Kyabram Water Tank project needs help to hit final goal

By Jared Prestwidge

NINETY-TWO thousand down, thirty-eight thousand to go.

The Kyabram Project Committee’s efforts to bring a splash of colour to the Goulburn Valley Water tank received a huge boost from the Victorian Government last month in the form of an $80,000 grant.

And while the current money total is enough to cover stage one of the project — which includes the cleaning, sealing, priming and painting of the water tank — another $38,000 is needed to fully complete it.

“The group’s initial budget was $80,000 which will complete the tank mural, but through our research and discussion with other silo and community art projects, we found this was naïve and unrealistic. The final figure of $130,000 will cover stage two,” grant facilitator Sue Solly said.

“Over $3000 has been raised through donations in the tins throughout the town and the committee is very appreciative of the community’s support.

“Obviously, more funds are needed to move on to stage two and complete and market this project, so the outcomes are maximised.

“The major grant means the project can be completed in the next 12 months, which is opportune given the COVID-19 effects.

“This project is the stimulus the town and district needs, which will result in benefits that will ripple through the community.”

Kyabram Project Committee president Allan Weeks and vice-president Terry Scott need just a bit more funding to make the Kyabram Water Tank project a reality.

Ms Solly said stage two would involve the leasing of the Kyabram railway platform to serve as a viewing area, and the fencing and beautification of the surrounds.

“The committee, with the support of VicTrack, applied to lease the old Kyabram railway platform and adjoining area so they can level, fence and screed it to create an attractive, safe viewing area that can also house their information panels and provide seating,” she said.

“Another initiative featured in our submission was the development of a data collection system to measure visitations and economic impact, as it became apparent when writing the submission that we have no benchmark data in Kyabram which is critical in applying for grants and evaluating projects.

“We estimate the economic return to Kyabram to be $1 million per year attracting over 20,000 visitors a year. As reference, 2500 people visited the Colbinabbin silos over the June long weekend alone.”

Inspired by the success of the Silo Art Trail, the Kyabram Project Committee formed three years ago to investigate the feasibility of painting a mural in Kyabram to attract more visitors and reinvigorate the town.

Ms Solly said it had been a long and arduous process, but the ending was now in sight.

“The initial concept was to paint the Goulburn Valley Water tower, but as it was heritage-listed, Goulburn Valley Water enthusiastically offered the use of their 500 square metre tank. This tank will be professionally prepared and painted,” she said.

“Artist Jimmy D’Vate is working on a final design and will commence in February when preparation is completed. There will also be two coats of sealant applied after his masterpiece is completed to maximise longevity. A scissor lift will be required for approximately six weeks.”

Ms Solly said the committee hopes the finished water tank will kick off a genuine tourist trail that visitors will travel to see, and locals will be proud of.

“We hope the artwork will not only attract visitors to look at the art but will encourage them to do a Kyabram Trail — follow the streetscape to the Town Hall, enjoy their first class galleries, appreciate the renovated Plaza and stop at eateries and retail shops along the way before heading to the Fauna Park.”

“Hopefully they stay a night or two before seeing the other art features in the Campaspe Shire and North East Trail.”

If you would like to donate to the Kyabram Water Tank project, funds can be sent to BSB: 633 000, Account: 16311 7039.

Larger donations will be listed on the sponsorship board at the viewing area, while in-kind contributors will also be noted.

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