UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE BID FOR THE CENTRAL VICTORIAN GOLDFIELDS
An exciting economic opportunity for Mt Alexander Shire
The Central Victorian Goldfields UNESCO World Heritage listing bid is a partnership between thirteen local governments, regional organisations, academia and the private sector on behalf of the Central Victorian Goldfields community. This partnership represents almost half a million people, embracing 40,000 square kilometres and 17% of the state of Victoria in Australia. The bid seeks to achieve a World Heritage listing to celebrate the history and heritage of the region.
The patrons are the Honourable John Brumby AO and the Honourable Denis Napthine AO. Both ex state premiers have a deep commitment to Central Victorian Goldfields and its exceptional history. They have long been champions of this project for Central Victorian Goldfields, recognised globally as the world’s most profound, long-lasting and transformative nineteenth-century gold rush story.
Funding has recently been secured to develop a preliminary listing for the bid. This funding will assist in developing the bid, with the aim of growing the region’s profile, building local capacity and attracting investment to deliver world-class visitor offerings and ultimately, securing World Heritage listing.
To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.
Leading World Heritage experts have confirmed that inscription of the Central Victorian Goldfields can be achieved. The area contains ‘the most extensive, coherent and best-surviving landscape anywhere, that illustrates the global gold rush phenomenon of the second half of the nineteenth century’ (Gamble 2020, see website below). World Heritage listing of the Central Victorian Goldfields in recognition of its outstanding global heritage significance can be a major catalyst for transformative regeneration of the region.
Thirteen local governments, led by the Cities of Ballarat and Greater Bendigo and including Mount Alexander Shire, have partnered to progress the listing and unlock its full potential.
(Information sourced from the website https://goldfieldsworldheritage.com.au/about-the-bid/ )
Mount Alexander Shire
Our local shire contains unique historical material in the form of mining archeology, intact streetscapes of Castlemaine and Maldon, and early intact remnants of the colonial governance infrastructure of the gold rush. The Gold Commissioner’s Camp in Castlemaine is an important and most significant extant example.
Our CEO and Mayor are involved in promoting Mt Alexander Shire as part of the bid. Members of the community are also committed to promoting outstanding elements of our gold history which can include cultural institutions, natural landscapes, mining infrastructure, and built infrastructure. At this stage the brief is wide.
It is anticipated that a UNESCO listing will result in employment and historical tourism that will create a significant ongoing economic benefit to our shire.
CASSOC and the Bid
Castlemaine Society Incorporated supports the aims of the bid and is actively working to foster the Shire’s role in this.
For more information about the bid please visit the Central Victorian World Heritage Goldfields bid website.