Murray Bridge council watch: April 2021

Here's the latest on Schenscher Road, free green waste drop-off days, dog registration fees, volunteer disputes and more.

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The speed limit on a Monarto road must go down before Monarto Safari Park’s expansion opens up next year, councillors say.

The council will request that the Department of Infrastructure and Transport reduce the speed limit on Schenscher Road from its current 100 kilometres per hour, at the urging of Councillor Airlie Keen.

“The road is a fairly dangerous road, in any case – it’s used as a racetrack by (some) people,” she said on Monday night.

“The five-ways intersection ... is still confusing if you’re new to the area.”

More than 200,000 visitors are expected to use the road, and Monarto Road, to access the safari park each year from 2022.

A new northern gate will lead directly to the visitor centre currently under construction.

Free green waste drop-offs will continue

Murray Bridge residents will be able to dispose of garden waste for free, four times per year, from now on.

More than 500 trailer-loads of green waste were dropped off at the Brinkley waste and recycling facility over four trial weekends between May 2020 and this February.

As a result of the demand, councillors voted on Monday night to continue the special offer.

Residents who drop off green waste at any other time must pay a fee of between $12 and $81 per trailer-load.

Continuing the free drop-off days will cost the council up to $15,000 per year in fees and lost income from on-selling the waste, including as mulch.

Councillors will review the program in 12 months’ time.

Dog rego fees will not go up this year

Dog owners in the Murray Bridge district will not pay anything extra in registration fees this year.

Councillors have voted to leave rego fees at their current level of $35 for a desexed, microchipped dog.

The council increased the same fees by $5 last year.

New policy aims to solve volunteer-staff problems

Council volunteers and staff members who find themselves at odds will have access to clearer dispute resolution procedures, including mediation, from now on.

The council has updated its volunteer policies at the request of Cr Airlie Keen.

The new policy will cover behavioural problems and misconduct by volunteers, including theft or drug abuse, as well as interpersonal conflicts.

General managers – the council staff who report directly to chief executive officer Michael Sedgman – will now be notified about disputes much sooner.

“Our volunteers are really valuable to us, they make an enormous contribution to the community ... but we also want to value our hard-working and committed staff, so it’s really important that we strike the right balance,” Cr Keen said.

“Let’s hope that this revision does the trick.”

Subdivision on Old Swanport Road is moving ahead

The development of a housing estate in Murray Bridge’s south will soon move into its next phase.

Ninety-four allotments will be created over five staged land releases in a triangle of land between Hindmarsh and Old Swanport Roads.

The project was recently granted development consent.

Bushfires, riverbank collapse, pandemic pose biggest risk

Bushfires, riverbank collapse and pandemics such as the one we are currently experiencing are the biggest threats to the Murray Bridge district, the council has found.

Council staff assessed the risks of a range of hazards as they developed an emergency management plan for the district, considering the impact each would have on local people, the economy, community activities, the environment and government.

The three hazards listed above attracted the highest risk rating.

River Murray flooding was at the low end of the scale.

The council will soon publish the draft community emergency management plan for public consultation.

All South Australian councils are developing similar plans.