It's no accident that Morialta remains a delighful corner of suburban Adelaide. Active residents have worked hard to maintain and enhance the area's character over the past 50 years.
These are some of the MRA's key achievements:
The 20-year battle to underground Morialta’s power lines was the defining achievement of the Morialta Residents’ Association. The energetic campaign to remove the unsightly stobie poles and place electricity and telephone cables below ground was pivotal in conserving the environmental ambience of our tree-clad streets and gardens.
It was achieved in the face of persistent bureaucratic obstacles, financed largely by residents themselves and stands as a testament to the power of motivated community groups who stick to their goals.
With support from the then East Torrens Council and a few key Members of Parliament the campaign from 1970 to 1990 was ultimately successful.
The devestating 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, which came midway through
the MRA’s 20-year campaign, delivered a sobering boost to the MRA’s cause – the authorities had to start to acknowledge the risks inherent in overhead power lines in bush-dense suburban settlements and make the living environment safe.
ETSA had its own solution which is still evident today – either cut down the trees or massively prune them. A stark illustration of this heavy-handed approach is offered just across Morialta’s border with Campbelltown, where native trees along Stradbroke Road opposite the lower car park of the Morialta Conservation Park (pictured below right), are routinely pollarded and pruned to keep them clear of power lines.
Happily that heavy-handed solution is not necessary in Morialta.
The Morialta Residents' Association has worked with the Adelaide Hills Council to revegetate the Spring Gully Creek, running along Marola Avenue, planting local native species and undertaking weed control.
The aim is to assist with erosion control, improving habitat and aesthetics and to attract fauna back to the area, including frogs, the Superb Fairy Wren and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.
In early June 2007, members of the MRA observed a “For Sale” sign offering 30 hectares of privately owned land, known as Lot 100, that should always have been an integral part of the Morialta Conservation Reserve.
This land included the whole north eastern face of the Morialta Gorge from the entrance to the Reserve and parts of Fourth Creek. In some parts of the Park, walkers were actually trespassing without knowing it!
Morialta Residents were progressively joined in their spirited public campaign by other lobby groups and a number of State and Federal members of Parliament.
A determined media campaign helped swing the Government’s decision in favour of the Park. The eventual purchase provided enough land to take the boundary of the Reserve to the top of the northern ridge of the Morialta Gorge – what the MRA has called the “natural boundary” of the Reserve – and to have the length of Fourth Creek finally back in public ownership.
The purchase ensures that the Park’s natural attributes are preserved, that inapproriate use and development of an area facing into the park is prevented and unimpeded public access to the deeper area of the gorge is maintained.