A TOWER for visitors to scan Glenrowan siege sites while wearing virtual reality headsets is among proposals in a new Ned Kelly tourism plan.
The idea, part of $2.1 million in attractions floated for the old Hume Highway town, is contained in a consultant’s report overseen by Tourism North East.
The tower would be architecturally-designed and according to Tourism North East “provide a much-needed focal point for viewing the town’s famous historic locations including the site of Ned and the gang’s ‘last stand’ with police”.
There would be various lookouts, with soundscapes and virtual reality views of the significant sites provided.
The tower is tipped to draw 11,000 visitors and net $9.7 million and 114 jobs over 10 years.
The proposal is one of several ideas floated in the report to bolster tourism in North East council areas with Kelly links.
At Beechworth, it’s suggested the old jail house a new Ned Kelly Experience which would include artefacts already on show in the town’s vault display as well as a theatrette incorporating virtual reality experiences.
The $7 million plan for the town also flags a digital version of Kelly’s committal at the old courthouse.
A $4.4 million development of the Benalla Art Gallery is proposed with new sculptures and historic items shifted into the building from the city’s visitor information centre.
They include the green sash given to Kelly after he saved a boy from drowning.
Tourism North East chief executive Amber Gardner said the report was not about judging the outlaw.
“It takes an an objective look at the current Ned Kelly tourism offering and removes the often polarising ‘hero or villain’ lens, with recommendations aimed at providing an immersive cultural heritage experience that would let visitors make up their own minds about Ned Kelly, his life and times,” she said.
The report recommends capitalising on Kelly movies, pointing to New Zealand’s experience with Lord of the Rings films as an inspiration.