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Murray Bridge Council Watch: December 2022
The latest on a swimming season extension, an SANFL game plan, tributes to the late Dr Andrew Mills, the council's COVID-19 vaccination policy and more.
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Swimming pool will stay open longer this summer
Murray Bridge’s swimming pool will stay open for an extra two weeks at the end of the summer season thanks to a push from local swimmers.
Council staff had planned to end this summer’s swimming season on the last Sunday in March, despite pleas from locals who wanted it extended.
However, councillors – led by Airlie Keen – insisted that the pool stay open until Easter Monday, April 10.
The extension will cost ratepayers just over $30,000.
The pool will also open on Boxing Day this year in response to the closure of the River Murray to swimming.
The council had already increased the swimming centre’s capacity to 400 people at a time and changed session times following community feedback last summer.
Could Murray Bridge snag an SANFL game?
The West Adelaide Football Club will consider playing an SANFL match in Murray Bridge at some point in the future after adding the River Murray league to its recruiting zone last month.
Council CEO Michael Sedgman met with the footy club’s CEO, Conny Wilson, to discuss the possibility late last month.
Mr Sedgman said the council would support the idea.
However, it would be up to the local clubs to decide where the match should be played.
‘Active community member’ remembered
Murray Bridge’s councillors have paused to reflect on the life of the late Andrew Mills at their December meeting.
Dr Mills, who died on December 7, was perhaps best known as a GP at Bridge Clinic, Murray Bridge between 1984 and 2009.
He had also contributed greatly to the community in other ways, Mayor Wayne Thorley noted, including through the Rockleigh CFS brigade, Murray Bridge Racing Club and the committee which governs the Lerwin Nursing Home.
Traffic lights can’t be synchronised
Shouldn’t the two sets of traffic lights on Bridge Street, Murray Bridge – at Swanport Road and Seventh Street – be synchronised so cars can drive smoothly through?
No, says the Department of Infrastructure and Transport – it wouldn’t work.
The Murray Bridge council asked the question recently, at Cr Airlie Keen’s behest, but DIT advised that linking the two sets of lights would cause “significant” delays for vehicles on Swanport Road and Mannum Road, creating a new problem.
Council wins at IPWEA awards
The Murray Bridge council has been recognised at the state awards of the Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia.
Its Sturt Reserve redevelopment was named the best public works project with a value of over $5 million.
CEO Michael Sedgman described the win as a great outcome following a great program.
Councillor, CEO clash over vaccination policy
Recently re-elected Cr Tom Haig and CEO Michael Sedgman have locked horns over a council policy requiring staff and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
At the council’s December meeting, Cr Haig said it was “unacceptable” that Mr Sedgman refused to hand over a copy legal advice the council had received about the policy.
He refused to accept the CEO’s summary of the advice at face value.
Mr Sedgman retorted that he – not councillors – was responsible for human resources decisions, including those about health and safety.
The policy was due to be reviewed in January anyway, he said – couldn’t the issue wait until then?
Garden clubs should take over competition, councillor says
Murray Bridge’s spring garden competition should be managed by the city’s two garden clubs instead of the council, a councillor says.
Karen Eckermann said the Murray Bridge Garden and Floral Art Club and Murray Bridge Social Garden Club were better placed to run the awards program.
She also suggested changing the competition’s format to include front gardens only, or a category for front gardens, to make it easier for people to enter.
Whatever its future format, she said, it needed an overhaul – fewer and fewer entries were being received each year.