BUSINESSMAN Peter Rogers is pushing for murals to be used to promote Bathurst, going as far as to bring an accomplished French artist to the city to share their insights.
The move was part of his efforts to lobby Bathurst Regional Council to better promote the city and its tourism facilities, which would in turn support businesses.
"There is a town in Tasmania called Sheffield that has used murals as tourist attractions very successfully," Mr Rogers said.
"It we do the correct murals and get enough of them to create an interest, there is no reason that we could not be able to attract tourists to Bathurst. As we get more and more, we could have a mural trail and promote it as an attraction."
Mr Rogers organised for French artist Hugues Sineux, who has painted murals for Hornsby Shire Council, to come to Bathurst with his wife in September.
"A few weeks later he sent be a proposed sketch that he drew for the facade on the library/art gallery," he said.
The sketch shows the facade with the windows framed by books, giving the appearance of a bookshelf.
Mr Rogers said Mr Sineux chose the building for a number of reasons, including its location and because "it's a symbol of culture and the history of the city".
Mr Rogers said Mr Sineux indicated he would like to work with council in future.
"I have shown this proposed mural design to about 300 people so far, including some heritage members, and all were blown away with the design," Mr Rogers said.
"... However, the art director and director of Cultural and Community Services gave it the thumbs down, saying it does not suit their plans.
"There is no problem with them not liking it or not going with it, but what have they done to suggest as an alternative?"
While council welcomes murals, as reflected by the 2019Public Art Policy, designs must be assessed.
"In line with the policy, two expert review panels have been established to ensure artworks are of high quality, innovative, relevant and viable," general manager David Sherley said.
"A Public Art Program Committee has been established to provide oversight of proposed public art programs, opportunities and concepts. A Public Art Technical Review Panel has also been established to review all relevant technical aspects of proposed public art projects such as risk assessment, engineering certification requirements, and asset management."
Mr Sherley also said that council is "active in place making initiatives to enhance the beauty of the city centre and aim to bolster visitor numbers", pointing to the Bathurst Streets as Shared Spaces pilot program.
"In October last year Council received a grant of $767, 884 from the State Government for the Bathurst Streets as Shared Spaces Pilot project," he said.
"This initiative will see shared streets, public art laneways and greater accessibility for events in the city centre in a trial project expected to be ready in time for this year's Winter Festival.
"Elements of the trial include temporarily making Church Lane a 10 kilometres per hour shared zone, public art installations along Ribbon Gang Lane and the use of planter boxes to cool and beautify the CBD."