One of Victoria’s most treasured Aboriginal heritage sites, Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, is now just one step away from a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Overnight in Paris, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, which works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world, officially recommended World Heritage status for Budj Bim.
The final step in the process will see the nomination formally considered by the World Heritage Committee when it meets in July 2019.
It follows the Andrews Labor Government’s success in advocating for Budj Bim to be added to Australia’s Tentative World Heritage List in 2017.
The Labor Government will follow the lead of the Gunditjmara People, the Traditional Owners of the land, in sharing this incredible part of Victoria with the world.
To ensure the south west of Victoria is ready for World Heritage status and the global attention it will bring, the Labor Government will provide $5 million to implement the tourism infrastructure proposal outlined in the Budj Bim Master Plan.
This will see an investment in sustainable development of Budj Bim as a world-class tourism destination, as well as support self-determination for the Gunditjmara People in sharing the Cultural Landscape with the world.
Budj Bim would be the only Australian World Heritage property listed exclusively for its Aboriginal cultural values.
Budj Bim includes a long dormant volcano, the source of the Tyrendarra lava flow which extends over 50 kilometres and is central to the history of the Gunditjmara people.
Budj Bim is home to one of the world’s oldest and largest aquaculture systems and is evidence of a large, settled Aboriginal community systematically farming and smoking eels for food and trade.
The heritage values of the Budj Bim Landscape are recognised and protected by the Victorian Government under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and by the Commonwealth Government under the National Heritage List.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings
“Budj Bim is one of Australia’s most important cultural sites and now it’s a step away from World Heritage Status.”
“We’re supporting the Gunditjmara people in their self-determination as they lead the development of this landscape to share it sustainably with the world.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020