The future of Murray Bridge's railway land is likely to be decided later this year, though two very different outcomes are possible.
On one side of the debate: the South Australian Heritage Council, which gave the precinct a provisional heritage listing on May 7. On the other: an unnamed developer with an interest in both the railway land and neighbouring private properties.
At a council meeting on June 22, Mayor Brenton Lewis said he had been a party to discussions with all major property owners in the area between the railway line and the River Murray about unlocking its potential.
"We've identified an investor who is working with the State Government and local government," he said.
"We've made sure the State Government and the investor know council has an interest in the Round House, the railway buildings and the station and wants to make sure the stone buildings are protected.
"We ... want to get that land into a state acceptable to our community."
Long-serving Cr Clem Schubert called the prospect of something being done with the land "the most exciting (thing) for as long as I've been in council".
In confirming the heritage listing, and the precinct's designation as a place of archaeological significance, South Australian Heritage Council chair Judith Carr said it had played an important part in the State's industrial history.
"The River Murray was an important economic artery for South Australia, and Murray Bridge played a special role as the site of the first road crossing point, as well as the location of an important early wharf," she said.
In particular, the listing said, there were likely to be artefacts of moderate to high significance relating to construction materials, practices and designs dating back to the 1920s or earlier.
The listing names a number of buildings and former building sites around Railway Terrace, Hume Reserve and the river, including the 1874 Round House, railway station, road and rail bridges and Wharf Hill.
The area also has historical significance to the Ngarrindjeri.
- Details: To have your say on the provisional heritage listing, write to Executive Officer, South Australian Heritage Council, GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA 5001 by close of business on August 7.