Camp Reserve Update 6/09/2023

Gold Camp Castlemaine

Gold Camp Castlemaine (GCC) is a newly formed group of locals and people from across Victoria who are fighting to preserve the open, green space, and the historical integrity of  Camp Reserve at 11 Forest St Castlemaine.

CASSOC supports the aims of GCC.

Since 2022, GCC (Gold Camp Castlemaine) has held community meetings and fundraisers to challenge an unnecessarily destructive plan for this highly significant site. 

Click here for the Gold Camp Castlemaine Website

It’s time to save the hill!


For a full history of the Government Camp, and Camp

Reserve see the new dedicated website

Almost 170 years ago, the land now called Camp Reserve – and the precinct around it – were ground zero for this settlement and Victoria’s Goldrush.



The Gold Escort leaving Castlemaine Camp in Victoria, Australia, for Melbourne. Date: 1853

As order slowly came to the diggings, and wealth built modern Castlemaine, the Government Camp with its military parade ground – now called Camp Reserve – on the banks of Barkers Creek was its centrepiece. The Gold Commissioner’s Camp is Castlemaine.

Decades of neglect and changing land use have left the area with an unsteady future. Currently the Camp’s past and future hangs in the balance. Mt Alexander Shire Council has approved a plan that will bring the Reserve a much needed upgrade – but will also bury its history and green open space..

The 2023 approved Masterplan that Council commissioned, will suffocate the Reserve’s significance beneath a sprawling sports complex, erase the storylines of its Goldrush history and surrender some its most important trees to chainsaws. Almost 75% of the Reserve’s grassy hill will be bulldozed under the Council’s plan.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Reserve can be redeveloped so that the town’s organised sport and events get a better future AND more respectfully acknowledges our past and present.

We don’t have to bury the town’s history to get a better football pavilion or modern netball courts. We don’t need to stumble into the false trap that “development” means choosing between one OR the other. We can have it all!  Gold Camp Castlemaine (GCC) has an alternative plan, that rearranges the pieces of the jigsaw, achieving a good sports outcome, while retaining the historic significance of Camp Reserve. We can put Camp Reserve back on the map – for sport, the public and tourists – and help honour the region’s bid to make the Goldfields a UNESCO World Heritage site.

But to build a better plan, we first have to stop a bad one.

To save this significant place as public open space for this generation and the next, please email or talk to your Mt Alexander Shire Council ward councillor, Mayor and CEO.

Donate to Gold Camp Castlemaine’s fund to fight for a better plan. This campaign will most likely need to be taken through to VCAT, as Council and the official User Groups have indicated no appetite for compromize.

Bank Account

Bendigo Bank 

BSB 633000

Account 195 721 865

Use your name as a reference. All donations received by GCC with thanks.

100% funds to pay for professional advocacy. Gold Camp Castlemaine has announced that if an appropriate outcome is negotiated, and raised funds are not required, this community money will be used to fund interpretive signage of the Government Camp, and to protect other historical sites.


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