27 October 2016. 11:25
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Almost 200 years since the earliest recorded reports of gold in Ballarat, it seems the town and its residents haven’t changed that much.
Gold was first discovered in Australia on 15 February 1823, and by the 1850s regional Victoria and New South Wales played host to the biggest population growth colonial history. This phenomenon appears to be happening all over again in Central West NSW and regional Victoria – only this time its with a completely different kind of composite.
Ballarat, a town at the centre of the ‘Gold Rush’ has remained the same over the two centuries that followed. However, as the nearby lands were scoured of their primary resource, local industry has had to evolve.
Town mayor, Deb Hudson, says it is comforting to know that the district is able to diversify and survive through changes in economy. She says the rise in crystal meth manufacturing and trafficking is a testament to this entrepreneurial spirit.
“In the 1800s this town saw a gold rush of record-breaking proportions. But what we are experiencing right now is no different. The Crystal Rush is just as lucrative,”
It seems history has repeated itself with the modern day Crystal Rush in Ballarat, NSW.
For a number of years in the 1800s, the gold output from Ballarat was greater than in any other country in the world with the exception of the more extensive fields of California.
In 2016, Ballarat is home to three bikie chapters – and a very co-operative police branch – it seems that the Crystal output may infact be one of the greatest in the world, with the exception of a few more extensive operations in California.
Local resident, Ryan Pearson (35) says its just great to see his town making headlines for things other than the institutional responses to child abuse in the Catholic church.
“We’ve had a bad run for a few decades. The priests fiddling with kids, the cops bashing women. It’s just good to see these precious rocks putting our town back on the map”