Our top 10 stories of 2020
Marked by a devastating bushfire season and a global pandemic, 2020’s “unprecedented” tag has been the understatement of the year.
Thankfully, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom. Here at Onkaparinga Now, the year’s 10 most clicked stories were a mix of exciting new projects and inspiring residents and local businesses—proof we’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2021.
City of Onkaparinga’s annual ON Business Awards, which recognise local business excellence, garnered a huge response this year. More than 3800 nominations were made by the public for more than 340 local businesses, with more than 8000 votes cast for those shortlisted before 16 winners were crowned. The fact this was the year’s most read story is further testament to the community’s amazing support for local businesses in 2020, which continues through council’s Go South Go Local campaign.
There were plenty of big projects that got people clicking in 2020, but none more so than the proposed shared-use trail along the cliffs at Port Willunga. Once finished it, it’ll connect with an existing Coast Park trail section to create a continuous 6.8-kilometre path from Maslin to Aldinga Beach. It’s subject to council and matching state government funding, but that didn’t stop people drooling at the prospect of stunning cliff-top views.
Council’s Morphett Vale positive ageing centre Wakefield House has changed many lives in its 31-year history, so it’s no surprise this story on its programs, staff and volunteers struck a chord. Readers later flocked to this story about how Wakefield and Elizabeth House pivoted to delivering meals to vulnerable and socially isolated residents during COVID-19. Inspiring stuff.
A timely one to revisit as we approach the summer holidays, 2020’s fourth most-read story was this piece on SA Water’s innovative and interactive map, created in partnership with councils to help the community find cool parks when it’s hot outside.
The March announcement that a new recycling facility would be built at Seaford Heights attracted lots of hits, with the environment and ratepayers set to reap the benefits. Built through the Southern Region Waste Resource Authority—a joint subsidiary of Onkaparinga, Holdfast Bay and Marion Councils—the news only got better this month when it was announced a renewable energy hub will be built at the site, generating enough energy to power 4400 homes.
There have been some big wins for sports clubs in 2020, with upgrades planned or underway across the city, including Aldinga, Cherry Gardens/Ironbank, Flagstaff Hill and Hackham. Port Noarlunga was another big winner, with council approving a $3.1 million redevelopment proposal for its Sports Ground, subject to external funding. There was no one more excited than favourite son, Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, who took to Instagram to share the news and our images.
Some of the most popular stories on Onkaparinga Now are those that illuminate beautiful or little-known gems you can explore in your own backyard. Case in point—this yarn on the historical Clarendon Weir. Pack the car!
Another destination story to make it into the top 10, readers were enticed by the gorgeous images of the Onkaparinga River National Park (which also graced the cover of our spring magazine issue). Time to hit the trail!
Onkaparinga residents, community groups and businesses have been calling for a trail linking the foreshores of Port Noarlunga and Christies Beach for years, so the state government’s announcement to match council funding for the Witton Bluff Base Trail in May was welcome news. Final design is now underway, with construction set to begin in April.
A bittersweet story to round out the top 10, the passing of the City of Onkaparinga’s inaugural mayor, Ray Gilbert OAM (aged 92), touched a lot of people, who took to social media to share memories of the great man. Ray’s words from a 2006 council magazine interview offer a glimpse into a man with an unwavering dedication to his community.
2020's ON Business Award winners.
An artist impression of the Port Willunga North Coast Park trail.
Playing pool at positive ageing centre, Wakefield House.
The scoreboard at Port Noarlunga Sports Ground.
A view of the stunning Clarendon Weir.