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Southern Mallee District Council response measures to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented event in recent history.  

Southern Mallee District Council has a key role to play in limiting the impact of COVID-19 and is monitoring the situation very closely.

Council’s primary focus is to protect the health of residents and staff and to help minimise the spread of COVID-19. Evidence from around the world has shown that pre-emptive measures are extremely effective in containing the spread of the disease.

Our key objectives are to:

* Contain the impact of the disease

* Maintain a healthy workforce

* Provide leadership to the community

* Keep residents and business informed about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it

We encourage residents to:

* Remain calm

* Follow all state and federal government advice

* Implement social distancing measures, but not social isolation

* Look out for each other, check on your neighbours and provide assistance where necessary

It's important to remember, this is an extremely fluid situation and events are changing daily.

Council services

Effective 19 March 2020 Southern Mallee District Council has implemented the following range of measures to its operations. These measures are in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the health and safety of its staff and the community, while providing the continuity of vital local services.

Details of this are set out below:

Can I come to the Council office?

NO. Council’s Pinnaroo and Lameroo offices will be closed to the public. Council staff are still working and residents can contact staff by email or telephone for enquires and payments can be made over the phone or online. Council’s two depots are also closed to the public. This arrangement will be reviewed weekly.


Council staff will not be attending any non-essential meetings outside the Council area until further notice. Opportunities to join meetings by web-link will be utilised.

Council staff will not be attending any non-essential local community meetings until further notice.

Council hosted meetings will be cancelled or postponed until further notice.

Are our libraries still open?

Council supports library services in Geranium, Lameroo, and Pinnaroo. These facilities are managed by the Department of Education and therefore we are taking the advice from the State Government on this. In the meantime, we would encourage everyone (where possible) to set themselves up with OneCard membership whereby they can access free online borrowing/reading.

Are our pools still open?

NO. The two Council-run swimming pools in Lameroo and Pinnaroo will be closed for the season, with opening dates for next summer to be outlined at a later date.

Are our transfer stations open?

Council will maintain usual transfer station opening hours however payment must be made online or by phone after an invoice is issued. Cash payments will not be accepted. Residents are also encourage to minimise their use of the transfer stations.

What about our public toilets and other facilities?

OPEN. Council will keep all public toilets open and has increased the cleaning frequency of all public toilet facilities.

Will formal monthly council meetings still go ahead?

Council held its March ordinary meeting on 18 March 2020. A decision will be made in early April about the next meeting scheduled for 15 April 2020.

Is childcare still open?

YES. The Pinnaroo COGS and Lameroo COGS both remain open. Staff have implemented some changed practices to reduce risk to children, staff and community. No new casual bookings are being accepted. State and Commonwealth advice will continue to be monitored.

Is the Parilla accommodation facility open?

YES. The Parilla accommodation facility remains open. Staff have implemented some changed practices to reduce risk to guests, staff and community. Cleaning of the facility will be increased and information will be provided to guests. Relevant advice will continue to be monitored.


Community events and activities

Council is working closely with community groups. Council is encouraging all non-essential community events to be cancelled or postponed. Council is also working with community groups located in our community buildings to close until further notice. For example the Pinnaroo community gym and the Lameroo cinema have now closed. Council will waive any community rental for the period of closure.

Should my sporting club carry on with its season?

Most rural and regional sporting events, large and small are being cancelled and postponed. However, we suggest following the advice of your sports code authority (ie. SANFL, Netball SA, Cricket SA, Tennis SA, Bowls SA and others).

Health related business in Council’s community facilities

Council rents some of its community building spaces to health related businesses or essential services, such as the dentist and vet. These business are often essential to our community. Council will support these businesses to make case by case decisions about whether to remain open.


Council staff wellbeing?

Council is implementing a range of measures to support staff and in some instances this will include working from home or leave in the event of unexpected health issues with children, elderly relatives or themselves. We also have extra measures in place around the office to support a clean, well-sanitised environment. Any staff member presenting with cold/flu-like symptoms will be sent home immediately unless they have medical clearance.

