RDA Murraylands and RiverlandEconomic profile
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RDA Murraylands and Riverland region

About the area

Name origin

Berri is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning "a wide bend in the river". Barmera is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning “lake” or “place of king spears”.

Location and boundaries

The Berri Barmera Council area is located in the Riverland Region of South Australia, about 230 kilometres north-east of the Adelaide CBD. The Berri Barmera Council area is bounded by Unincorporated South Australia in the north, the Renmark Paringa Council area in the east, the District Council of Loxton Waikerie area in the south-east, Unincorporated South Australia in the south-west, and the District Council of Loxton Waikerie area in the west.

Included areas

The Berri Barmera Council area includes the localities of Barmera, Berri, Cobdogla, Glossop, Katarapko, Loveday, Monash (part), Overland Corner (part) and Winkie.

Economic region
Berri Barmera Council area

Land use

The Berri Barmera Council area is predominantly rural, with small townships at Barmera and Berri, and smaller settlements at Cobdogla, Glossop and Loveday. Land is used largely for horticulture and viticulture, particularly citrus, fruit and grape growing. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 480 square kilometres.

Transport

The Berri Barmera Council area is served by the Sturt Highway.

Settlement history

European settlement of the area dates from the late 1830s, although population was minimal until the 1850s, with land used mainly for grazing. Growth took place during the early 1900s, spurred by the establishment of the Berri Irrigation Area in 1921, the opening of the railway line in 1928, and soldier settlement after the war. Fruit growing and viticulture became important industries. An Internment Camp was established at Loveday in 1941, housing up to 5,400 internees and prisoners of war and 1,500 Australian Military personnel, until its closure in 1946. Growth continued from the post-war years, with the population of the Council area rising to about 7,700 in 1961 and then to about 10,900 in 1986. The population was relatively stable during the 1990s, and then declined slightly, falling from about 11,200 in 2001 to about 10,500 in 2011.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Berri Barmera Council area were the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal people.

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