THE City of Greater Bendigo has jumped the first hurdle in its bid obtain a UNESCO City of Gastronomy status for the region.
The Australian National Commission for UNESCO has endorsed the city's application, describing it as "well-considered, comprehensive and inclusive".
Mayor Margaret O'Rourke said the city was thrilled, but there were still several stages to go, with other competitors for the creative city title.
The city has until June 30 to finalise its application before submitting it.
Cr O'Rourke said she believed the city had a strong application, particularly so because the Dja Dja Wurrung had worked with them on it.
"It's a great opportunity for Greater Bendigo and our surrounding shires to showcase the great work that we do within food production and beverages, wines, cider, and the activities in our restaurants, and really paddock to plate the whole process," she said.
The commission's chair Kylie Walker praised the city for its outreach to other UNESCO Creative Cities worldwide, and the fact the proposal is founded on support for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms Walker said the commission welcomed the strong partnership with the traditional Indigenous owners of the land, the Dja Dja Wurrung.
Nine municipalities are involved in the region's bid to be listed.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.