By Dominique Tassell
Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) endorsed a recommendation to commission an artist to paint a community mural on the side of a grain shed in Tannymorel at the recent Ordinary Council Meeting.
Locals have come together for almost two years to raise funds for the project; this was done through events such as raffles, dinners, bowls nights and live music evenings.
One of the ways locals raised money was through an open garden in October.
The mural will honour the town’s history of involvement in the railway and the settlement of the community.
The Nicholson brothers, Malcolm and Kerry, will be painting the shed with a mural of steam trains and it is expected to take five weeks to complete.
The Nicolson’s have delivered mural projects in Australia, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Zealand and have won awards in both Australia and New Zealand.
Council stated that the artwork being developed “showcases the rich history of the townships connection with the railway”.
Malcolm and Kerry reportedly undertook research at the Railway Museum in Ipswich to ensure the mural accurately depicts the type of train that was running in that time period.
Those involved in the project say the community has been really good and has gotten right behind it.
The shed dates back to the 1890s, and it is hoped the mural will increase tourism to the town.
While the huge community support behind the project raised the vast majority of the funds, the project has also received funding through the Queensland Bushfires Community Recovery Package.
It was stated in the SDRC agenda that “as many of the region’s local tourism operators navigate recovery from natural disasters and Covid-19 travel restrictions, the new role and funding will support businesses and industry through key projects and events with a focus on driving tourism business development, growth and resilience”.
Across the Southern Downs, 12 initiatives have been approved to support the recovery of tourism operators.
One of the twelve is to create new music and arts activities or festivals in two of the impacted communities, Stanthorpe and Killarney.
In collaboration with members of the community representing several community groups, a series of events have been designed for Killarney and surrounding areas.
The Committee has received letters of support from the Warwick Chamber of Commerce, Tannymorel Bowls Club, and the Workshop Railway Museum in Ipswich.
The maintenance and upkeep of the mural will be managed and funded by The Tannymorel Hall Committee.
Councillor Ross Bartley noted in the SDRC meeting that the shed is privately owned and not heritage listed. He has previously stated that he believes buildings being heritage listed may act as a deterrent to projects such as this. It is unclear if the project would have been able to go ahead with heritage listing status.
Councillor Sheryl Windle said she supports the initiative, and it will add to tourism in the region.
“I’m really pleased to see this take off,” she said.
Councillor Marco Gliori also congratulated the community on their efforts in pursuing the project.
Councillor Cameron Gow noted that other silos have been painted, such as in Yelarbon.
He wondered if, similar to in Yelarbon, the Tannymorel shed has space outside for parking.
When speaking to the owner of the property a month ago, it was noted that they hoped to create a space outside the shed for tables and chairs.
The shed does have sizeable land surrounding it; meaning parking is most likely being factored in.
The motion was moved by Councillor Gliori and seconded by Councillor Jo McNally.