Wharf Hill performing arts stage proposal vetoed by Murray Bridge councillors

Mildura's Nowingi Place was the inspiration for a proposed performing arts space on Murray Bridge's riverfront.

Mildura's Nowingi Place was the inspiration for a proposed performing arts space on Murray Bridge's riverfront.

Murray Bridge councillors have vetoed a proposal to build a performing arts stage on the city's riverfront.

A stage would have been built on the wharf, facing the tree-studded amphitheatre between there and Ridley's feed mill, possibly incorporating some of the old railway carriages nearby.

The idea was proposed by community members in 2010 and cropped up again earlier this year, when $80,000 was set aside for a concept design.

But councillors last week voted not to spend that money, saying the project did not gel with the careful planning that was going into the rest of the riverfront.

Cr Clem Schubert said he could not believe the council would consider such an "ad-hoc", "mad" venture.

"We've got a sound shell on the main street, I don't know if it has even been used yet," he said.

"We can't keep spending money without some kind of guarantee or surety.

"What are we going to get out of it, and do we really need it?"

Cr Airlie Keen raised a long list of concerns about what she called a "disingenuous cobbling-together of themes councillors weren't consulted about", including the lack of demand for it, the orientation of the stage, the lack of nearby toilets, and insufficient benefits for river tourism.

She suggested the former landfill site at the back of Sturt Reserve be used instead.

This is a disingenuous cobbling-together of themes councillors weren't consulted about. - Cr Airlie Keen

"No trees would need to be cut down and no views blocked," she said.

"Clearly the time is coming when the council will have to contemplate the landfill's closure and a post-closure plan."

Cr Jerry Wilson pointed out that Murray Bridge RSL had proposed building a memorial in the area earmarked for the performance space.

Mayor Brenton Lewis and CEO Michael Sedgman both defended the proposal, saying it was consistent with policies the council had previously agreed upon, but councillors voted unanimously against it.

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