OPINION: Leadership needed to protect Wattle Gully Gold Mine

I refer to your front page article on the desecration of the Wattle Gully Gold Mine site (Mail, May 26). 

I was shocked and annoyed when I visited the site last week. I had no idea that this valuable historic relic and potential tourist attraction had been allowed to fall into such a neglected state. 

It seems that nobody is actually responsible for its care and maintenance even though it sits within the area of the Heritage Park. Surely it is a potential focal point for the Heritage Park, not to mention the bid for World Heritage listing for the entire area. 

So where do we go from here? Obviously the mine site needs a considerable sum of money to be spent on it – and quickly if it is to be relatively easy and inexpensive to restore. But who is responsible? Is it Castlemaine Gold GGT? And do they have any plans for the mine’s future? Will it ever be profitable again? Or is it the responsibility of Parks Victoria? They appear to have no money to spare. 

It is probably up to the community to apply pressure for action. We must ensure that Wattle Gully remains a part of the area’s assets. But on whom is the pressure applied? Castlemaine Gold GGT? Parks Victoria? MASC? State or Federal Government? 

In recent years a considerable sum has been spent on the arts and sundry other items in the name of tourism. I venture to say that Wattle Gully Gold Mine is equally a tourist attraction, if not more so. 

Maybe an established community group or organisation can step up and take the preservation and care of the mine under their wings as a worthwhile project? I am no longer able to take a lead but I can help. Any takers? 

Castlemaine Mail
Your source of independent local news in the Mount Alexander Shire.