The City of Ballarat council has moved to dispel fears within the prospecting community around a push to have the Victorian Goldfields acknowledged by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
A group of 13 councils throughout central Victoria are pushing to have the Goldfields recognised as a significant region on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Prospectors had expressed concern over whether the classification would prohibit fossicking in the 25,000 square kilometres of the Goldfields, however City of Ballarat mayor Samantha Mclntosh said if successful, the heritage listing would only apply to specific sites rather than the entire region, many of which would be landmarks.
“Gold prospecting and mining is part of the tradition, economy and heritage of the region,” Cr Mclntosh said.
“There is no proposal to lock up forest areas or prevent access to those who currently enjoy these spaces.”