Murray Bridge council to review all riverfront land after Wildens Way debacle

Photo: Peri Strathearn.
Photo: Peri Strathearn.

The Murray Bridge council will double-check on the status of all its riverfront land as a result of the Wildens Way debacle.

The council is currently awaiting legal advice about the status of a row of shacks on Wildens Way, next to Long Island Reserve, after it agreed to sell them without realising it may not legally have been able to do so.

Councillors voted to designate the property as community land in 2007, meaning it could not be sold without the public being consulted; but the property was never listed on the council's community land register, nor was the listing noted on the property's title.

A report on all the council's riverfront properties will be prepared in the new year, at the suggestion of Cr Airlie Keen.

Councillors ordered a review of all council-owned riverfront properties at their meeting on December 9.

Cr Airlie Keen, who proposed it, simply said the review would be "topical".

Meanwhile, criticism of the decision to sell the land had continued earlier that day.

A handful of residents gathered at Long Island Reserve to meet Cr Mat O'Brien, who had called for feedback on the idea.

Among them was Graham Hallandal, who argued that the vacant blocks among the shacks should already be open to the public, and the overflow from Long Island Reserve directed down there on busy days.

"This place is already ready to expand," he said.

"That land is needed now."

Another resident, who declined to be named, argued that the council could not give away public riverfront land just because it was afraid of being sued by the prospective buyer.

"Wait him out," she said.

"He's only got 40-ish years left.

"Wait him out and knock (the shacks) down."

The shack owners' leases over the land are due to expire in the 2060s, at which point they could be knocked down and made part of a larger public reserve, or leased to cafes or other businesses.

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