Mildura's Nowingi Place sound shell is the inspiration for a bold ideas for the redevelopment of Murray Bridge's riverfront.
The Victorian city's riverside performance venue has hosted everything from New Year's Eve celebrations to concerts by Silverchair and Guy Sebastian.
Mildura Mayor Glenn Milne said it had been worth the investment.
“In hot summers, it’s good to have an event in the evening when it has cooled down a bit, under the stars – there’s something nice about that,” he said.
“I think we paid a million dollars for it … in terms of a facility for the community, that’s not a big spend.
“People do like it, and it looks great when you see it from the bridge.”
People do like it, and it looks great when you see it from the bridge.Glenn Milne
The idea of building something similar in Murray Bridge, incorporating the old railway locomotive and carriages near Wharf Hill, cropped up when the city won $1 million from the state government as South Australia's 2010 Regional Centre for Culture.
But it did not feature prominently in a more recent consultation period, so councillors hesitated when they were asked to allocate $80,000 to a concept plan earlier this month.
"There's a lot of detail that hasn't been presented to elected members," Cr Airlie Keen said at a council meeting.
"There's widespread agreement that something needs to happen in the Wharf Hill area, but (this) I don't believe has buy-in from our community."
Cr Tyson Matthews said he would not support the idea until he saw a "hefty list" of events that could be staged at the venue.
Either way, Cr Jerry Wilson pointed out that anything involving the RX steam locomotive would have to get started soon, before it deteriorated beyond repair.
Council CEO Michael Sedgman said a riverfront performance venue could host Christmas carols, music festivals and river-based events.
“We’ve got a wonderful natural asset and we need to maximise the activation of that asset,” he said.
The project's potential cost has been estimated at $800,000.
The council would aim to attract funding from higher levels of government, but to do that it would need a concept plan drawn up by February.
Councillors will discuss the idea at a workshop on September 5 before deciding whether to go ahead with the design work.