Letters to the editor: December 5, 2019

Graham Hallandal stands on the riverfront at Long Island Reserve, with the Wildens Way shacks in the background. Photo: Peri Strathearn.
Graham Hallandal stands on the riverfront at Long Island Reserve, with the Wildens Way shacks in the background. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

The land along Wildens Way is owned by the people of the rural city.

As such, it should never be sold, as this city will grow and pressure on the river will increase into the future.

Just look at the housing developments, including the racecourse area - all these people are entitled to use the river, as well as the visitors.

Sturt Reserve caters for the non-boaters; Thiele, Avoca, Hume and Long Island are for the use of boaters.

If the land at Wildens Way is sold, future councils - on behalf of the community - will never have the opportunity to expand Long Island Reserve to cater for the needs of the growing city.

This will not happen quickly, but the opportunity should still be there for the future.

How our current council and councillors could not see this need shows us that money, in the short term, speaks louder than common sense.

The money from this sale will be gone on Sturt Reserve or other projects - while worthy - and leave the future with nothing.

If this land is sold it will never benefit the community, only the wealthier people who can afford the private "shacks".

We urge the council and our elected councillors to stop this sale, as the whole process, we believe, is flawed.

No public consultation seems to have been done until after the sale has been approved, given the wording of your survey: "do you support council proceeding with the sale in accordance with the method of sale?"

We believe it should have gone out to the public when the developer first approached council and long before meetings were held in private with the developer.

Only in this way would the community, which uses this reserve now and would into the future, have had a chance to have their say and maybe save the land for the generations to come.

Council's own video showcases the river for fun and recreation, with lots of boating activities shown as one of the major drawcards for visitors from SA, interstate and overseas.

This video looks good and Sturt Reserve will be fun for those without boats, but sadly the rest will need to go somewhere else when the reserves are full, as happens now.

Janet Ticehurst, Murray Bridge

How could councillors contemplate Wildens Way sale?

I strenuously object to our council selling the 16 shack sites located down river from Long Island Reserve with access via Wildens Way.

Once this land has gone into private hands it is lost to the community of Murray Bridge forever.

We live in a growing community and the vision of council should be to see all the land along the riverfront retained as public land for public access and use for us, our children and our great-great-grandchildren.

Public should have access to at least the 30 metres of land abutting the river's edge for its whole length - that which has not already been forfeited.

Previous surveys have clearly shown that the value of land in the area would improve with more recreation and public facilities along the length of our river.

How can any of our councillors be so short-sighted to even contemplate selling this land for such short-term gain?

I urge those who are for this proposal to seriously think about the long-term disadvantage this will be to our area.

To those who are against selling our precious riverfront, please utilise every resource you can muster to prevent this rape of our beautiful city.

Joy Burgess, Murray Bridge