chairmans report 2020

The 2020 year has been a year of unprecedented activity and success for the Bridge Art Project.

Following receipt of the Masterplan in April 2019, BAP commissioned additional work from Michael Connell and Associates on a business case for the Bridge Art Project as a stand-alone venture. The Benefit Cost Ratio (the indicator of benefit generated vs capital cost) is favourable under the most likely scenarios.

Securing land on Meninya St was identified as a key priority.  Negotiations were undertaken towards the end of 2019 to purchase the property at 74 Meninya St at a cost of $485,000.  An approach was made to the Moama Bowling Club which provided $100,000 in support of the purchase and four community members provided loans of $100,000 each to complete the purchase.  A 20% deposit was paid on 22 November 2019 with settlement on 2 April 2020.  

In June 2019,  the Masterplan, which included the BAP and the Meninya St plan, was presented to a joint sitting of Campaspe and Murray River Councils. The plan was subsequently endorsed and approved by Murray River Council at its August meeting, put out on public exhibition for a month, and adopted by Council in October 2019.

On 22 November 2019 the NAB account was closed and the Bendigo Bank account was opened.  A trading account and a donations account were set up with Bendigo Bank with any two of four signatories to sign.

Unfortunately, an application made by Murray River Council for a capital grant $3.8 million from the NSW State Government towards the first phase of the project was unsuccessful and a second grant application to the Cross Border Commissioner for $3.1m was also, sadly, unsuccessful.  Without receiving either of those grants to act as collateral funding, we were precluded from progressing the BBRF grant application, which had been submitted.

To further promote the BAP with the community and potential donors and sponsors, a short video was filmed which outlined key elements of the Master Plan. A 30 second extract to be used as a TV commercial was also prepared and is ready for use.  Preparatory work was undertaken on a prospectus for interested parties and Caroline Stanford Marketing was commissioned to turn this document into a professional marketing tool.  The second draft of that document has been reviewed.  The aim is to launch the TV commercial and to set up a series of information sessions with community groups using the video once the prospectus is finalised.  The Covid 19 situation is hampering the rollout of those plans somewhat.

Thanks to those who helped with the working bee held at 74 Meninya St on 28 June.

I would like to thank all who have been involved in the project during the year for their ongoing commitment and participation. In particular, I want to thank Deputy Chairman Barry Donchi for his unfailing enthusiasm and critical contributions, and Secretary/Treasurer, Lynne Gillard, who has borne the brunt of most of the grant work, and has kept BAP administration functioning.


Chris Bilkey


5 August 2020