Victoria Hill Diggings Reserve – Consultation

Today, I’m going to discuss the new consultation that has just hit the Let’s Talk Greater Bendigo platform: the draft management plan for the the Victoria Hill Diggings Reserve. I will give a brief background on the place and this process, and then discuss how you can be involved.

I would like your help in spreading this opportunity for consultation far and wide. It is crucial to get a high level of response to this consultation, so please pass this on to interested and expert groups and individuals. The consultation plan closes April 29th.

Background

Victoria Hill is one of central Victoria’s most significant sites for gold mining, not only for historical reasons, but also in the area of science and technology. The site is listed on the Victoria Heritage Register, and the statement of significance asserts that:

The Victoria Hill Quartz Gold Mines are of historical, archaeological and scientific importance to the State of Victoria … The Victoria Hill Quartz Gold Mines are historically significant as the symbolic heart of Bendigo’s famous goldfield … The Victoria Hill Quartz Gold Mines are scientifically important, as they contain relics span nearly sixty years of mining (1854 to 1913) … As a postscript to the chronology of gold mining is the surviving crushing machinery (formerly part of the Bendigo Crushing Works) which was erected near the foundations of Lansell’s 180 mine in 1932, to crush quartz for nearby mines. The place has a potential to yield artefacts and evidence which will be able to provide significant information about the technological history of gold mining.

Early in my term, I called for improvements to the site, and this draft management plan is part of the process. The draft plan contains a lot of very interesting information on the history of the site, and also includes the fact that there was a site management plan prepared in 1993.

The Draft Plan

The current draft includes a table of possible improvements, which the City is seeking feedback on, and you can also give your view on other improvements which the site needs.

There are a number of ways to contribute to this consultation:

  1. You may live close by, in which case you may have got a letter in the letterbox, asking for feedback
  2. Go online, read the draft plan and respond to the questions
  3. Schedule a time to discuss to the plan in person with Chris Mitchell, by calling 5434 6000, or emailing him on c.mitchell@Bendigo.vic.gov.au

This draft needs as many people to contribute as possible. There are two reasons for this:

  1. There are some fantastic ideas out there, and we want to make sure we benefit from them, and get a clear understanding of what the priorities should be
  2. A high level of response means councillors can see that there is significant community interest, and that helps advocates like me to push for further funds and plans for the future.

Thanks for your help!