Council’s plan to bring Ned Kelly back to life

Victoria’s Indigo Shire Council will deliver a $1 million project which will digitally recreate the trials of Ned Kelly for tourists in a historic courthouse.

Visitors will be able to participate in the experience at the 130-year-old Beechworth Courthouse in the Beechworth Historic Precinct.

The courthouse was the scene of more than 40 Kelly gang trials during 1878-1880.

Council says the project will interpret the stories of the period, focussing on the events that took place in the courthouse and the people who worked there.

It will also tell the subsequent history of the courthouse, including its transformation into a heritage site in the late 20th Century.

“It will utilise a combination of traditional museum displays, original artefacts, museum signage and modern projection technologies to allow visitors to step back in time and experience these significant events,” Council says.

The idea is inspired by cultural sites in France and Scotland that combine museum displays with technology.

Beechworth Victoria Ned Kelly Vault

The Victorian government, which is contributing $500 million to the project through its Regional Infrastructure Fund, estimates it will increase visitors to the precinct to more than 50,000 a year.

Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes says the state-of-the-art tourism experience will reconstruct one the most historic periods in Australia’s legal history.

“The Kelly story is an integral part of Beechworth’s history and the Courthouse Kelly Trials Experience will be a compelling attraction that that bring more visitors to the region,” she said.

The Regional Infrastructure Fund is part of the government’s Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund which was established to  help councils deliver cultural initiatives of economic value in regional Victoria.

Tourism minister Martin Pakula saysthe initiative shows how innovative ideas can drive tourism.

“Beechworth is telling the stories of its past in innovative ways, ensuring its future as a major tourism drawcard in the North East and growing local jobs,” he said.

Planning, scoping and tender development for the project will begin this year with procurement, design, research and installation to take place from 2021.

The project is scheduled for completion by next July.

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