Murray Bridge council watch: September 2020

A riverfront trail is mapped out, Jubilee Park gets a new name, electoral boundary changes are protested and more.

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Trail will link Sturt Reserve with Long Island Reserve

A future walking trail linking Sturt Reserve with Long Island Reserve has been mapped out by the Murray Bridge council.

It will run along the back of the Narooma Wetland – see the map above.

Councillor Andrew Baltensperger had suggested running the path along Staiff’s levee bank, but council engineers advised that the 64-year-old levee was too narrow and riddled with burrows.

They also wanted to avoid laying the trail along the riverfront to avoid any risk of flooding.

The section of trail – which will form part of the Murray Coorong Trail, from Cadell to Salt Creek – will be built in the coming months.

The council plans to do more work in the area, including weeding, planting and perhaps installation of a bird hide, in 2021-22.

Map: Rural City of Murray Bridge.

A park near Murray Bridge High School will formally be known as Rotary Jubilee Park from now on, acknowledging the service club’s contributions to the city.

The Murray Bridge and Mobilong Rotary Clubs had approached the council about a name change, considering the funds they had poured into Jubilee Park – which spans both sides of Swanport Road – over the years.

A sign reading “Murray Bridge Rotary Jubilee Park” was even erected there in 1986 – the year of South Australia’s 150th jubilee – after the club finished building a playground.

However, the Rotary name was never formally adopted.

A public consultation found all but one of 28 respondents approved of the word “Rotary” being included in the name.

A plaque noting the park’s new name will be installed there.

Photo of Ron Jericho, Ray Helps, Barbara Kretschmer, Steven Wilkinson and Ivan Winter in 1986: Rural City of Murray Bridge.

Bridge Street footpath 'dangerous and unsightly', says councillor

A stretch of footpath regularly used by tourists needs to be sealed before someone hurts themselves, a Murray Bridge councillor says.

Now that the zig-zag path linking the wharf and the Round House had been done up, Cr Andrew Baltensperger said, it was time to do something about the gravel footpath leading up to the main street.

“This prominent area presents poorly,” he said at the council’s meeting on Monday night.

“The Z-path just ends, basically, with a treacherous zone of stones, loose gravel and sticks.”

Council staff will put together a plan to fix the footpath and possibly do some landscaping, install a pedestrian crossing or build a small car park in the area.

Electoral boundaries will short-change Murray Bridge, Thorley says

Murray Bridge will take a back seat to Mount Barker if the two cities are combined in one state electorate, councillors say.

Murray Bridge’s council will raise concerns with the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission on Wednesday after Councillor Wayne Thorley protested its plan to break the Murraylands up into three electorates.

Cr Airlie Keen went so far as to suggest Murray Bridge would be financially worse off under the commission’s proposal.

“Often funding pools are divided by electorate,” she said.

“While we’re on the cusp of a lot of growth, Mount Barker is already experiencing growth such that ... the risk is we play second fiddle to their immediate needs.”

Cr Karen Eckermann disagreed, saying Murray Bridge was being “completely ignored” at present and that the changes would help city MPs see the rural city in a new light.

But a majority voted to protest the planned boundary changes.

Council electoral process will stay the same in 2022

The Murray Bridge district will not be split into wards at the next local election, nor will there be more or fewer councillors.

In fact, the rural city’s electoral system will stay exactly the same, after a survey found community members were happy with the status quo.

That means the public will again elect Murray Bridge’s mayor, and nine councillors, in 2022.

Chief executive officer Michael Sedgman said the current structure was good for reducing confusion and increasing access to councillors.

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