Murray Bridge silo art project cancelled
A series of murals will be painted in the city’s CBD instead after a breakdown in negotiations between the local council and state government.
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Murray Bridge’s long-awaited silo art project has been cancelled after a state government department refused to sign off on it.
The city’s council had planned to have a massive painting of a father and daughter fishing painted on the side of the silos on Hume Reserve Road.
But negotiations on the project broke down after the Department for Infrastructure and Transport – which owns the land beneath the silos – indicated it would not come to the party.
Grain handling company Viterra, which owns the silo building itself, had already agreed to support the project.
But local councillors were told on Monday night that DIT had refused to sign a licensing agreement needed for work to start.
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The problem was that Viterra leased the silo site on a month-to-month basis.
That lack of long-term security meant DIT could end Viterra’s lease – and request that the silos be demolished – at any time.
Those conditions were not ideal for a landmark artwork.
Council diverts funding to CBD mural project
At a meeting on Monday night, councillors agreed to repurpose the remaining federal funding for the project, which had been due to expire on August 30.
A series of murals will be painted in Murray Bridge’s CBD instead.
The same artist, Sam “Smug” Bates, and agency, Juddy Roller, will do the artwork; and the themes that came up in the public consultation – such as fishing or a nature scene – will still be used.
The council’s public art advisory sub-committee, composed of arts workers and community members, will pick some locations for murals.
Building owners will then be invited to join in with discussions about what to paint where.
The council’s aim will be to come up with a new plan by February of next year, have councillors approve it in March, and to have the murals painted by June 2024.