WORK has begun on Rutherglen’s giant wine bottle that Indigo Council mayor Bernard Gaffney says will become an iconic attraction.
The town’s major source of water, the old water tower had its top turned into the shape of a wine bottle using wire mesh in 1969.
The Friends of the Rutherglen Wine Bottle committee was formed amid concerns it would be torn down after the council voted against taking the asset on from owners North East Water.
North East Water, which is in charge of the tower revival, will donate it to the council once the works are completed.
Committee member Herb Ellerbock said welding work to attach vertical metal strips to the tower started last Tuesday.
Mr Ellerbock said Colorbond cladding would be attached to the metal strips to improve the appearance of the rusted metal tower, while the overflow pipe and the internal wooden staircase infested by termites was removed.
Mr Ellerbock said a finish date for the works had not yet been decided.
“It took some time to get the decision to actually do it to take place and now that it has been, it’s moving quickly,” he said.
A council meeting tomorrow will hear a recommendation from the group to appoint Rutherglen residents as part of a committee to oversee the ongoing maintenance of the tower.
The recommendation concludes that the management committee would bring an end to a long-running process to protect, preserve and maintain the water tower as a community asset.
Cr Gaffney said the tower had the potential to be a drawcard.
“I’m sure this water tower, in the form of a wine bottle, will be an iconic attraction,” Cr Gaffney said.
Mr Ellerbock said the group also wanted to create an outdoor area in front of the tower that included seating and shade.