Come July next year, visitors to the historic courthouse in Beechworth will see Ned Kelly's trial played out through "game-changing" technology.
Melbourne-based company Arterial Design won a $680,000 contract from Indigo Shire to plan and install the Courthouse Kelly Trials exhibition.
The project was first floated with council in 2018 after being recommended in the Ned Kelly Alive report, and has received $500,000 from both the council and the Victorian government.
At Tuesday night's council meeting, councillors were presented with a confidential evaluation of 17 tenders, six which were shortlisted.
Mayor Jenny O'Connor told The Border Mail Arterial Design was well-recognised for its work.
"They're really well-regarded, and they're working with a tech company that has been involved in White Night and Vivid (festivals)," she said.
"This is going to add something that we just don't see in North East Victoria, which is a really high-tech, innovative offering.
"You will be sitting in the courthouse and through the technology, the court cases will be going on around you."
Indigo Council staff and researchers have been compiling information on 40 trials and hearings, including Ned Kelly's trial for horse theft, Ellen Kelly's trial for attempted murder, and Harry Power's trial for bushranging.
The Beechworth Historic Courthouse played a key role during the Kelly outbreak of 1878-1880, as the location of more than 40 trials and hearings for Ned Kelly, the Kelly Gang and their sympathisers.
Most significantly, the Courthouse was the site of Ned Kelly's committal hearing after his arrest at Glenrowan, and this new permanent exhibition will explore this key event in Australian history.
It will focus on the events that took place in the Courthouse, the people who worked there and the changing and sometimes challenging role of the legal system in Australian society.
It will also tell the subsequent history of the Courthouse, including its transformation into a community and heritage site in the late 20th Century.
At Tuesday night's council meeting, councillor Bernard Gaffney raised concerns about the scope of the project.
"I was recently shown an article in a Tourism North East newsletter (in) which a manager from Indigo Shire was quoted as saying, 'This project is to refocus away from Ned Kelly ... and the project will delve into the working of the legal system'," he said.
"This is the same legal system as in Melbourne and every other country town in Victoria.
"The difference ... is Ned Kelly. So why you would want to refocus away from him?"
Community and economic development director Mark Florence said the Kelly story would not be lost.
"I don't agree with the characterisation presented; the report for the council meeting presented the report for the council meeting clearly talks about the 40 trials of the Kelly family," he said.
Mr Florence said the experience would support the shire's application to make the precinct one of national heritage significance, as "one, if not the only, intact justice precinct in Australia".
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Cr O'Connor said the experience was absolutely about Ned Kelly.
"It (the article) wasn't in a major newsletter, it was a misrepresentation of what is actually going to happen there," she said.
"It won't just be Ned's trial, but other members of the Kelly family, and stories about key lawmakers and those involved and how justice was administered."
The project is due for completion in July 2022, and future staffing costs will be covered within council's existing Historic Precinct budget.
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