Hamilton’s famous eat street has a new lease of life thanks to a vibrant array of artwork that offers a nod to the suburb’s rich multiculturalism and history.
Gallery owner Rebecca Murray added her artistic flair to telecom pillars and electricity boxes in Beaumont Street, with each masterpiece taking about three hours to complete.
The works complement the iconic decorative lighting draping along the street, which was replaced last year.
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has also teamed up with Newcastle Men’s Shed to provide convenience seating from planter boxes.
The mosaic planter boxes were initially commissioned by business owners in the street after the 1989 earthquake.
Chamber president Nathan Errington said it had used money made available by Newcastle council through the Business Improvement Association (BIA) funding model.
“These have been important projects for the suburb and form part of the Chamber’s larger commitment to enhancing the suburb’s appeal to visitors from near and far,” he said.
“While the Chamber can provide a limited amount for this type of public beautification, we hope that this investment also encourages business operators and owners to think about how they can add value to the suburb by enhancing their own space.”
Meanwhile, the Hamilton business community has learned how it can be a more accessible suburb for those with a disability.
The member networking function included a panel discussion from Community Disability Alliance Hunter’s Dave Belcher, Vision Australia’s Jordan Ashby, and independent disability consultant Linda Hughes.
Mr Belcher congratulated businesses in Hamilton for adding accessibility to the agenda.
“Attitudinal barriers are far more existent within society and these need to be addressed sooner than physical barriers,” he said.
“Physical barriers are easily changeable, whereas people’s attitudes take a little longer.
“Updating city settings can be quite costly and there are many policies and procedures to take into consideration, which means change doesn’t happen quickly.
“That’s why the community needs to do the best they can with what is available to them.”
One of the main concerns raised was an emerging trend where residents take their dogs with them while dining out or meeting for coffee.
Mr Ashby said it was dangerous for people with low or no vision as they could easily trip on the dog’s lead and injure themselves.