Important information

Where can I find out more about COVID-19?

We suggest starting with SA Health. They have a great online portal set up with information for individuals, business, health workers and every other interest group. Follow the link here:

Where can I get testing for COVID-19?

Council is urging anyone who has travelled overseas to check the Australian Government’s self-isolation requirements online ( and for the community as a whole to observe stringent personal hygiene practices.

Should I send my child to school/childcare?

We suggest following the advice provided by your school or centre – they each have management plans for scenarios such as this and if closures occur, will be in line with policies set by the schools themselves, or by the Department for Education and Child Services. For updates, see here:

What should I do if I’m feeling unwell?

If you are severely unwell, such as having difficulty breathing, call 000 (Triple Zero).

If you have travelled anywhere overseas in the past 14 days and have COVID-19 symptoms, seek testing at a COVID-19 clinic or contact your GP (advise your GP of your travel history) and isolate yourself.

If you have NOT travelled overseas recently, but are feeling unwell, visit your usual health care provider. Avoid contact with others if you are unwell.

More information

Contact the National Coronavirus Information Hotline on 1800 020 080 for information about COVID-19.

NOTE: Council will continue to disseminate information via our Facebook page and in local media publications. Information will also be displayed on our office doors or on public notice boards.

Dismiss alert

District History

Old Main Street Lameroo

The district was first farmed in the late part of the 1800's. However, it was not until 1906, that viable farming activities came into existence due to the introduction of rail services and pioneering families moving into the district and permanently settling.
Settlement of the Lameroo and Pinnaroo Districts began in earnest in 1904, after the Pinnaroo Railway Act had been passed by the South Australian Parliament in October 1903. Land had been sold for wheat-farming around Pinnaroo in 1895 and around Lameroo in 1897, but most of those who purchased land abandoned it because it was impossible to cart wheat to market across nearly a hundred kilometres of sandy country to the nearest railway at Tailem Bend. Apart from those areas in close proximity to the Murray River and its river steamers, this was the first land offered for wheat-farming in the Murray Mallee Region, and it was isolated by vast tracts of unoccupied scrub in all directions.
The railway was completed in June 1906 and formally opened on 8 September 1906. Between 1904 and 1907 vast areas of land were taken up. The wheat crops produced exceeded the expectations of the District's staunchest advocates.



Horse Cart

The land along the railway, settled between 1905 and 1907, is light loamy country with some sandhills. Originally it was used almost exclusively for wheat; but sheep were introduced in the 1920s, and between 1935 and 1950 there was a massive swing from wheat to barley. Since that time, land both north and south of the original settled area has been opened up.
Going north from the original settlement, the soil becomes sandier, and development was slow until big machinery able to clear scrub quickly become available. Much of the land around the Peebinga railway, was not brought into full production until the era of mechanised farming after the second World War.
Settlement from 1905 to 1907 went as far south as the land was suitable for developed pasture, but clearing scrub to sow pasture was uneconomical when the only motive power for clearing was a horse team. This land had to wait until tractors were available to roll down the scrub. Clearing began after the Second World War and went ahead with the coming of the big crawler tractors and anchor chains in the 1950s. Large areas of previously unoccupied country now carry up to a sheep to the acre (0-4 hectare) on sown pasture. Development continued until the early 1980s.
New land has been brought into production almost constantly throughout the Council's history. As new land is developed and new homesteads and independent properties are established, new roads are required. Providing new roads and upgrading existing roads to meet the standards required for modern motor vehicles and school buses has been a constant task for the Council. Almost no limestone occurs naturally in the Council District, and so the stone for roadmaking has to be carted long distances, greatly increasing costs.


