Wonthaggi’s State Coal Mine Given New Lease On Life

27 July 2023

Wonthaggi’s historic State Coal Mine will once again take visitors on a journey underground and into the past, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Environment Ingrid Stitt today announced a $1.5 million investment to restore the famous mine and reopen tours – offering visitors a glimpse of the industrial working conditions experienced by miners.

The funding will pay for vital maintenance and upgrade works on the track and carts that take visitors inside the mine, as well as support training for volunteers and Parks Victoria staff to safely operate the system.

These restorations will allow people of all ages to experience the only historic coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere, which has become a much-loved attraction for Wonthaggi and South Gippsland.

The tourist attraction is also home to a museum which recounts stories from when mine was operating, along with a 3D model of the mine and settlement town for visitors to explore.

Operating from 1909 until 1968, the State Coal Mine produced almost 17 million tonnes of coal for Victoria's industries and railways.

Walking tours at the mine began in 1982, welcoming over 10,000 visitors per year, until equipment failures halted underground access in 2020.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment Ingrid Stitt

“The Wonthaggi community has a long and proud connection to the State Coal Mine and I am delighted that we are making sure it remains a community treasure for years to come.”

“We are proud to support volunteers from Wonthaggi and the wider region that make the State Coal Mine the special place it is.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale

“The State Coal Mine is a much-loved destination which transports visitors back to a unique period in the region's history. These upgrades will help to further drive Gippsland's already fantastic tourism offering."

Reviewed 27 July 2023

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