Political map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific 03 December 1854 (Eureka Rebellion): Taking advantage of the 1851 gold rush (Victorian Gold Rush), the colonial government of Victoria (Colony of Victoria) began dramatically raising miner’s licence fees. In response to this action, and the accompanying heavy-handed police tactics, the mining population—or ‘diggers’—pushed for reform. Tensions between the two sides escalated until 1854, when government troops routed a force of rebel diggers who had built a stockade in Eureka goldfield (Eureka Rebellion). Despite its failure, the rising proved popular, convincing the government to enact almost all of the requested reforms.