SA Water tank mural at White Hill, near Murray Bridge, canned

Canvas: One of SA Water's tanks on Adelaide Road at White Hill. Photo: File.
Canvas: One of SA Water's tanks on Adelaide Road at White Hill. Photo: File.

Better a boring concrete tank than a distracting artwork.

That is the feedback the Murray Bridge council received about a proposal to paint a mural on SA Water's storage tanks at White Hill.

For almost two years the tanks at the top of Adelaide Road, opposite the Old Princes Highway turnoff, had been considered a possible site for a large-scale artwork to impress passing motorists.

But now, after encouraging a change in SA Water policy that would have allowed the mural to go ahead, the council has pulled the plug on the project.

The council's community advisory committee, made up of members of the public, was in favour of the idea of a mural but opposed to the location.

Instead, the committee recommended a mural be painted somewhere else – perhaps at Murray Bridge's skate park when an expansion is finished – and that trees be planted around the water tanks instead.

Councillor Airlie Keen said safety had been the main concern with the mural idea.

"What separates this and the Coonalpyn silos (where a mural is currently being painted) is they're not on a high-speed highway interchange," she said at the council’s January 30 meeting.

"I've had countless examples from our community of how dangerous it can be – it’s a dangerous intersection.

"I don't see it as council's role to go about creating road safety hazards.

“This is not a safe site for a tourist mural.”

A push to keep the idea alive was defeated with a 5-3 vote.

I don't see it as council's role to go about creating road safety hazards. This is not a safe site for a tourist mural.

Cr Airlie Keen

Cr Karen Eckermann's original concept, two years ago, had been for a Ngarrindjeri artwork on the tanks, one which would relate to water and the river.

The council had already received advice from SA Water about how the project would be organised and funded.

It would have cost up to $50,000, but a local artist would have been prioritised for the work to ensure that money stayed within the community.