The Rural City of Murray Bridge has celebrated the completion of several significant projects recently: the expansion of the Lerwin Aged Care Facility, the new Regional Rowing Centre on the river and the road to the new Thomas Foods International complex.
I encourage you to view videos of these events on the Rural City of Murray Bridge's YouTube to see the great work being undertaken in our city.
One of the next projects due for completion is the new Bridgeport Hotel.
In readiness for its opening, council has worked with landscape architects and the proprietors of the hotel to develop a footpath expansion and renewal plan that accommodates and complements the new development and the existing footpaths in Bridge Street.
On Tuesday night, March 9, council approved reallocation of some of the budget to deliver a new footpath linking the Old Bridge and Roundhouse to the redeveloped Bridgeport Hotel, a designated pedestrian crossing point between East Terrace and Railway Terrace, including minor alterations to the centre island to provide a centre refuge point for pedestrians.
Works will also develop a landscaping plan for the area between the Bridge and Railway Terrace.
This will continue our work on entrance beautification and further highlight the river frontage of Murray Bridge as a destination for locals and visitors.
Council has been closely monitoring proposed changes to the planning system in South Australia which is going through a period of transition.
This will see the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 and associated regulations replace the Development Act 1993 and its regulations, effective March 19, 2021.
With the new planning system becoming effective this month, council will no longer be the relevant authority for planning consent but will remain the relevant authority for building consent and full development approval.
On Tuesday night, council approved delegations required under the new Act to ensure council can still assess and complete development proposals which are lodged prior to the transition to the new system.
Council also received the monthly financial report to January 2021 reinforcing our strong financial position.
Total expenditure on key projects was $1017k, slightly less than the budget of $1115k, while year to date expenditure on capital projects was $22,888k, again slightly favourable compared to the revised budget of $23,346k.
This capital expenditure is significantly higher than any year prior to 2019-20 and reflects council's commitment to plan and deliver infrastructure improvements for our city.
One of the reasons we are in such a good financial position is the council's focus on commitment to good governance and internal controls.
To support the administration in this, on Tuesday night council signed off on a further three-year Internal Audit Program.
To be undertaken independently, the program covers the important areas of council's operations including Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, WHS, Infrastructure and Town Planning, Delivery of Economic Development and Cyber Security.
Council looks forward to receiving recommendations from the auditors so that we continue to deliver our programs with confidence.
I look forward to reporting on this in the future and to continued strong growth and development in our city.