News

Silo wasted, Cobram local says

By Liam Nash

One Cobram resident believes the unused silo in Market St could add significant value to the town if it was to become a part of the northern Victorian silo art trail.

Although unsure of the current owners, Robert Schram believes there are three titles up for sale with a value of about $1.2 million, with silo title alone worth about $600 000.

With no apparent plans for its development, Mr Schram sees no reason why the silo could not be used to add an element of charm to an otherwise blank space.

“I believe they are not interested in doing anything with them and have a permit to demolish them,” he said.

“It could be an integral part of the silo art trail — there is a huge gap between Tungamah and Finley, which Cobram could fill.”

Mr Schram said Cobram seemed to attract tourist attention intermittently — usually centred around niche entertainment — and posed the idea of a silo art project as a solution.

“Cobram is a tourist destination for a limited time of the year, it is only really popular for people coming for fishing and waterskiing,” Mr Schram said.

“At the moment there is no reason for transient tourists to stop in Cobram, whereas silo art would draw attention to the centre of the town.”

After seeing the effect such installations have at other destinations along the silo art trail, often towns notably smaller than Cobram, Mr Schram argues the same element of intrigue could be added to the town’s landscape.

“I can remember stopping at Devenish, which is a small town, and there were easily 35 people in the pub opposite the silo, only because the bus stopped at the site,” he said.

“If it went ahead it could bring attention to the middle of town, could be the home of a new tourist information centre — it would be a great addition to the trail which stretches from Benalla to Deniliquin.”

For the project to first gain legs, it would require necessary factors such as a steering committee, a fundraising committee and support from banks as well as the community, and Mr Schram said starting the conversation was the first step towards initiating such a proposal.

“Although it would take a whole lot of work, it would certainly be well worth it.”