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Protecting the heritage of Milang

The Fleurieu App

Staff Reporters

15 June 2024, 4:04 AM

Protecting the heritage of Milang Milang's Post & Telegraph Office on Luard Street circa 1920. Image courtesy Alexandrina Council.

Alexandrina Council is asking the community for its views on a planning Code Amendment intended to protect the heritage of the former thriving river port town of Milang.

The town has a small number of state heritage-listed buildings, but no Local Heritage buildings or places have ever been listed.

In March this year, Planning Minister Nick Champion granted approval to the council to initiate a Code Amendment to address this lack.

This followed comprehensive research that revealed many of the residential and civic buildings constructed between the 1850s and 1900 – when the River Murray was a major trade route - remain intact in Milang and invaluably contribute to the character of the town.

The council’s Milang Local Heritage Code Amendment seeks to list several buildings, places and items, and establish a Historic Area Overlay to protect the substantial heritage in the

lakeside town.

Two local information sessions will offer the community the opportunity to ask questions of council staff about the Code Amendment. 

They will be held at the Milang Institute, on Coxe Street,  on Tuesday 18 June from 10am to 12noon and on Wednesday 3 July from 3pm to 5pm. Each session will start with a presentation.

“Protecting and promoting Alexandrina’s history is a priority for our council, and Milang is one of our towns that has much of its early heritage still intact,” says Mayor Keith Parkes.

“The early character of Milang is evident in its original subdivision pattern and surrounding parklands, and the historic buildings which remain from the 1850s to the early 1900s when Milang was a town for the district and a thriving port for the growing River Murray trade.

“This main period of development in Milang has left a rich legacy of buildings, including prominent public buildings and churches and many private residences of varying degrees of scale and detail, which create the town’s heritage character."

Milang was first surveyed in 1853 and in the ensuing decade, two hotels, a jetty, a steam mill, a store, a chapel and a post office and many homes were built.

With the advent of the railway, and the difficulties of safely navigating the Murray Mouth, the height of the River Murray trade had passed by the 1920s.

From the early days, the town has been involved in tourism, including cruising and regattas on the lake and River Murray, and the development of a caravan park and, in

the early 20th century, shacks on the foreshore.

In 2023 Council became the first regional council in South Australia to endorse a full- scale Heritage Strategy and Action Plan.

For further information about heritage in Alexandrina visit the council website.

Community consultation on the Milang Local Heritage Code Amendment closes at 5pm on Friday 12 July.

A report on the public feedback will then be presented to both Alexandrina Council and the state government.

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