Macedon Ranges and our own unique heritage, which we’re currently inviting submissions on to help inform a revised Heritage Strategy.”
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson OAM says that leveraging and strengthening community pride is a vital part of the work.“Locals have told us they are proud of what we have. Our unique heritage is a key reason they want to live and work here.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf says that unlocking the benefits needs strong collaboration between local communities, businesses and industry.
“It will take everyone working together. The bid merely opens up the opportunities. Importantly, Traditional Owners will be able to tell their own stories about the impact of the gold rush and share those with visitors in the ways they choose.
“We urge everyone to get involved in shaping an exciting, sustainable and prosperous future.”
Locals keen to get involved in co-designing an exciting future for the Goldfields region and to learn more about the bid are being invited to visit www.goldfieldsworldheritage.com.au