Silo art fever hits Katamatite

By Liam Nash

Katamatite is set to be the latest stop on northern Victoria’s silo art trail, having received the green light from Moira Shire Council a fortnight ago.

The approval comes after a long-winded process spanning almost two years, after the silo/mural art was listed on the Katamatite Community Action Plan in August 2017.

“We started talking at the community dinners and got the ball rolling,” Katamatite Lions Club zone chair Julie Ballard said.

“I got in contact with GrainCorp and they had no objections to it, then we had to go through a lengthy process of getting it through the Moira Shire Council.

“The main issue we have had is with the ownership of the land, typically around this site, which has caused a number of significant delays.”

A moratorium on silo art activity has been imposed by GrainCorp, effective until February 2020, giving the community time to raise funds for the mural and come to a decision on the theme.

“The first initiative is our kite festival which will be our first major funding effort towards the project, and we have also opened a specific bank account with Lions Club,” Ms Ballard said.

“I would like to see some landscape, and also some recognition of our traditional custodians, the Kwat Kwat.

“We also want to run a historical project in conjunction with the development of the site as a lot of the senior members of the community have strong relationships with the site over the past decades.”

After seeing what the silo murals have done to boost other towns’ outlook along the trail, Ms Ballard hopes for a similar outcome for Katamatite in regard to the tight-knit community's morale and commerce.

“I have been up to Tungamah, Goorambat and Devenish, and what it seems to have done is brought the communities together," she said.

"There is a greater sense of pride, the jubilation on those people’s faces and excitement and energy in the community is amazing.

“This will be a project that will engage the entire community of Katamatite.”

With a fair way to go until completion, Katamatite Lions Club secretary Rob Peachey encourages members of the public to head to Katamatite Recreation Reserve on Sunday, September 22 for the kite festival to help support the cause.