Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

    Visitors surge to Collie as Collie Mural Trail nears completion

    9/12/2020 10:05 AM
    • 12 murals now complete as part of $1.5 million Collie Mural Trail
    • Work well underway to turn Wellington Dam into a world-class tourism drawcard
    • Visitors to Collie more than double during mural trail installation
    • $100,000 grant awarded to Wellington Dam Kiosk to accommodate increase in visitors
    • Project part of McGowan Government's plan to diversify Collie's economy

    Visitors are flocking to the South-West town of Collie to see the State Government's $1.5 million Collie Mural Trail, including the biggest dam mural in the world.


    The Collie Mural Trail town walls component of the project is nearing completion, with 12 town murals painted in recent weeks and four more to be painted next week.


    Fifteen Western Australian artists and one from interstate were selected to paint the town murals with their designs including references to the history of Collie, Aboriginal culture and the natural environment.


    The centrepiece of the trail is the Wellington Dam's impressive 8,000 square metre mega-mural being painted by Australian artist Guido van Helten.


    The artwork is inspired by local stories and photographs as van Helten spent time in town to understand the community and created a design that reflects them.


    But the final design is yet to be revealed, and can only be discovered by watching the wall being painted in real time, so people are travelling to see it unfold.


    During the Collie Mural Trail installation, the number of visitors through the Collie Visitor Centre more than doubled, with steady numbers continuing.


    The Collie Mural Trail project is part of the McGowan Government's plan to diversify the local economy and deliver sustainable jobs through developing industries including tourism.


    The biggest dam mural in the world is well underway and unseasonal November rain has extended the project into school holidays, giving more people the chance to watch the artist up in the scaffolding, painting on a scale most people have never seen before.


    It has been a monumental task, with people abseiling to clean the wall, building a specially designed scaffolding platform to paint it, and the design drawn and mapped onto a grid to help the artist translate his design from concept to a scaled mega-mural.


    The Wellington Dam mural is expected to be completed in January.


    The neighbouring Kiosk at the Dam has received $100,000 from the $2 million Collie Futures Small Grants Program to expand its café overlooking the dam to accommodate the steadily growing tourist numbers.


    This grant is one of the latest from the $20 million Collie Futures Fund, which also includes the $18 million Collie Futures Industry Development Fund, working alongside the $60 million Industry Attraction and Development Fund to create long-term jobs in Collie.


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "It's great to see visitors already flocking to Collie to view the incredible murals throughout the town, and of course the 'mega-mural' underway at Wellington Dam.


    "My Government, in particular Mick Murray, has worked hard to deliver this project.


    "The Collie Visitors Centre is already reporting double the number of visitors during peak times with people taking maps for the mural trail, and that should continue to grow when the remaining murals, including the Wellington Dam mural are complete.


    "As well as displaying fantastic artwork, the mural trail encourages people to come and visit Collie, walk around and support local businesses and the local economy.


    "I urge every Western Australian who is looking for a new weekend getaway destination to consider coming to Collie and seeing all the exciting developments that have been happening around the town."


    Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:


    "Collie is transforming and the rest of WA is finally catching on.


    "It's not just a destination with fantastic camping and recreational facilities, but it's now also boasting street art that complements the local purpose-built Collie Art Gallery.


    "Tourism is one of several industries we are working to increase here in Collie so it's great to see results from this project so quickly.


    "The flow-on effects from the increasing number of visitors into town will be felt throughout the local economy."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000