A RENEWED push for improvements at the coastal township of Middle Beach has seen the formation of a new working party.
The Friends of Middle Beach (FOMB) group will become an incorporated body following a community meeting in Two Wells on April 10, which saw around 30 people attend to discuss issues affecting the seaside community.
Leading the meeting was John Drexel, a Middle Beach resident of more than 20 years, who highlighted the importance of working together for the benefit of the broader community.
Mr Drexel acknowledged the work done by previous local groups, including the Middle Beach Boat Owners and Progress Club, the Mallala Foreshore Advisory Committee, the Two Wells Regional Action Team and the Salt Creek Remediation Working Party to improve the area for local residents and visitors.
Mr Drexel gave a short summary of the achievements in the area so far and highlighted a range of projects FOMB could become involved with in the future.
These included sealing Middle Beach Road, raising the road height above the salt flats, construction of a levee behind the rear row of shacks and the introduction of mains water to the township.
Re-establishing the Samphire Walking Trail was also a priority, as was building a shelter and barbecue area near the boat ramp, remediation of 400 meters of Salt Creek and improving access to the boat ramp.
Adelaide Plains Council representatives John Lush, Terry Keen, Kay Boon and mayor, Mark Wasley attended the meeting, while APC CEO James Miller was an apology.
Local Middle Beach resident, FOMB working party member, and former councillor Eddie Stubing, read out a letter on Mr Miller’s behalf.
Mr Miller’s letter stated while no money had been set aside by APC in the 2019/20 budget for the sealing of Middle Beach Road – the towns’ only road in and out – it was important to recognise the council’s road matrix system.
The state of Middle Beach Road was a big concern to many of those gathered, with much discussion around this one issue alone.
“Council really have to do something about setting up infrastructure to Middle Beach before it (growth) happens, not after,” Bronte Poulton stated.
“I see this as an open letter,” Mr Stubing said about the CEO’s letter.
“It’s not a closed shop.
“What I’m suggesting is that we be patient about the sealing of the road and that we have a conversation with the council about how we can move forward.”
In response, APC mayor Mark Wasley said he understood the passion in the room for the Middle Beach area.
“I can see that there’s a social connection here,” Mr Wasley said.
“I see there’s a lot of potential there and yes we will try to continue to work on roads and infrastructure.”
With regard to improving access for boats at the current boat ramp, which was installed in 2010, Mr Drexel said there were many steps to be taken.
In its current state the ramp is only able to be used on one side due to a build up of sea grass on the Eastern side, and only at high tide.
“I’ve seen many boats bogged in the seagrass when they’ve tried to use the Eastern side of the ramp,” he said.
Mr Drexel said dredging around 400 meters of Salt Creek and a realignment of the design parameters of the boat ramp was needed to improve this issue.
“It’s a major project,” he said.
Lori Hunt and her husband Jason recently bought a shack in the Middle Beach township.
Lori said it was the perfect place for her family of four young children to relax and enjoy the outdoors but improvements were necessary to attract more visitors to the area.
“This is our local beach,” she said.
“We absolutely love it here, the kids have a ball.”
Julie Henderson of Two Wells attended this year’s Australia Day picnic at Middle Beach and said she’d love to see similar events held at the beach.
“I’d like to see lots of special events being held down there with better facilities,” she said.
“We need something to encourage people and let them know that it’s a nice place to come and visit.”
Mr Drexel acknowledged the efforts of Lori and Jason Hunt, Eddie Stubing, Kellie Holmes, Julie McCabe, Julie Henderson and Kerry Faggotter in driving the FOMB initiative.
For information regarding the Friends of Middle Beach group email firstname.lastname@example.org.