Proposed silo art trail to boost economy in towns
A SILO art trail is on the cards for the Maranoa in hopes the massive displays of art will boost tourism across the southwest.
At the initial meeting held in Chinchilla, a committee was formed by community groups and business members to lobby and apply for funding of the project.
Committee president Shannon McDermott told the Western Star the while was art trail was originally proposed just for Chinchilla, however the Chinchilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry decided to take it to the next level and include other regional towns, such as Wallumbilla, Meandarra, Tara, Wandoan and Brigalow.
"It will be fantastic for these little towns,” he said.
"We're hoping to make the silo trails a point of difference to bring tourists to our region to visit the artwork,” he said.
"We hope it will encourage people to stay in the towns overnight and bring money into local businesses.”
With the introduction of the Thallon silo project three years ago, president of the Thallon Progress Association Jane Corbett believes tourism has increased significantly in the region as a result.
"The silos have become very well known in their own right, with tourists coming to see the beautiful artwork,” she said.
"Visitors are now staying overnight and going over to the local pubs and having a meal, buying memorabilia and going through the town and checking out everything we have to offer.
Mrs Corbett believes that having a silo trail, linked from one town to the next is a great incentive for tourists to do a road trip and visit many of the towns and driving money into the local businesses.
"A lot of the smaller towns, like Wallumbilla, are seen by tourists as drive- through towns, and we're hoping to change that with the introduction of the trail,” Mr McDermott said.
At the Maranoa council meeting last Wednesday, all present council members voted in favour of providing a letter of support to the Wallumbilla Town Improvement Group to be used in a joint grant application to develop a Scoping Study for the regional silo art trail project.
"It's fantastic having the support of Maranoa Council, and we're pretty confident Western Downs council are getting on board too,” Mr McDermott said.
While initial sites being considered are primarily grain silos, Mr McDermott said that with every site not having the option to use a silo, other canvases were being considered.
"There's a big shed in Wallumbilla that would make a great canvas,” he said.
"We've been looking at towns that have already progressed with their silo trails to get ideas about how to go developing one on a larger scale.
"It's early days but we're trying to get as many towns on board as possible, so we can start seeking funding.”
It is estimated each silo art project will cost around $100,000.