Ben­e­fits are real

Shepparton News - Country News - - FRONT PAGE - By Alana Chris­tensen

. . . With vir­tual fenc­ing tech­nol­ogy eShep­herd only months away from be­ing com­mer­cially avail­able, Goul­burn Bro­ken Catch­ment Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity river health im­ple­men­ta­tion man­ager Mark Turner says vir­tual fenc­ing will ben­e­fit farm­ers, the en­vi­ron­ment, live­stock and na­tive wildlife.

Although the Silo Art Trail is lo­cated in the Wim­mera-Mallee re­gion, the eco­nomic ben­e­fits have flowed into sur­round­ing lo­cal­i­ties as well, ac­cord­ing to one coun­cil tourism of­fi­cer.

Lod­don Shire tourism and mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Robyn Vella said the coun­cil area, which in­cludes towns such as Boort, In­gle­wood and Pyra­mid Hill, had reaped some of the ben­e­fits of the trail.

La­belling the tourism boost as a ‘‘win-win sit­u­a­tion’’, Ms Vella said the ben­e­fits pre­sented them­selves in the shire in a num­ber of ways, from visi­tors pick­ing up a cof­fee or fill­ing up their car with fuel, to stay­ing in ho­tels across the re­gion.

‘‘Lod­don vis­i­tor info cen­tre really sup­ports the project and are send­ing visi­tors to those ar­eas. It’s amaz­ing what the artists have done and it’s a credit to the artists, and the coun­try towns need to cap­i­talise on that,’’ she said.

Ms Vella said the coun­cil placed an em­pha­sis on not putting up bound­aries, and col­lab­o­rat­ing with the sur­round­ing ar­eas to en­sure oth­ers could ex­pe­ri­ence the art trail.

The shire has been ex­plor­ing a num­ber of dif­fer­ent con­cepts and themes that could form an artis­tic state­ment of its own, and Ms Vella said it was in­ter­ested in some­thing that would com­ple­ment the silo art trail but still set it apart.

‘‘There are many ways that art can be ex­pressed, it doesn’t just have to be on si­los,’’ she said.

‘‘We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing (a num­ber of pos­si­bil­i­ties) but are mind­ful that visi­tors want an ex­pe­ri­ence, so you don’t want to do the same thing — we all want to work to­gether, but you want to have a point of dif­fer­ence also.’’

Fol­low­ing sup­port from all forms of gov­ern­ment, the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment ear­lier this month com­mit­ted to in­vest­ing a fur­ther $500 000 in the re­gion in an at­tempt to fur­ther grow vis­i­tor num­bers and cre­ate new jobs.

On track to be­come the coun­try’s big­gest out­door gallery, with the Silo Art Trail al­ready in­cor­po­rat­ing five towns, street art net­work Juddy Roller’s di­rec­tor Shaun Hos­sack, who de­vel­oped the trail, has ex­pressed sup­port for ex­pand­ing the silo trail fur­ther.

The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment is also en­cour­ag­ing com­mu­nity-backed grant sub­mis­sions. ■ Do you have a silo in your lo­cal com­mu­nity you’d like to see utilised for art? Con­tact Alana Chris­tensen on 5820 3237 or email alana.chris­tensen@ shep­p­

Art space . . . The Waaia silo is one of many across the re­gion that are a po­ten­tial blank can­vas.

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