THE owners of Bendigo's iconic Golden Dragon Museum say they lack the support of the City of Greater Bendigo and may have to reconsider future plans in the city.
Treasurer Anita Jack says the City of Greater Bendigo does not assist with the financial up-keep of the museum buildings and gardens, which could mean relocating to a new location in the future.
Ms Jack says the Chinese museum's buildings and garden belong to the council but are not being maintained at a high enough standard to ensure the museum's success in the future.
"The building is now 23 years old and it does need maintenance," Ms Jack said.
"It's really not until the tiles start falling off the walls that they will actually fix it.
"Things tend to get fixed once they become a danger to human life which isn't great when you have a tourist attraction."
Ms Jack says the building needs to be of a certain standard to become a modern tourist attraction, but the City of Greater Bendigo was not providing the support needed.
"Because that's not being maintained it becomes a business problem for us," Ms Jack said.
"Council does have the power to prioritise it but only if they want to.''
Ms Jack said she had some discouraging conversations with councillors.
"I’ve had words with a couple of councillors and they simply don’t see this as any value as an attraction," she said.
"I was told by one councillor that 'no one visits your place'.
"It's very hard with the local council that we’ve got."
Ms Jack's comments come after the coalition today announced $100,000 funding for the museum to analyse its vulnerability and conduct a strategic plan for the future.
Ms Jack says if the council cannot commit to maintaining the museum building and gardens then she would have to consider a "new home" for the museum.
Ms Jack says the council seemed disinterested in supporting the museum's long term plans for a $20 million refurbishment and expansion.
"We’re looking at some creative thinking about what our possibilities are," she said.
"Anything is a possibility.
"We’re at critical mass time, we need to look at other opportunities."
Ms Jack said the museum's collection was continuing to grow and desperately needed more space.
"We’re fairly proactive here at the museum. We don’t have our hand out looking for recurrent funding, we’re actually looking at what our business opportunities are," she said.
City of Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann said city had a "good working relationship" with the Chinese Association.
He said the council supported the museum with maintenance and minor upgrades but was unable to build a new museum.
EARLIER: The historic Golden Dragon Museum is at risk of closure because of limited infrastructure and increasing costs.
The Victorian Coalition today announced it will spend $100,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to develop a strategic plan for the museum.
Sport and Recreation Minister Damian Drum announced the funding today.
The MP for Northern Victoria said the Golden Dragon Museum Strategic Plan - 2015 and Beyond project would support the long-term sustainability of the much-loved cultural asset.
"The Golden Dragon Museum is a community-owned museum that tells the important story of Chinese involvement in the goldfields and the Bendigo community from the 1850s," Mr Drum said.
Mr Drum made the announcement on behalf of Deputy Premier and Regional and Rural Development Minister Peter Ryan.
"It is an iconic attraction that is centre stage at the Bendigo Easter Festival - the city’s largest tourism event, and it attracts approximately 125,000 visitors per year," he said.
"In its current state, the museum is at risk of closure because of limited infrastructure and increasing costs.
"This project will identify a new business model that will make sure this cultural asset is preserved and remains open well into the future.
"The museum makes a significant contribution to tourism revenue in Bendigo, supporting small business and providing jobs.
"The strategic plan will provide a framework to achieve long-term economic sustainability and identify ways to capitalise on the museums many assets to bring more visitors to the region."
Mr Ryan said the Victorian Coalition government funding towards the $160,000 Golden Dragon Museum Strategic Plan project would be provided through the Regional Growth Fund to the City of Greater Bendigo, which would contribute the balance of funds.
"The Regional Growth Fund invests in community-led projects to drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria," Mr Ryan said.
"Since it was established in 2011, the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund has invested in almost 1800 local projects in communities outside of Melbourne, generating almost $2 billion of total investment."
In Greater Bendigo, the Regional Growth Fund has provided $14.6 million to 29 projects, leveraging $62.4 million in total investment.
These projects include: $2 million for the $3.2 million Victorian Regional Exhibition Complex Development - Stage 2 (Bendigo Showgrounds); $200,000 for the $756,300 Safe Transport Space; and $2 million for the $9.1 million Bendigo Library/Community Hub.
The project is expected to be complete by July 2015.