Mural an investment for the future of Kyabram

By Holly Tregenza

THE Victorian Art Trail has proven time and time again that it has the power to bring struggling small towns back to life.

And while Kyabram is a long way off needing CPR, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would say no to an injection of the tourist dollar.

That's the dream that has sustained the KY Project Committee, the community group behind the Ky water tank mural, in their more than two-year effort to get the project off the ground.

And now they need you — families, clubs and local business — to help raise the $80,000 needed to complete it.

“The mural will bring RVs and visitors to Kyabram seven days a week, 12 months of the year, many staying overnight in accommodation and supporting our caravan parks and motels,” committee member Alan Weeks said.

“It'll be of huge benefit to local businesses; from the car park, visitors can and will walk into town.”

Goorambat is just one of many towns that have proved the benefits of the art trail.

Over the past two years an estimated 50,000 people have passed through the town to admire the art, and they're expecting a further 50,000 a year going forward.

For a town with a population just shy of 300, the impact on the local economy has been huge.

And the artist who painted the Goorambat silos, Jimmy DVate, is lined up to work his magic in Kyabram.

It will be the third DVate mural in Campaspe shire, with the other one in Rochester.

“The mural will have a clear link to the fauna park and bring the public's attention to both water conservation and endangered species,” committee member Joy Salter said.

“Kyabram will be unique with the wetlands and endangered species theme working in conjunction with the fauna park, where visitors will be able to view some of the bird species in the local environment."

She said the mural would attract school children from all over Victoria who will be able to discover the animals in the mural in real life just down the road at the fauna park.

Kyabram Fauna Park general manager Lachlan Gordon said the mural project was brilliant for the town and region.

“It will be another popular drawcard for Kyabram,” he said.

“By displaying our wetlands and some of our endangered species, the project will celebrate our natural diversity and work with the park to make Kyabram an even better destination.”

But the huge, 500 square foot tank that is set to be painted won't see a drop of colour until the $80,000 is in the bank.

“The committee would be delighted if any organisation, club or group were to plan an event to help raise the $80,000 target,” Mr Weeks said.

“The sooner we reach the target the sooner local business will benefit."

The committee are busily applying for every grant under the sun for which the project is eligible.

“I've seen what the art trail has done for other towns, and I want the same result for Kyabram,” Mr Weeks said.