Murray Bridge council watch: January 2021

Property owners are warned about the risk of bushfire, councillors put their foot down on Wildens Way and a compromise is put forward for a car parking problem.

This story was originally published behind Murray Bridge News’ paywall. Paywalled stories are unlocked four weeks after publication. Can’t wait that long? Subscribe here.

Property owners have been told 386 times to clean up their act to reduce the risk of bushfire in the Murray Bridge district, councillors have heard.

That is how many hazard reduction notices had been issued by council fire prevention officers under a bushfire management plan for the district, according to a report to the council’s meeting last week.

Officers needed to follow up with a non-compliance notice in 40 cases, and proceed to hire contractors to fix the problem in 14, councillors were told.

Pre-emptive action taken in recent months included a door-knocking campaign at White Hill, where the risk of fire was rated as “extreme”, and an information session at Murray Bridge Marketplace.

The council and Country Fire Service plan more such activities over the coming months.

Rate relief granted to households affected by COVID-19

More than 40 households have deferred their council rates bills as a result of financial hardship brought on by COVID-19, the Murray Bridge council reports.

Another 30 households applied but were not granted special exemptions from paying their rates bills, at least not because of COVID-19.

The council voted last week to extend the scheme until December of this year.

Its impact on the council’s bottom line had so far been “relatively small”, its corporate services general manager said.

The policy has been in effect since April 2020.

Councillors won’t compromise on Wildens Way

Councillors have unanimously rejected a proposal to lease a thin slice of land on Wildens Way.

An individual had approached the council about leasing a seven-metre-wide stretch of land between the end of Wildens Way and the River Murray, to access a houseboat mooring on an adjoining property.

But it was only five months ago that the council sent a strong message about its plan to open up Wildens Way as a public park once the street’s shack lessees’ leases expire.

Granting even a minor lease would go against that message, councillors said last week.

“We should be encouraging and facilitating public access to the riverfront,” Cr Airlie Keen said.

“It says in the report (presented to councillors) that there would still be access for the public, but ... it would be very awkward for someone to sneak alongside and launch a kayak or something like that.”

Solution proposed for Anerley Road parking problems

Nursing home staff will be discouraged from parking on a nearby back street after residents took a stand on the issue.

Anerley Road, out the back of Resthaven Murray Bridge, will become a one-way street, and new line markings will emphasise the need to keep driveways clear, following a council vote.

A paved footpath will also be built on the nursing home side of the street in 2021-22, making it easier for staff to park further away and walk to work.

But Cr Tyson Matthews said education, not rule-setting, would be most important as staff and residents looked to compromise.

The council will review the new parking arrangements six months after they come into effect.

Cr Clem Schubert puts his foot down on road improvements

Councillor Clem Schubert hopes to be the driving force behind future road works at three locations in Murray Bridge.

At last week’s meeting, he successfully pushed for the council to consider building footpaths or kerbing on Lincoln Lane, Murray Bridge East in 2021-22; and improving the intersection of Schwerdt Road and Adelaide Road, near the SA Water tanks at White Hill.

He also asked for traffic counters to be installed at the intersection of Mannum Road and Reedy Creek Road, to get an idea of how much traffic went along those roads prior to the opening of Thomas Foods International’s new site.

He predicted that traffic levels would be “very demanding” in future, and that the state government would need to upgrade the intersection.