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The Murray Bridge Bridge that crosses the Murray
Murray Bridge is the fourth most populous city in South Australiamarker after Adelaidemarker, Mount Gambiermarker and Whyallamarker. It is approximately southeast of Adelaidemarker and 1 hour drive north of Meningie.

The city services a farming area including dairy, pigs, chickens, cereal crops and vegetables (including "stay crisp lettuces"). It is where the Princes Highway crosses the Murray Rivermarker on the main road and rail routes from Adelaide to Melbournemarker.

History

Murray Bridge is in the traditional lands of the Ngarrindjeri people. The first European explorer was Charles Sturt who camped here on 8 February 1830.

The first road bridge across the lower Murray was completed here in 1879 and has a 40 km/h (~25 mph) speed limit. The bridge also became a shared road and rail bridge in 1886 until the separate rail bridge was completed in 1925.

The Swanport Bridge was completed downstream in 1979, removing most through traffic from the historic bridge. The city was originally known as Mobilong, then Edwards Crossing before finally becoming Murray Bridge in 1924.

Growth

Murray Bridge has seen unprecedented growth in both population and economy, particularly in the last five years to 2006. From a 2001 census population of 14,048, new housing estates are popping up everywhere including the largest development "Pathways at Murray Bridge" by AV Jennings. It is planned that Murray Bridge's population will double by 2025. Current estimates suggest the 2009 population has exceeded 20,000.

Residents

According to the 2006 Census the population of the Murray Bridge census area was 18,364 people. Approximately 49.66% (9,120) of the population were female and, 50.34% (9,244) were male. 10.7% were born overseas, and only 4.4% were indigenous people.

Occupations of employed persons include: Managerial 13.8%; Professional 8.6%; Technical & Trade 13.6%; Community Service 9.5%; Clerical & Administrative 11.1% Sales & Marketing 9.6%; Machinery Operators & Drivers 7.3%; Labourers 25%; Other 1.5%. The most popular industries for employment were Meat and Meat Products (10.7%), School Education (4.4%) and Retail Trade (3.6%), while the unemployment rate was approx. 7.1%.

The median weekly household income was AUD$639 or more per week, compared with $924 in Adelaide. 13.3% of the population identified themselves as Lutheran, while a higher 24.7% identified with no religion at all.

Sport and recreation

In 1924 the Murray Bridge rowing team was chosen to represent Australia at the Paris Olympics. The Murray Cods as they were known won the Australian Eight Oared Championships (the King's Cup) and were invited to compete in a test race at Port Adelaidemarker between South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Although accustomed to rowing over 3 miles, the Murray Cods were able to defeat the other crews on the 1 mile and 420 yards (2km) course. The story of their fund-raising and exploits in Paris are detailed on the Australian Rowing History website [106228].Murray Bridge is also home to the River Murray Football League, which plays Australian rules football. The league consists of the Murray Bridge based clubs of Ramblers and Imperials and the district teams of Mypolonga, Mannummarker, Tailem Bendmarker, Jervois and Meningie.he was amazingIn 2005 the city's golf course, Murray Bridge Golf Club, held the State's premier regional junior team event, the Brett Ogle Cup (named after the Australian Professional golfer Brett Ogle). The home team, through the heroics of leading local juniors Constantine Papaevagelou and Craig McCulloch, went undefeated and qualified for the state final, losing narrowly. The team had not previously experienced such success; junior golf in the region has since obtained a higher profile.

Another sporting association in Murray Bridge is the Murray Bridge Amateur Swim Club (The Cods) which competes in meets with other clubs, as well as Country Championships (a large meet for all of the rural South Australian swim clubs) and state and national championships. However the long term future of the club is uncertain due to ongoing battles with the local council over pool opening times and high pool usage fees.

Murray Bridge is also the home of the Murray Bridge Racing Club,Murray Bridge & District Table Tennis Association, and holds the 24 hour Australian International Pedal Prix race annually in September.

Murray Bridge Lutheran Tennis Club plays both Lawn tennis (home based at Sturt Reserve) and Hard court Tennis based at the tennis courts behind the Lutheran Church on Swanport Road. The teams participate in Friday Night and Saturday afternoon games as well as having a large junior tennis following.

Murray Bridge also has a rich motor racing history. Established in 1958, Riverview Speedway is one of Australia's premier country dirt track ovals regularly hosting Australian title meetings in most racing categories including bikes and cars.

Murray Bridge is also known for its basketball. Having won numerous State Country Championships and many of its young players going on to represent South Australiamarker in the Nationals Comp. One 15yr old player has recently been picked for the Australian Institute of Sportmarker basketball camp in which she will travel to Canberramarker to participate.

Politics

State & Federal

2006 State Election
  Liberal 39.7%
  Labor 35.3%
  Family First 12.2%
  Greens 5.8%
  One Nation 3.8%
  Democrats 3.0%
2007 Federal Election
  Liberal 41.97%
  Labor 38.93%
  Family First 7.78%
  Greens 5.15%
  National 3.92%
  Democrats 2.25%


Murray Bridge is part of the state Electoral district of Hammond, which has been held since 2006 by Liberal MP Adrian Pederick. The seat is held by a margin of 24%. In federal politics, the city is part of the division of Barker, and has been represented by Liberal MP Patrick Secker since 1998. Barker is held with a margin of 19.10% and is considered safe-liberal. The results shown are from the largest polling station in Murray Bridge — which is located at Murray Bridge High School, on Lohmann Street.

Local

The Rural City of Murray Bridgemarker contains the city of Murray Bridge and suburbs: White Hill, Gifford Hill, Swanport, Long Flat, Riverglades, Avoca Dell, Willowbanks, SunnySide, Northern Heights, Rocky Gully, Mobilong and Monartomarker South.

Education

Local Schools include Unity College, Murray Bridge Primary & Junior Primary, Murray Bridge South Primary, Fraser Park Primary, St Joseph's Primary, Murray Bridge High and Murray Bridge Christian College.

Sister Cities

Murray Bridge has two sister cities, according to the Australian Sister Cities Association.

References

  1. The Road Bridge over the River Murray at Murray Bridge Thompson, M.H. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, September, 1976 pp189-196
  2. [1]
  3. SA 2006 election results and outcomes (PDF), (a) P.14 (d) P.13, State Electoral Office, South Australia, 2006. Retrieved on 25 June, 2008.
  4. Murray Bridge South Polling Booth, Division of Barker, House of Representatives Division First Preferences, 2007 Federal Election. Retrieved on 25 June, 2008.
  5. Sister Cities International. Retrieved on 2008-05-29


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