Bendigo is home to the largest Buddhist monument in the western world after completion of the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, supported by the Andrews Labor Government’s Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF).
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards today represented the Andrews Labor Government at the completed structure’s unveiling.
The Stupa now stands at 50 metres high, reaching seven levels with a 50m2 base. A stupa is the most sacred monument in the Buddhist world and acts a symbolic representation of the fully enlightened mind and the path to enlightenment.
The $5 million extension was funded through the Labor Government’s RTIF and private community investment and will further Bendigo’s position as an international travel destination and a place of multi-faith expression.
The extension marks the end of stage one of the project with the next stage being the upgrade of the site’s essential services infrastructure.
The Bendigo stupa also houses the world’s largest gemstone-quality Jade Buddha, standing at 2.5 metres high. The Buddha was completed in 2008 and embarked on a decade-long world tour to 120 cities across 20 countries.
Apart from being a world-class tourism destination for Bendigo and the surrounding Loddon Mallee region, the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion helps promote social cohesion by encouraging greater support of cultural diversity.
The religious site has attracted more than 25,000 visitors annually to Bendigo with that figure expected to reach more than 90,000 annually within the next decade.
Tourism is vital for economic development across regional and rural Victoria, with the sector contributing $11.5 billion to the regional economy and providing 92,400 jobs.
The Government’s flagship Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund is investing in growing the visitor economy with the development of iconic regional tourism projects that create world-class experiences and bring more people to our thriving regions.
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“The Andrews Labor Government is committed to growing the tourism economy across regional Victoria with major projects, which will drive tourists to cities and towns across the state.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“Diversity is an integral part of Bendigo and the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion will be a major driver in promoting social cohesion and cultural diversity in our region.”