Project Scope Detour For Art Trail

Murray River Council

Murray River Council’s ‘River Country Art Trail’ project has taken a project scope detour, with the use of silos in Bunnaloo, Caldwell and Wakool not available for inclusion.

Whilst the silos were initially earmarked for inclusion in the $1.7million trail, Bunnaloo, Wakool and Caldwell are not eligible for use under GrainCorp’s Silo Art Policy.

Murray River Council staff have been seeking alternative solutions for artwork in the three affected towns, however the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund clearly stipulates that funded projects must offer a high-impact visitor experience.

With no other viable options immediately available to meet the criteria, and to ensure the funds were not at risk due to lapsed milestones, Council sought a project variation which included use of Moama’s water tower and an additional sculpture in council-owned space at Tooleybuc.

These alternative elements have now been approved by the funding body.

Maintaining the ‘High Impact Tourism Infrastructure’ nature of the funding program, the new project scope will include use of Council-owned water towers in Barham, Mathoura, Moulamein and Moama, plus the introduction of the large-scale art piece in Mensforth Park Tooleybuc.

Mayor Frank Crawley said Councillors and staff share the community’s disappointment in the current situation, but it doesn’t mean Caldwell, Wakool or Bunnaloo will miss out on future projects.

“It simply means no projects right now under this particular funding stream.”

“Whilst we won’t be adding large-scale mural works as initially planned in those towns, we will still be seeking alternative funding opportunities that may lean into other types of projects that can enhance the visitors experience, support the townships and excite the community members.”

“We’ve already got enthusiastic community committees in place and we plan to continue to work with them to come up with ideas to bring exciting new projects to the towns.”

“We’ve also invested in upgrades in many of our towns to entice travellers, like the new signage at Wakool’s Recreation Reserve on the camp-friendly facilities there, so it makes sense to look at offering further incentives to entice visitors to stay longer.”

“We assure the community we will keep this in our sights as further funding opportunities come to light.”

With local themes for the trail now identified and an EOI document set for publishing, the next step will be to appoint suitably experienced artists to commission the works for Barham, Moulamein, Moama, Mathoura and Tooleybuc

About the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund

The NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund supports the development of high impact tourism infrastructure projects that increase visitation, expenditure and extend the length of visitor stays in regional NSW.

The program is for high impact tourism infrastructure projects that have the potential to become iconic visitor experiences for regional NSW. The impact of the project will be assessed through visitation forecasts that estimate the increases in daytrip, overnight, interstate and international visitors over a five-year period following the completion of the project.

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