The Bet Bet Reef Gold Puddling Site is an unusual example of a puddling machine. Instead of the usual timber slats, the puddling trench is retained by corrugated iron and stone, and has a concrete floor. The puddling machine most probably operated in the twentieth century. The puddling machine is an excellent and late example of the puddling technology developed in Victoria from 1854 in response to the need to process enormous amounts of clay soil which needed to be broken up to get at the gold. Horses were used to drag harrows around a circular ditch in which the soil and water were mixed.
The Bet Bet Reef Gold Puddling Site is of historical, archaeological and scientific importance to the State of Victoria.
The Bet Bet Reef Gold Puddling Site is historically and scientifically important as a characteristic and well preserved example of a site associated with the earliest forms of gold mining which, from 1851, played a pivotal role in the development of Victoria. Puddling machine technology is particularly important in the history of Victorian gold mining as the only technology or method developed entirely on Victorian goldfields.
The Bet Bet Reef Gold Puddling Site is archaeologically important for its potential to yield artefacts which will be able to provide significant information about the cultural history of gold mining and the gold seekers themselves.
BET BET REEF GOLD PUDDLING SITE - Permit Exemptions
1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object.
2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of alterations that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such alteration shall cease and the Executive Director shall be notified as soon as possible.
3. If there is a conservation policy and plan approved by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it.
4. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions.
Nothing in this declaration exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authority where applicable.
No permits are required for the following classes of works provided they are carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Conservation Plan For Historic Mining Sites prepared by David Bannear in 1996.
* Mineral Exploration
* Fire suppression duties
* Timber production
* Weed and vermin control
* Public safety