Riverfront upgrade's next stage gets $450,000 in funding

The Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation and Coorong council will also get cash from the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program.

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Kristen Manson, Brenton Lewis, Tony Pasin and Heather Barclay welcome the funding announcement for a shelter at Sturt Reserve. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

The next stage of Murray Bridge’s riverfront redevelopment is about to go ahead thanks to a $450,000 federal grant.

A huge shelter will be built on the city’s wharf to protect riverboat passengers from the weather and give shelter to picnickers.

It could even serve as a performance space: something more permanent than the marqee used for events such as Murray Bridge’s Christmas carols, but not as expensive as the grand plan for a riverfront stage which was rejected by councillors five years ago.

Its design will be similar to a shelter which is about to be built next to the Murray Bridge Club.

Vehicles will still have access to the loop road along the wharf, as the shelter will be tall enough that cars and buses will be able to drive underneath.

It might not be the flashiest announcement but, as Mayor Brenton Lewis said, it would bring the council closer to completing its $38 million riverfront master plan.

“This is actually doing things, not talking about it,” he said.

The Murray Bridge council’s infrastructure and assets general manager, Heather Barclay, described the shelter as a “key foundational piece” of a planned tourism and history precinct.

Other pieces would include the city’s new war memorial, the wharf itself – which the council hoped to rebuild next – and possibly a visitor information centre and cafe.

“If we get this bit right, it builds on the rest,” she said.

“It’s the connection piece.”

In the longer term, the council also hopes to develop a play precinct near the bunyip and an accommodation and/or events precinct in the back half of Sturt Reserve.

It is currently waiting to hear whether it will get more federal funding for the project through the Building Better Regions Fund.

The same fund provided $1.3 million towards the first stage of work at Sturt Reserve and almost $500,000 towards Murray Bridge’s rowing centre.

Tony Pasin, second from left, congratulates Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation’s Chris Kropinyeri, Walter Jackson, Brittany Rigney and Derek Walker. Photo: Office of Tony Pasin.

Coorong parklets, Ngopamuldi nursery secure funding

Two other local projects also secured federal funding through the Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program.

Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation will get $250,000 for a system which will allow staff to more easily distribute fertiliser to the seedlings they grow at a nursery on Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge.

The corporation’s CEO, Walter Jackson, said the project would create jobs for Aboriginal people.

“The community is extremely excited to see them go ahead and expand into more opportunities,” he said.

The Coorong council will get $159,000 to establish “parklets” in its town centres.