Murray Bridge council watch: November 2020

Globelink might not be as dead as we thought, a main road will be sealed, locals campaign to save Monarto's woodlands and more.

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The state government may have pulled the pin on its Globelink plan for a freight airport at Monarto, plus a road and rail bypass connecting the area with northern Adelaide, in January.

But elements of it may yet be resurrected, Murray Bridge's Mayor has suggested.

The Murray Mallee’s councils felt a lower-level freight interchange at Monarto would still have value, Mayor Brenton Lewis said on Monday night.

Planning approvals were already in place, and such a project could create jobs both locally and down the supply chain.

Mr Lewis hoped to take the idea to state bureaucrats in the near future.

Maurice Road will be sealed in 2021

The western section of Maurice Road will be sealed next year thanks to a $973,000 grant from the federal government.

The section between the Boral quarry and the Old Princes Highway at Rocky Gully, running past Kinchina Conservation Park, will be bitumised in the second half of 2021.

Because it was used by so many trucks, the road needed a lot of regular maintenance at the moment, the council's city infrastructure manager reported.

Sealing it would save money in the long term, and would also provide an alternative access route to the northern part of Murray Bridge.

The council has already fixed up sections of Jarvis, Hoadville and Pope Roads at Jervois and Brinkley over the past 18 months as part of a plan to upgrade its road freight network.

Monarto woodlands need saving, councillor says

The state government needs to step up and save a valuable tract of woodland at Monarto, a Murray Bridge councillor says.

Airlie Keen and other representatives of the council will directly lobby two state government ministers about the issue, which was highlighted by Murray Bridge News in September.

The government currently plans to sell four allotments, totalling 241 hectares in area, left over from the failed Monarto development in the 1970s.

But Cr Keen argued that the land needed to remain in public hands for conservation purposes, and that the government was best placed to achieve that end.

“It shouldn’t fall to council to save this land,” she said at Monday night’s meeting.

“The public expects it to remain in public ownership.”

Motor Inn owner reaches settlement with council

The Murray Bridge council has come to an agreement with the owner of the Murray Bridge Motor Inn about a patch of land out the front of the east side motel.

The council has agreed to mow the grassed area and surround it with recycled plastic bollards, painted white, as part of a settlement negotiated by the Small Business Commissioner.

The motel’s owner, Roman Rautenberg, had previously complained to both the council and Murray Bridge News about the way the area had been managed.

Audit committee gives council a pass with flying colours

Anyone worried about the way the council spends its money can rest easy, the chair of its audit committee suggests.

At their meeting on Monday night, Peter Brass told councillors the council’s financial affairs were being well managed.

“Michael (Sedgman, chief executive officer) and his leadership team, it’s fantastic,” he said.

“I do sit on a number of other audit committees of councils, both regional and metropolitan, and the quality and the standard of papers are absolutely, really up there, from my point of view.”

The council’s external auditors were also very pleased with “everything to do with the financials”, he said.

Councils want to keep Starclub officer around

Local sporting clubs have won grants worth more $3.5 million as a result of having a Starclub field officer based in Murray Bridge, the city's council has heard.

It and four neighbouring councils will lobby the state government for a funding extension so they can keep employing a Starclub officer beyond June 30 of 2021.

The role is currently filled by Marc Maddaford.

Local clubs to have benefited from his work include Murray Bridge’s swimming, rowing and bowling clubs, the city’s basketball and lawn tennis associations, and the Mypolonga and Ramblers combined sporting clubs.

Anerley Road parking debate drags on

A debate about parking on a Murray Bridge back street will drag on for several more months after a council consultation failed to cast much light on the issue.

The council will write to Anerley Road residents again in the next two weeks, asking how they have been affected by staff at the Resthaven nursing home who park their cars on the street.

Council chief executive officer Michael Sedgman said he hoped to hear from more residents this time around, as “the previous consultation didn't cut the mustard”.

A decision about whether to introduce new parking time limits on the street is not expected until at least January.

Land rezoning freeze comes to an end

A freeze on land zoning changes across South Australia is coming to an end.

The Murray Bridge council and all others across the state are re-establishing their strategic planning and development policy committees, the bodies anyone interested in changing land zoning must go through.

All South Australian planning law changes had been put on hold for the past two years, hindering development in areas where the land zoning might not suit developers’ plans – for example, in areas of farmland needed for housing or industry.

Councillors John DeMichele, Airlie Keen and Wayne Thorley were reappointed to the committee on Monday night, along with independent members Darren Starr and Bob England.

A vacancy for one more independent member will have to be filled.