Em­brac­ing Kelly plan

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

A PLAN to rein­vig­o­rate tourism around the Ned Kelly story, boost vis­i­tors to Beech­worth three-fold and in­ject more than $7 mil­lion into the lo­cal econ­omy has been backed by Indigo Shire coun­cil­lors.

At Tues­day’s Au­gust meet­ing coun­cil­lors voted to adopt rec­om­men­da­tions in re­la­tion to the Beech­worth Court­house and His­toric Precinct that were made in the Ned Kelly Alive Re­port re­leased by Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Vic­to­ria ear­lier this month.

The re­port rec­om­mends ways to en­hance and ex­pand Ned Kelly tourism in the North East – to lever­age in­ter­est in this his­toric and con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure, and tell a big­ger and bolder story about the bushranger and his life.

Coun­cil voted to com­mit $500,000 to the court­house project over three years, a com­mit­ment aimed at lever­ag­ing po­ten­tial state govern­ment fund­ing of $500,000.

Indigo Shire mayor Cr Jenny O’Con­nor said she wel­comed the rec­om­men­da­tions in the Ned Kelly Alive re­port.

“The one rel­e­vant to coun­cil is in re­la­tion to the Beech­worth His­toric court­house and plans to add to what we al­ready of­fer there with an im­mer­sive dig­i­tal in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Kelly Gang and fam­ily’s tri­als at the Court­house,” she said.

“This is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity for Beech­worth as the re­port es­ti­mates that this will in­crease vis­i­tors to our his­toric precinct from 35,000 to 100,000 per year.

Cr O’Con­nor said the skills and pas­sion of cur­rent and fu­ture vol­un­teers will con­tinue to be used.

“The ini­tia­tive is de­signed to build on what our staff and vol­un­teers al­ready do so well,” she said.

“They tell our his­tory in many dif­fer­ent ways.”

Un­der the rec­om­men­da­tions, Beech­worth Court­house will be home to a high-qual­ity im­mer­sive in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Kelly gang and fam­ily’s tri­als at the Beech­worth Court­house, in­spired by the Trial of Joan of Arc in Rouen Cathe­dral in France.

“It would in­volve a mix of sto­ry­telling tech­niques in­clud­ing con­tem­po­rary au­dio vi­su­als, static dis­plays, re-en­act­ments, tours, and the his­toric fab­ric of the orig­i­nal build­ings them­selves,” Cr O’Con­nor said.

“This is a way of ex­pand­ing on their ef­forts to tell the Ned Kelly story to a grow­ing au­di­ence of mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions who re­spond to a va­ri­ety of tourism ex­pe­ri­ences and have a pas­sion for arts and cul­ture.

“This will cre­ate new jobs both in tourism and other in­dus­tries in Beech­worth in­clud­ing hos­pi­tal­ity, in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices.”

Tourism North East will pre­pare an ap­pli­ca­tion for in­vest­ment from the state govern­ment.

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