Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

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Palmer Lane toilet block gets a makeover

Artists and volunteer painters celebrate the reopening
Artists Yasmin Threadgate and SueEllen Yates celebrate with the many volunteers who helped to paint the mural

3 November 2020

The toilet block in Merimbula’s Palmer Lane has received a vibrant makeover and upgrade thanks to a collaboration between Council, the Chamber of Commerce, The Disability Trust and two talented local artists.

It’s an inside-and-out refresh that includes a spruced-up inside with repaired partitions, new doors and painted walls, but most obvious is the cheery mural gracing the toilet block’s exterior.

Project Manager Sean Howle said the new look toilet block shows what can be achieved when people and organisations work together to improve local spaces.

“The project started with Council securing a federal grant to improve streetscapes around the Shire,” Mr Howle said.

“For one of our first projects we approached the Merimbula Chamber of Commerce, asking for a list of potential deliverable projects to improve the appearance and amenity of the town’s CBD.

“First on the list was to improve the look and interior of the only toilet block in the commercial zone.

“We got to work on improving the internal functions and worked with the Chamber to think about options for the outside.

“Through a tender process we engaged the services of local artist, Yasmin Threadgate, and the Disability Trust who worked together to come up with a design reflecting the area’s natural environment.

“Yasmin and SueEllen Yates from the Disability Trust, along with a raft of volunteers, helped to bring the design to life, and they have turned a tired-looking building into a fantastic work of art.

“Being in such a prominent position, the artists had a lot of attention when painting the mural, and some great stories came from this.

“A lady came by and said how she had always enjoyed painting together with her mum, who had recently passed away. She was given the opportunity to add to the mural as a memento of this special relationship,” Mr Howle said.

Funding for the streetscape project came from the federal government’s Drought Communities Program, with other projects on the way in Eden, Bega and Bermagui.

The toilet block was officially reopened with a celebration of the partnership in Merimbula. Project collaborators and the many artists who participated gathered to see the new look building reopened to the community.

For more information on the project and the federal government backed streetscape program, call Sean Howle on 6499 2222.

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