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Saturday, 4 March 2017

PRESERVING A PIECE OF VICTORIA’S GOLD HISTORY

Today the Andrews Labor Government secured the purchase of the historic Monster Meeting site in Chewton in central Victoria, and returned the land to the public as part of the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park.

Located within one of Victoria’s richest gold fields, the Monster Meeting at Forest Creek attracted 15,000 diggers and is believed to be the first organised peaceful protest meeting by gold miners objecting to increases in licences.

Held on 15 December 1851, at the start of the gold rush, it was also the first time workers stood united in protest against the government of the day.

Objections to the licencing system continued to escalate and the meeting became a precursor to the Red Ribbon Rebellion in Bendigo in 1853 and 1854’s Eureka Stockade in Ballarat.

The site is on traditional Dja Dja Wurrung Country and return of this land to the public land estate is culturally significant and important to all Traditional Owners.

Historically the site is significant for its link with the development of Victoria through the discovery of gold and its association with the beginnings of democracy in Victoria.

The 1.63 hectare piece of land was purchased from a private owner.

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards 

"The community has been calling for this site to be accessible to all Victorians and that’s exactly what we’ve delivered."

 

 “Future Monster Meeting commemoration ceremonies, held each December to recognise the site’s history can now be held on the actual site of the original monster meeting.”

 “The inclusion of the Monster Meeting site to the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park will significantly enhance the cultural and natural heritage values of the park.”

“By acquiring the land, the Andrews Labor Government is preserving this historically and culturally significant site.”

 

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