QFES attending the scene November 11 2019
QFES attending the scene November 11 2019

Street artists left without canvas after Barney Point fire

STREET ARTISTS have been left without a canvas after the old Barney Point butcher shop was ravaged by fire on Sunday.

In 2017, local artists received $6720 through Gladstone Regional Council's Regional Arts Development Fund to host workshops and paint a mural at the site.

CQ street artist Jim Kent has visited the space and said it had become a meeting place for aspiring artists.

"Unfortunately, a lot of these guys are going to miss this spot because it was a legal spot for them to be able to paint and gain skills," he said.

Emergency services attended the two-storey building on the corner of Friend and Barney streets just before 8pm to find it well-alight.

An emergency services representative said it took three fire units about half an hour to extinguish the blaze.

QFES returned to the scene at 11.30 that night after reports of embers burning.

Police guarded the building overnight on Monday to ensure there was no suspicious activity.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Anderson said the fire was under investigation and inquiries into the cause of the fire would continue.

Jim was worried the damage would force street artists to look for alternative outlets and possibly turn to illegal graffiti activity.
"I'm not saying all of them will, but there is the tendency that some people may go illegal," he said.

"A lot of the time these guys have so much expression, they need an outlet to express it."

Anyone with any information is encouraged to phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Policelink on 131 444.