Council passes Business Advisory Committee's recommendations to beautify the Shire

Ian Moule, in front of one of his aquatic masterpieces, has been tasked with painting the Nambucca Heads water towers. Image supplied.
Ian Moule, in front of one of his aquatic masterpieces, has been tasked with painting the Nambucca Heads water towers. Image supplied.

Changes are a-coming, and Nambucca is hoping to keep itself ahead of the curve.

Since its inauguration this year, the Nambucca Shire Business Advisory Committee (BAC) has been busy thinking up ways to improve this beautiful valley we call home.

The BAC was conceived as a group charged with ‘future-proofing’ our local towns in the face of the impending bypass.

One of the recommendations it recently put forward to council is an adoption of a dual-naming policy when updating road signs; as signs deteriorate and need replacing, the equivalent Gumbaynggirr word/s would be included in the replacement sign.

Cr David Jones talked enthusiastically to the recommendation, saying that in places like Wales, the street signs are bilingual and it has helped to fortify the Welsh language and culture after it came close to extinction last century.

Dual signage is a very good way of keeping language alive and letting non-indigenous people be able to learn some native indigenous language.

Cr David Jones

There are a number of elements to consider regarding these changes and council general manager Michael Coulter said it may still be some time before the policy is put into effect.

“My expectation is that the council would consult with Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Cultural Group Pty Ltd in relation to replacing existing signs and for new signs,” Mr Coulter said.

“I’m sure there will be instances where there is no equivalent Gumbaynggirr word. Or for that matter we have probably got existing Gumbaynggiirr place names for which there is no English equivalent.

“I guess we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

A second BAC recommendation that the council signed off on at its last meeting in Valla Beach was a makeover for the inescapable water towers in Nambucca Heads.

Silos, reservoirs and other perfunctory rural infrastructure have been getting a lot of national attention recently as small towns battling decline seek to inject colour back into their communities.

Local artist Ian Moule has been tasked with turning the eyesore at the town’s entrance into a ‘selfie spot’.

Mr Moule has been a signwriter and artist for the last 35 years and is well-versed in creating lasting visual impact.

His rusty ford rock at the V-Wall earned him overnight Facebook and Instagram fame.

More recently, he has been focussing on fine art canvas work and loves painting two specific themes: water and aquatic life, and rusty cars and machinery. 

He is currently working on a large mural for the new BP Service Centre which will greet travellers resting at the McDonalds tables.

Like the V-wall work, this mural will happily marry both of Mr Moule’s preferred subjects.

“It’ll be a statement piece that speaks to Nambucca being a great place to live or visit,” Mr Moule said. 

Once he finishes that mural, he will start work on the water reservoir which will take around 5 days to complete.

Artist Fintan Magee, in cherry-picker, works on the silo mural of farmer in Patchewollock.

Artist Fintan Magee, in cherry-picker, works on the silo mural of farmer in Patchewollock.

“It’s going to be a simple, large graphic that people can have a bit of fun with,” Mr Moule said.

“Council approached me about ideas for the towers, and I said that I had one but that they weren’t going to like it.

“It’s a little radical—a little in-your-face.

“But council loved it which surprised me.”

Mr Coulter said he was “fairly confident the design will be a talking point and hopefully a popular location for selfies”.

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Mr Moule is planning to create a time-lapse of the water tower project, with the aim of helping it to travel further on social media.

He is pretty confident that the two projects, which are both connected in marketing the Valley as a prime holiday destination, will be completed by Christmas.