Opinion: Time to recognise the treasure we have at Eureka

Time to recognise a treasure

Tourists who travel to the most popular destinations across the world consider history and culture as the strong influences in their choice of destination. Heritage tourism is the major tourism activity across the world and defines the characteristics of nearly all tourist destinations. The heritage sector is most commonly and formally recognised internationally through the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Listing. The Eureka Stockade Gardens were formally recognised UNESCO and the National Heritage list in 2004. Other sites across the world proudly celebrate this recognition, why not Ballarat? Why doesn’t Ballarat and Victoria recognise Eureka’s significance?

The current one-sided debate on the relevance of Eureka is a disgrace; it is a disgrace to the memory of those killed at Eureka and the men, women and children of Eureka who gave us the democracy that was born at the Battle at the Eureka Stockade. It occupies a significant part of our Australian history and is regarded as the birthplace of the Australian spirit – that spirit of a fairness and a fair go for all. I understand there has been another feasibility study conducted by Council, yet I can’t find anyone of note who was involved. Why is Council trying to reinvent the wheel?  And why wasn’t this a key project for discussion at State Parliament this week.

And another question: Why does Council and Visit Ballarat continue to play down Ballarat’s absolute point of difference; it’s time we staked our claim as the foremost city of history and heritage in Australia. Imagine the flow-on effects for Sovereign Hill, the Gold Museum (our social history) and the Art Gallery (housing the finest selection of goldfields art in Australia)?

When MADE reverts back to its former name “The Eureka Centre”, and entry is free of charge, with income supplemented by a commercial Eureka gift shop, and interprets the events of Eureka by linking them to the worldwide movement of the time – remember the Boston Tea Party, the Bastille, Enniscorthy, Gettysburg to name a few, – and develops a strong relationship with the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and other noteworthy places of historical interest .

And finally, why hasn’t Council sought support from the Andrews Government for the establishment of Eureka as a statutory body? Daniel Andrews, in the lead-up to the last election, was approached by a prominent Eureka supporter regarding this matter. Mr Andrews agreed in principle to support such an initiative.

There is a wealth of reports from national and international organisations to verify the importance and significance of Eureka and how a revamped Eureka Centre should operate. Why are we wasting so much time and money without any plan?

Ron Egeberg is former director of the Eureka Centre

A place of such national significance such as Eureka should be recognised as a national monument and planned for accordingly.

A place of such national significance such as Eureka should be recognised as a national monument and planned for accordingly.

How far does the liquor law extend?

The law pertaining to the sale of liquor is pretty clear;  it is illegal for a vendor to sell liquor to under 18 year olds and it is illegal for me to purchase/supply liquor for under 18 year olds.

On 13 October 2017 mid afternoon in an Aldi store my 18 year old step daughter and I had the embarrassing and unfortunate experience of being advised by the checkout person that unless my 18 year old daughter produced her ID I could not purchase the two bottles of wine. He had observed her carrying the bottles of wine from one check out to the next check out. When I told him that I was buying the wine for me not her I was told that it was illegal for an under 18 to hold liquor within the store. My step daughter did not have any ID on her so his fears of breaching a non-existent law could not be allayed. He would not be placated and said "it was the law". 

But holding a bottle of liquor is simply that. It is neither intention to purchase nor possession nor supply by another. 

Deanne Jackel, Linton

Editor’s Note: It is an offence under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 for a person under 18 years of age to purchase or receive liquor from another person. A liquor licensee must not supply liquor to a minor or sell liquor to a person who they suspect will supply liquor to a minor. To comply with this obligation, a licensee may decide to implement internal policies, for example, no service to people aged over 18 in school uniform or individuals accompanied by minors. This is a business decision, not a legal requirement. Source: Victoria Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation

This story Opinion: Time to recognise the treasure we have at Eureka first appeared on The Courier.