Planning for the upgrade of Blackguard Gully is underway with Hilltops Council releasing a tender for the development of a Masterplan and Plan of Management for the site. The Blackguard Gully project is focused on the delivery of the recommendations from the 2016 Blackguard Gully Conservation Management Plan. Blackguard Gully located at the eastern end of Young is one of three sites in Young that are listed on the NSW State Heritage Register. The sites historical significance is connected with the discovery of gold in the region in the early 1860’s.
As the gold rush developed organised groups of miners, struggling to make a living in the difficult conditions, committed the most widely known and documented acts of violence against Chinese miners in the history of the Australian gold rushes. Much of the Blackguard Gully area was subsequently allocated to Chinese miners. After the gold rush subsided in 1862 Blackguard Gully and its surrounds were worked by various groups of Irish miners using ground sluicing methods which can be evidenced in the existing landscape.
The main goals of the Blackguard Gully Masterplan are to acknowledge, celebrate and promote the heritage significance of the site to locals and visitors and to ensure that there is safe access and improved amenities. The Masterplan will outline ideas for upgraded toilet facilities, parking and picnic areas, upgraded pedestrian access, interpretative pathways, lighting, landscaping and signage.
Funding for the Blackguard Gully project has been provided by the Stronger Communities Fund as part of the amalgamation of Hilltops Council. It is expected that a draft Masterplan and Plan of Management will be prepared by mid-January 2019 for community consultation. A final Masterplan and Plan of Management will then be presented to be endorsed by Council and the Office of Environment and Heritage prior to any works commencing.
The community will have a chance to provide input and feedback into the project throughout the process. A small working group of interested community members is to be established to assist in guiding the development of the Masterplan and Plan of Management. Expressions of interest for inclusion in the group will open at the end of the month.