The town of Lameroo grew rapidly in the post-war period. Part of the growth was the result of District expansion. The growth of Lameroo can also be attributed to the decline of the small towns which had grown up around the railway sidings, both along the Pinnaroo line and the Peebinga line (opened in 1914) about 16 kilometres north. A considerable area of farming land on the outskirts of the town has been subdivided for housing. Today, Lameroo has a population of 550 and sporting facilities, a hospital, and aged person's hostel, and so on, have been developed to service a very large area.
Pinnaroo township is located on the site of one of the original pastoral leases. It began to develop in earnest in the 1900s, as the coming of the railway attracted more and more settlers to the area. The first shop was opened in 1905, and the first bank, hotel and school were all established in the following year. Today Pinnaroo is a town with some 620 residents who enjoy up-to-date facilities for shopping, sports and health welfare.
Construction of the first Common Effluent Drainage Scheme to be installed in a South Australian country town was begun in the township of Pinnaroo in 1964. During the following years portions of the town were gradually linked up to the system, to the point where in 1985, approximately 90 per cent of the residential area was connected or could be connected to the scheme.
During the 1960s the Council was heavily involved in the construction of the Pinnaroo-Bordertown Road and the Pinnaroo-Loxton Road, which provide a thoroughfare for traffic between the Riverland and the south east of South Australia.
It was also during this period that the Council and the Pinnaroo Chamber of Commerce created the caravan park and the Pinnaroo Animal Park and Bird Aviary.
Parilla township was proclaimed in 1907, and like Pinnaroo owed its initial growth to the construction of the railway. Between 1907 and 1912 the town developed rapidly, with the construction of general stores, a public hall, a school, a church and other buildings. Now, with a population of 45, Parilla is a mixture of the old age and the new, its modern residential buildings providing a contrast to the many reminders of the past.
Geranium, is the location of the area school that serves the western part of the Council area and much of the Coorong Council further west. Bulk handling facilities keep its railway siding active. Today Geranium is a town with 60 residents, and has hall, two churches, a store, a garage, extensive sporting facilities and the only other bowling green in the area make it an important local centre, and an attractive township for farmers to retire to. In an era of centralisation to big towns, Geranium's future as a small centre seems assured.


Local Government

Local Government in the area was established in October 1908 when the District Council of Pinnaroo was proclaimed. At that time the Council was based at Lameroo.
In 1913 the Council boundaries were reviewed with the Pinnaroo District Council remaining at Lameroo and a new Pinnaroo East Council being formed and based at Pinnaroo. During 1919 the situation was reviewed with the result being the change of names of the Councils. Pinnaroo District Council was renamed to Lameroo District Council and Pinnaroo East District Council was renamed to Pinnaroo District Council.
Following a review of local government by the State Government, Councils in South Australia were reduced from 118 to 68. The District Councils of Lameroo and Pinnaroo agreed to merge and on the 1 July 1997 the Southern Mallee District Council was formed.


  • Alan Jones, Pioneers and Progress: A History of the Lameroo District 1981.
  • The Price of History, The Community Committee 1986.
  • Twenty-fifth year of Geranium Area School, 1990.
  • Geranium CWA History, 2000.
  • State Library.
  • Baptists in Pinnaroo country.
  • Friedrich Wurfel family history 1800-1982.
  • German Charlie: man of the Mallee
  • Guide to sources on Pinnaroo held at the Mort
  • Gurrai to Peebinga: the story of a Mallee Comm.
  • Land of the Golden Grain: souvenir Pinnaroo.
  • Parilla Well: a short history of South Australia.
  • Pinnaroo: land of promise:reflections.
  • Pinnaroo: miracle of the Mallee
  • Pinnaroo Celebrates
  • Story of the Mallee
  • Having a Go!: Bill Boyd's Mallee
  • Poems of the Mallee
  • A Regional Profile: Southern Mallee (DC) South Australia
  • Parilla: a history of the land and its people
  • A Mallee Pioneer.Oram Gwyn Sept. 1986
  • Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Lameroo - fifty years of progress, 1956.
  • Parrakie ..... A brief history 1906-1986.
  • The price of history: the story of Geranium and District 1906-1986.
  • Pioneers and Progress: a history of the Lameroo District compiled by : Jones, Alan. 1981.
  • Hammer and Tongs: Koch, Roy.