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Tailem Bend sits on a cliff overlooking the mighty River Murray. It was proclaimed in 1887 and became a major railway town with lines servicing the Murray/Mallee area. With the reduction of railway passenger and freight services, Tailem Bend gained a new lease of life providing facilities for the steady stream of road traffic to and from the south-east and the eastern states. A diverse farming community and several local industries, including a new water filtration plant, support the town.
The name Tailem comes from an Aboriginal word possibly meaning 'bend', and relating to the wide bend in the River Murray as it changes direction and flows towards Lake Alexandrina.