Jeff Kennett

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Jeff Kennett opened the Eureka Centre, a permanent exhibition celebrating the Eureka Event.

THE COURIER BALLARAT, Saturday March 28, 1998

With the Eureka Stockade centre officially opened, Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett said the city must now focus on the development of Camp St.

At the official opening yesterday Mr Kennett said the centre was unrivalled, firmly cementing Ballarat as a tourist destination for Australian and international visitors.

'The centre offers visitors a breath-taking journey into the past', he said.

Mr Kennett said he recognised the journey was even more awe-inspiring because the Eureka Stockade centre had become a reality through the perseverance of the Ballarat community. 'The real success of a facility like this is when the community actually believes and works for ownership of it', he said. 'The Eureka Stockade centre is a very real example of community commitment, working harmoniously with three tiers of government. It gives real presence and meaning to this very important historical event'.

To ensure Ballarat remained a strong player in the national and international tourism market, Mr Kennett said the Camp St revamp must be next on the agenda. But it could only be a success if it had to have the same level of community support as the Eureka Stockade centre has had, he said. Only then would the three levels of government be spurred on to support the development.

'I hope with the passage of time and with the efforts of the community, we are able to transform Camp St', he said. Mr Kennett said an understanding of the importance of the Eureka Rebellion and its impact on Australian politics and society had been instilled into every Victorian.

'Despite our reputation we as Australians have gained for our larrikinism and our irreverence, the rebellion at Eureka remains the only time in Australia's history that civil unrest reached such passionate heights', he said. With many different groups tracing their origins to the uprising, Mr Kennett said it was an important event in the development of Australian democracy and the political system.

'One key point that is often overlooked in the on-going historical and political debate about Eureka is that after the rebellion the then-colony of Victoria settled down to the largely peaceful development of mining, commerce, business and industry. [1]
  1. Barbara Adam, The Courier, Saturday March 28, 1998