Dare to be Diggers

Using the colloquial name ‘Diggers” to describe anything Diggers Rest may soon be a breach of trademark.

A recent trademark application has not been accepted on the basis that it resembles the already registered trademark “Diggers Market”, because both marks contain the word “Diggers” and this may result in confusion among consumers, according to IP Australia.

The trademark “Diggers Market” and the business name “Diggers Rest Market” have been registered for community purpose and form part of a social enterprise model for the Community of Diggers Rest.

Lawyers and Consultants for the applicant have indicated that they will legally challenge the use of the trademark “Diggers Market”, claiming that their client is well known by the associated trademark “Diggers”.

If successful, the application will potentially monopolise the use of the word “Diggers” exclusively within 14 different business categories throughout Australia.

The dictionary word ‘DIGGERS’ is widely used throughout Australia in connection with a diverse mix of applications, including its historical use pertaining to WW1, WW2 and ANZAC veteran soldiers.

Regional cities within Victoria, like Ballarat and Bendigo can demonstrate the usage of the word ‘DIGGERS’ in association with the Victorian Gold Rush days.

The Diggers Rest garden group which is currently known as “Green Diggers” may no longer be able to use that name.

Some clarification has been requested from IP Australia pending an outcome.

Diggers Rest Hotel – Urban Exploration

This Saturday eight years ago, a suspicious fire destroyed the historical Diggers Rest Hotel leaving a smouldering emptiness for the township of Diggers Rest.

Although the community remains divided on the future of the hotel, it has become a centre piece for urban exploration. Like a scene from a horror movie, the video by Colin Ewington takes a look beyond its burnt exterior to reveal the internal destruction of that October night in 2008.

Given the length of time that has lapsed since the fire, any existing use right has expired, and under the current zoning of the land, the use of the land for a hotel is prohibited. However, the presence of a Heritage Overlay control on the site would allow Council to consider an application for a rebuild of a Hotel, bistro and bottle shop.

The Heritage Overlay control in the Melton Planning Scheme identifies the site as one where prohibited uses may be permitted (subject to a permit) and provided that any rebuild will not adversely affect the significance of the heritage place and the benefits obtained from the use of the land for a hotel can be applied towards the conservation of the heritage place.

About Diggers Rest

A small town 30km north-west along the Calder Highway from Melbourne, Diggers Rest began literally as an overnight resting spot for miners traveling to and from the Bendigo gold fields.

But Diggers Rest’s 10 minutes of fame came in 1910 when American escapologist and adventurer Harry Houdini came to town with his Voisin biplane at the invitation of  the Aerial League of Australia.

At that time several people were claiming to have made Australia’s first powered flight, but the league was unconvinced and, on March 31, 1910, bestowed the distinction on Houdini after the American flew his bi-plane at a height of 30 metres round a  3km, circular course.

A  plaque west of Diggers Rest commemorates the historic event, and Houdini Drive skirts one of the town’s largest reserve. The area round Diggers Rest boasts a number of thoroughbred and specialise horse breed studs.

The hamlet is just a sedate klick or two north-west of the Calder Raceway, one of Melbourne’s premier motor racing circuits.