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Arresting tourist project opened in goldfields.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

ARRESTING TOURIST PROJECT OPENED IN GOLDFIELDS The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, today launched ‘Enhancing the Gold Fields Experience’ at the Old Castlemaine Gaol, in regional Victoria.

With the assistance of $100,000 in Australian Government funding, Castlemaine Gaol has been refurbished to provide an authentic experience for visitors, allowing them to witness changing conditions at the prison through the gaol’s 1860, 1900 and 1970 displays. Australian Government

funding has also been used to:

• Restore the gaol cells, dungeon/solitary confinement section and the main entrance

• Upgrade of interpretive information throughout the gaol to add maximum benefit to a visitor's experience

• Erect new external signage that allows visitors to find their way more easily to the gaol’s entrance and sets the tone for their visitor experience, and

• Develop self-guided tour brochure for visitors.

Minister Ferguson said: “The changes made possible by Australian Government funding have realised the chilly and harsh atmosphere of the gaol as it would have been in the late 1800s. This has considerably contributed to the authentic visitor experience which I have been encouraging as Minister for Tourism.

“However, one of the challenges for tourism hasn’t been the attractions, it’s been time: Australians hoard their leave - around 123 million days’ worth. That’s why I launched the No Leave - No Life campaign, to encourage Australians to take their leave and see Australia.

“Since the campaign’s launch on 30 March, more than 300 major employers, with a combined workforce of close to 500,000 people have signed on. Unlocking even a small proportion of this leave and converting it into an Australian holiday will have an enormous impact on tourism in Australia and with the launch today of the Old Castlemaine Gaol, I can recommend another attraction for a great Aussie holiday.”

For further information on the Old Castlemaine Gaol visit

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

27 Jul 2009

Page 1 of 1 Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism