By Ewen McRae
Moorabool council will investigate the possibility of an art trail along the Western Freeway as a way of encouraging tourism in the region.
Councillor Jarrod Bingham raised the idea as a notice of motion at last week’s meeting, hoping to tie the trail in with the new arts officer that council has funded in the past 12 months.
Cr Bingham said he hoped a series of art installations could liven up the shire and also boost the local economy.
“The Western Freeway runs through the heart of Moorabool Shire Council and an arts trail would give motorists another excuse to pull over and rest for 15 [minutes] so that they can carry on their journey refreshed and safely,” he said.
“I want to target those motorists, holidaymakers, tourists and caravaners who travel this long and straight freeway with nothing to see along the way, I want to say to people ‘hey, come in to our beautiful towns and hamlets, explore our history and spend some money in our local community.’
“This arts trail has the ability to promote our rich heritage and culture through these murals.”
Cr Bingham said existing infrastructure, such as silos, water tanks and other structures, would be ideal for the trail.
Cr Paul Tatchell expressed concern about the plan, saying the scale of it needed to be considered.
“We’re talking about a very large area that would have to be covered,” he said.
“I think trying to compare an arts trail with a couple of silos in a small town that have been painted magnificently to a theme is a lot different to trying to do a whole shire.
“I guess my concern is it could run into a very large bill if someone objected to the art … it’s just a bit wishy-washy for me.”
The motion passed and will now be considered as part of the council’s overall arts strategy.