A whole lot of colour is being splashed around Harden-Murrumburrah right now and it’s difficult to miss.
Anyone who has driven through the big-little twin towns in the NSW South West Slopes will know the sweeping hills delivering people from east and west, via Burley Griffin Way, provide a perfect asphalt carpet to one of the main attractions which had previously been an eyesore.
The historic flour mill that has featured on Murrumburrah’s main thoroughfare for around 50 years was lain derelict, and was the subject of much reflection.
But now residents’ eyes are peering skyward as work recently began on a jolly good clean of the facade of the old mill courtesy of Harden Fire Brigade and the local Rural Fire Service, who took the opportunity to wash it down as a training exercise, and spruiked to the public as a firefighting demonstration.
Now the painting begins to add two more stacks to the many that now adorn Australia’s growing gallery of painted silo art.
Weethalle, two hours west of Harden, was the first silo to be painted in NSW, in July 2017, and was joined by nearby Grenfell in February 2019. The Harden-Murrumburrah Mills is 45th silo to be included in the Australian Silo Art Trail.
The project was delayed in late 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Harden-Murrumburrah Regional Development Corporation (HRDC) finally got the green light, with Melbourne-based Mongolian street artist Heesco Khosnaran now creating the work in earnest.
HRDC chairman Richard Fleming said the project – which will create an additional tourism attraction for the region – is generating a huge buzz in the town after a tumultuous 2020.
“I am so pleased to announce the mill’s painting has begun,” he said. “After 2020, I think it’s exactly what this community needs.”
The news is timely, with reports that tourism numbers are on the up in the region.
Mr Fleming said the hike in visitors and increased localised spending is contributing to an upturn in the local economy.
“These factors, in addition to several large projects –such as the Murrumboola Creek redevelopment that is set to begin within the first quarter [of 2021] – should see this positive upturn continue throughout the year,” he said.
HRDC chief executive officer Chris Ireland took the opportunity to thank the people working hard behind the scenes to get the mill project off the ground.
At this stage, it is anticipated the project will take approximately four to six weeks to complete, depending on weather.