One of the most important pieces of infrastructure in Australia now has a name to match its significance.
The bridge that connects Australia’s east with the west was officially unveiled as Joy Baluch AM Bridge on Friday.
Hundreds of people from near and far attended the ceremony to show their appreciation for the late mayor who had done so much for Port Augusta.
The ceremony was a celebration of the work Mrs Baluch had done for the community and acting mayor Phil Greagen was pleased to have such an important part of the city now carry the late mayor’s name.
Minister for State/Local Government Relations Gail Gago officially named the bridge and said it was a great moment.
Ms Gago acknowledged that Mrs Baluch was “the heart and soul of Port Augusta”.
“We all know how hard she fought her illness for a long time,” she said.
“She would have loved to be here.”
Ms Gago paid tribute to Mrs Baluch’s strength and leadership.
“Joy Baluch’s time as mayor will forever stand as testament to her strength, her intelligence and her commitment to her community,” she said.
“I am sure history will remember her as one of the great female leaders we have seen.
“It is entirely appropriate that we name this bridge after Joy because she, like the bridge, united this city, carried a great load and provided strong support to the community.”
Joy’s daughter Michelle spoke on behalf of the family and thanked everyone for coming.
Michelle said that in typical Joy fashion she was humbled when she found out the bridge would be named after her, asking “what did I do to deserve this honour?”.
The proud daughter paid tribute to her mother, suggesting she was truly one of a kind.
“There will be no other like mum,” she said.
“The mould was destroyed when she was born.”
After the unveiling ceremony the signs were promptly taken to the bridge and placed at both entrances so that motorists knew they were now crossing Joy’s bridge.