Come and see the Gunbower mural

By Ivy Jensen

Gunbower hopes to join the district's art trail after a stunning new mural was created to attract visitors to the town.

Rochester silo artist Jimmy Dvate spent a week painting the creek and local bird life artwork on the side of the Gunbower Hotel in June.

Hotel owner Richard McGillivray funded the project, which partner Susie Varapodio hopes will reinvigorate the struggling town.

"What's happening in the dairy industry is devastating and it's caused our area severe stress," she said.

"We can't let country towns die so we need to look at different avenues to keep them going. One is tourism as it will help to keep pubs, servos and shops going.

"If we can educate more tourists into venturing out a bit more and come out here for a day and spend a bit of money, it will help everyone.

"We're trying to market the area as a day trip destination. Come and see Torrumbarry Weir, our mural, The Carriages at Lockington, Echuca, the murals at Tongala and the Rochester silo.

"Tourists can help keep our smaller country towns going."

Ms Varapodio said the project, from concept to design, took 12 months to complete.

"I love it. We have it lit up at night so you can see it at any time of the day," she said."We're hoping it brings a few more people to the town."

Campaspe Shire tourism support officer Jemima Lewis said the mural was a great win for the region.

"We would certainly hope that two of Jimmy’s artworks quite close to one another would encourage visitors to see both," she said.