Published on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The first steps in the protection and promotion of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape as a world class tourism destination have begun with a recent meeting of the inaugural Budj Bim Master Plan Regional Project Control Group.
A decision on whether Budj Bim will be included on Australia’s tentative list for World Heritage nominations is expected from the Australian Government in early 2017.
The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in Victoria’s south-west is one of Australia’s most culturally significant locations and has been put forward for inclusion on the list by Victoria’s Labor Government.
The Victoria Government has provided $8 million for Master Plan Stages 1 and 2 expected to be complete by 2019. The Budj Bim Master Plan presents a staged approach to developing the Budj Bim cultural landscape, to improve its protection and management and establish it as a world-class sustainable tourism destination.
It will ensure the area can accommodate projected visitor numbers and support an expanding tourism sector through interpretative signage, improved pedestrian and vehicle access, accommodation and visitor information centres.
Budj Bim is home to potentially one of Australia’s oldest and largest aquaculture systems and is evidence of a large, settled Aboriginal community systematically farming and smoking eels for food and trade.
Budj Bim has been identified by scholars as potentially the world’s first engineering project, dating back at least 6,600 years, preceding the Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge.
A key project for Budj Bim is the construction of a traditional eel aquaculture interpretation centre to support eel product manufacture and sales, and also be a drawcard for tourists to learn more about Gunditjmara people’s traditional practices and engineering.