Better management of waterfront reserves in Murray Bridge is expected to drive economic development while protecting environmental, cultural heritage and amenity values at key locations.
The Rural City of Murray Bridge has drafted a Water-Based Recreation Management Plan to guide the future development and conservation of the river, which is open for consultation.
Riverfront reserves were assessed for the plan, with detailed analysis presented on each location.
The reserves which were evaluated were:
- Woodlane Reserve
- Toora Reserve
- Avoca Dell Reserve
- Thiele Reserve
- Rocky Gully Wetlands
- Hume Reserve
- Sturt Reserve
- Long Island Reserve (and Long Island)
- Tumbella Drive Reserve
- Swanport Reserve
- Swanport Aquatic Centre
- Swanport Wetlands
The plan shows some key recommendations which include creating new water-based recreation hubs to relieve some of the pressure from reserves which are currently reaching high capacity.
There is also a proposition of personal watercraft activity zones in some areas as well as an unpowered water activity hub.
Council community development general manager Kristen Manson said community feedback was key in helping to provide direction for the future of the reserves and water-based activities on the river.
"The recommendations are based on community input and will provide Council with direction for potential waterfront investment. Several projects supporting water-based recreation are already underway and these will complement the Plan nicely," Ms Manson said.
"Some of the recommendations will require further research to establish ultimate viability - including feedback from the community about whether this fits with what they would like to see happen along this stretch of the Murray."
Public consultation on the plan will finish on Monday, June 1, at 5pm.
For more information or to provide feedback visit letstalk.sa.gov.au
Establish a new water-based recreation 'hub' to the north
Presently there are significant pressures on the most accessible and popular riverfront reserves and adjacent sections of river, particularly during peak periods such as weekends, public and school holidays. Such reserves include Long Island Reserve, Avoca Dell Reserve and Thiele Reserve. The development of Toora Reserve will establish a new water-based recreation hub for community and visitors to access the river.
Establish a new water-based recreation 'hub' to the south
Swanport Reserve and the adjacent Aquatic Centre could present an excellent opportunity to establish a new hub to the south, building on existing water-based recreation infrastructure at both sites. Alternatively, SA Water IS currently in the process of disposing of land previously accommodating the water treatment plant, in an area to the immediate south of Long Island, and beyond the narrow river channels.
Continue to develop Sturt Reserve to accommodate major water-based recreation events and establish an unpowered water-based recreation hub in the region
Council is currently progressing with detail design components of the Sturt Reserve Master Plan. Key components include the Regional Rowing Facility and associated landing/launching facilities, new boat ramp and associated vehicle and trailer parking.
Progressively develop other riverfront reserves
A range of plans for various riverfront reserves have been developed over recent years, with proposals implemented to varying degrees. Broadly these development proposals continue to be relevant, and are supported in principle; many proposals that are yet to be implemented will address priority needs and reflect many of the suggestions raised by the community and key stakeholders during consultation processes (eg toilet amenity upgrades, improved accessibility, DDA compliance).
Further investigate the establishment of a Personal Water Craft activity zone within RCMB jurisdiction
The intention of this type of activity zone is not to exclude the use of Personal Water Craft beyond the confines of such a zone, but to identify and promote an area where activities such as 'irregular riding' or 'freestyling' (eg donuts, circles, sharp turns, wave jumping, weaving) can be safely conducted without impinging on the experiences of other river recreators.
Improved Communications Strategy
There are significant pressures being exerted on the most accessible and popular riverfront reserves and adjacent sections of river, in particular Long Island Reserve, Avoca Dell Reserve and Thiele Reserve. Concerns in relation to user conduct, inappropriate behaviours on the river and conflict between different water-based recreation user groups have also been outlined above. Working in partnership with key stakeholders, peak bodies and industry representatives will also assist in communicating accurate information to a broader audience.
.Provide in principle support to other private water-based recreation ventures within RCMB
Where private ventures associated with water-based recreation comply with the guiding principles set out in this plan (and secure all other necessary regulatory and planning approvals and permits), these proposals should be supported in principle, recognising that several privately owned facilities located along the river also facilitate access onto the river, and also provide many other facilities that support visitation to the region.