Silo saga: report says nothing simple or cheap about mural art

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The request from veteran councillor Meg Oates was a simple one: put murals on these silos along Appin Road to recognise both Campbelltown’s colonial agricultural and Indigenous history.

But as a report to council for next week’s meeting makes clear, everything’s complicated in this day and age.

It also emphasises that even if council could jump through all of the hoops it has to jump through to approve such a project, it is going to cost a lot of money.

More than $300,000, in fact.

The report says a feasibility study on such proposed murals would cost around $35,000, while the bill for project itself would be around $270,000.

All this would shock anyone who considers themselves old school, but whoever put the report together doesn’t pull any punches.

The actual notice of motion by Cr Oates (seconded by her Labor colleague Masood Chowdhury) read:

“That, in order to recognise Campbelltown’s significant agricultural and Indigenous colonial histories, a report be presented advising how Council will seek funds to create a mural or murals on the Silos situated on Appin Road.’’

The murals are heritage listed themselves, and as Cr Oates pointed out, are seen by a lot of people driving past that stretch of Appin Road at Bradbury.

The report says the silos are owned by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), which supports the murals “in principle’’.

But, and that’s the first hoop council would have to jump through, the RMS would want to see a concept image with “perspectives addressing drivers’ views’’.

In other words, to see if such mural images may be capable of distracting drivers.

“To progress this, an artist’s Expression of Interest (EOI) process is required that would include concept images and also perspectives. There is a cost associated with this,’’ the report said.

RMS also require a traffic report, and yes, you guessed it, “there is a cost associated’’.

“Should RMS then approve the project to progress, a formal agreement is required to be developed including liability and responsibility for ongoing maintenance,’’ says the report to council.

As the silos are identified as a heritage item, a development application and heritage assessment will also be required.

“And there is a cost associated.’’

The report also notes that the 7.7m corrugated concrete surface of the silos, with peeling paint and missing timber boards, would require assessment by an engineer and council’s risk team.

“Safety measures, including the creation of a walkway and levelling surrounding ground may need to be considered as the site is situated on an 80km/h road.

“Further investigation is required and there are costs associated.’’

There’s more, but you get the picture.

We’ll be eagerly watching to see how Cr Oates will respond on Tuesday night.

Picture by South West Voice photography.

2 thoughts on “Silo saga: report says nothing simple or cheap about mural art”

  1. If it is said to cost $300,000 then you know it will probably cost a the $18m Billabong project that’s blown out to north of $50m and an ongoing maintenance and operation cost of probably $3m to $4m annually.

    The money would have been better spent towards building the bridge over the railway line at Broughton Street which would have created new business and employment opportunities and expanded the CBD of Campbelltown.

  2. I would suggest a more economical and practical alternative, project appropriate artwork onto the silos after dark. Advantages include low maintenance and easily change images promoting festivals and local events. Projector can be operated from Solar PV and battery storage etc. Overall that should cost considerably less than $300k including maintenance.


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