Posted on 20. May, 2010 in Victoria

The Premier John Brumby has announced that the Victorian Government would seek World Heritage listing for the Victorian Goldfields.

In Shanghai, following the opening of a Victorian exhibition about the contribution of Chinese Australians in the Gold Rush, Mr Brumby said the Government would submit the Victorian Goldfields, based around the Mt Alexander Diggings National Heritage Park, for World Heritage listing.

“World Heritage listing would give the highest level of international recognition to this important part of Victoria,” Mr Brumby said.

“It would place the Victorian Goldfields along side World Heritage sites such as the Historic Centre of Macoa and the Classical Gardens of Suzhou near Shanghai.

“It would also give significantly enhance the worldwide recognition of the importance of the Gold Rush in Victoria to the economic, social and cultural fabric of our state – who we are and where we have come from.”   

The Australian Government is responsible for assessing Australian applications to the World Heritage List, before putting proposals to UNESCO for a decision. The Victorian Government will submit the Victorian Goldfields to the Australian Government for its consideration.

There are currently 17 World Heritage sites in Australia, one of which, the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens is in Victoria. 

Mr Brumby said while other mining sites had been included in the World Heritage List, such as Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape there was no Gold Rush sites on the list.

Mr Brumby was joined by Deputy Chairman of the Museum of Chinese Australian History, Mark Wang, at the weekend to open the ‘Finding Gold’ exhibition at the Shanghai State Library.

He said it promised to be one of the most informative and engaging exhibitions of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

“This fantastic exhibition showcases Victoria’s long and proud history of Chinese migration and, with gold as its central theme, aims to promote minerals as one of Victoria’s and Australia’s major commodities,” Mr Brumby said.

“Our Chinese community has played an important role in enhancing the reputation of Victoria as a culturally diverse and harmonious state.”

The ‘Finding Gold’ exhibition forms part of Australia’s cultural program for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and was put together by the Museum of Chinese Australian History in Melbourne.

The exhibition was funded by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria with Newcrest Mining Ltd. the major sponsor and is part of the Victoria Week cultural program at the Shanghai World Expo.

From Shanghai, it is planned to tour the exhibition during 2010-2011, visiting Nanjing, Tianjin and Guangzhou and resulting in an estimated 100,000 visitors.

Mr Brumby said the Chinese community had made an invaluable contribution to all aspects of Victoria’s social, political and economic way of life.

“Victoria’s economic relationship with China has also increased significantly in recent years and China is now our largest trading partner with total two trade way reaching $13.6 billion in 2008-09,” he said.

“The Victorian Government is keen to build on this relationship and to foster even stronger trading links.  That’s why we have invested over $6 million to ensure a strong presence at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.”

Mr Brumby said the 2010 Shanghai World Expo was a unique opportunity to showcase Victoria’s trade and investment strengths on a world stage. 

Shanghai is the biggest World Expo in the history of world exhibitions, attracting over 170 nations and at least 40 international organisations. The Expo runs until 31 October 2010.

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