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Bertha’s back: Bunyip helps Murray Bridge take a roar-some step towards flood recovery
Australia’s best-loved animatronic monster is back to full health after the River Murray floods.
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Bertha the Murray Bridge bunyip is back.
Australia’s best-loved animatronic tourist attraction has returned to full health after surviving the summer’s River Murray floods.
Murray Bridge Mayor Wayne Thorley invited everyone to visit the bunyip at Sturt Reserve.
Push the button and she’ll rise out of the water, fearsome jaws, claws and all, and scare the pants off anyone who has not had the fortune to meet her before.
“She enjoyed a break over the summer while the Murray River was in flood, and now she’s back and ready to rumble,” Mr Thorley said.
“She was happy to hear people behaved responsibly during high flows and that no lives were lost in the Murray Bridge floodwaters.
“She returns with renewed enthusiasm to her role on the Sturt Reserve riverfront” – in keeping with the mulyawonk of Ngarrindjeri legend – “teaching people to respect the river and to never swim alone.”
However, she’s still a bit grubby – council workers will try to sneak into her cave on Monday and give her a bit of a scrub.
In the near future they’ll restore power to the nearby toilet block and the lights at the skate park, and make sure the playground is safe, too.
Meanwhile, the flood recovery reached a milestone on the east side of Murray Bridge this week.
The Department for Environment and Water began pumping water off the Burdett floodplain, beneath the bridges, and the Long Flat floodplain, the next one downstream.
However, it will likely take many weeks to get rid of all that water, let alone restore the flooded flats to a useful state for their owners.
Satellite images taken a month apart at Wall Flat, one of the first areas to begin to be pumped out in late February, demonstrate the slow pace of progress.