Silo visitors expected to fall

By Jamie Salter

A drop in tourism over the Easter break will cause economic loss to the towns on the silo art trail.

Goorambat and District Community Group member Meredith Tolliday said the lack of revenue coming into towns as a result of coronavirus would affect all communities.

“With direction from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, many people would not be on the road and there would be a dramatic reduction of people coming to view the silos,” she said.

Goorambat will lose money from a lack of souvenirs being bought from Alan Saunders, who volunteers four days a week at his stall under the silos, selling gifts to passers-by.

Ms Tolliday said she hoped visitors would still come through Goorambat, as local businesses remained open for takeaway.

Railway Hotel Goorambat owner and manager Jacqui Colman said her business would be affected dramatically.

“We would normally do 100 people for lunch, I'm doing takeaways as a community service at the moment,” she said.

“Everybody needs to be protected, but I'm hopeful for locals to spend through takeaways.”

Eight casual staff members had to be let go and future business for the hotel will be reliant on the local community buying takeaway food.

Along with a lack of tourism, many local events have been cancelled, including the Benalla Wall-to-Wall festival, set to be held from Friday, April 3 to Sunday, April 5.

The cancelled event means less visitors staying in local accommodation and less money spent at the town's cafes and pubs, creating a huge loss to the community.

Tungamah Post Office owner Jo Clark said there would be less visitors to the town but it was better to follow government advice to stay home.

“I think everyone needs to keep their distance and do what the government says to keep each other safe,” she said.