Murray Bridge council watch: October 2021
Interest grows in the former Big W site, a road extension stalls, a climate change project gets funding and an anti-graffiti crusader is remembered.
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.
Big W bids sound promising
A “significant” number of jobs may yet be created at the former Big W warehouse at Monarto South, Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis has suggested.
More than 200 people lost their jobs between April 2019, when the company decided it would close the distribution centre, and May of this year, when the last employees were farewelled.
Expressions of interest in the purchase of the site closed on October 7.
At a council meeting on Monday night, Mr Lewis said he had had some “very encouraging” discussions about the site with various business leaders.
“The Big W site will hopefully be taken up by somebody,” he said.
“All the people I’ve talked to are talking about generating significant numbers of jobs.”
Verdun Road extension at a ‘stalemate’
A proposed extension to Verdun Road, connecting it to Adelaide Road, may not go ahead after all, Murray Bridge’s councillors have heard.
The council even bought a house at 28 Adelaide Road, next door to the Subway restaurant, with the intention of demolishing it to make way for the new intersection.
Confidential talks have continued since then, but Councillor Fred Toogood suggested on Monday that they had reached a stalemate.
He asked whether the house could be rented out, in light of Murray Bridge’s current housing crisis.
However, council CEO Michael Sedgman said “significant investment” would be needed to make it liveable again.
Vale Robert Wheare
A prominent citizen of the Murray Bridge district has been remembered at the city’s October council meeting.
Firefighter and Neighbourhood Watch stalwart Robert Wheare died on September 13, at the age of 85.
During his retirement, he became the driving force behind a council anti-graffiti team, and earned a state-wide SA Police and Lions citizen of the year award in 2004.
“He was a tireless servant for council over 17 years,” Mayor Brenton Lewis said.
“He always had the interests of young people at heart.”
He is survived by his four children, four grandchildren and their families.
More information: www.mytributes.com.au.
Hot spot map will guide future tree-planting
The Murray Bridge council will produce a map of tree coverage and heat spots across its built-up areas to help it adapt to our changing climate.
The map – a first for regional South Australia – will help the council figure out which parts of the city most urgently need more trees, and more shade, to reduce heat build-up.
“More trees in the right locations will make the Rural City of Murray Bridge more liveable (and) attract more visitors and residents,” the council's city assets manager said in a report.
Tree-planting was one of the main actions identified in a climate emergency action plan adopted by the council last December.
The mapping project will cost ratepayers $15,000.
Adelaide’s metropolitan councils already have access to tree and heat spot maps through the state-funded landscape board Green Adelaide.
Quote of the month
“Congratulations, Councillor, on your birthday today, and for being with us this evening instead of gobbling down a big, sweet cake with 54 candles on it – not that I want to give your age away.”
–Mayor Brenton Lewis, on Cr John DeMichele’s birthday