Work on the Gunnedah Maize Mill's new mural is set to begin very soon, with artist Heesco to travel to Gunnedah on November 24.
The Melbourne-based artist has been unable to travel into the state due to border closures, but with the VIC/NSW border to reopen on November 23, he'll be heading to the North West straight away.
The maize mill will be the canvas for the 29-metre tall mural, which will focus on the late poet Dorothea Mackellar.
Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society member Owen Hasler told the NVI that Khrelbaataryn Khosnaran, aka Heesco, would travel up on November 24, with painting to start on November 25.
Cr Hasler said there was still some work to be done on the mill itself, but now that a definitive starting date was in place, that work would be finished next week.
"It's a fairly tight schedule now but the implications of COVID have meant delays. But everything appears to be fine to finally get the mural under way in the week after next," he said.
"We made applications for this in January and had [painting] originally scheduled for August, so it has been frustrating for all those concerned but we think we have it all in place now."
He said Heesco was looking forward to cracking on with the work, and had "expressed a great interest in our community having not been up this way previously".
"He's been looking forward to our project and we're looking forward to him completing it before Christmas," Cr Hasler said on Tuesday.
The $70,500 project is funded by the federal government's Drought Communities Program. All projects funded by this program have to be finished by the end of 2020.
"We've allocated four weeks or six days a week to complete the work and we'll have just a few more days than that so depending on whether any other expected delays happen, we should finish the work by Christmas and meet our funding obligations and Heesco can join his family for the Christmas period," Cr Hasler said.
"It'll coincide very well with the bridge next door and I think it'll really enhance the western end of town and draw a lot of visitors to the community."