Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 November 2018) . . Page.. 5004 ..
I want to make it very clear that the commander of the 1st AIF at Gallipoli, Major-General William Bridges, died of his wounds on 18 May, after having been shot by a Turkish sniper. He was one of the first ashore at Anzac Cove. He actually tried to withdraw the troops there and suggested that they be withdrawn, but that was overruled. He was regularly on the front lines; indeed on a daily basis. We ought to be very careful before we smear every general from World War I as supposedly “hoarding” people to their deaths. We need to be very clear and understand the sort of men that we are talking about. If Ms Cody would like to, she can go up to Mount Pleasant, where General Bridges is buried, and reflect on what sort of a man he was, as on many of the generals who commanded Australian soldiers in World War I.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (5.03): The Greens will be supporting Ms Cody’s motion today. I must admit to sharing some of Mr Parton’s feelings when I first heard the motion discussed in the media. The idea that there was going to be a very resource-intensive and time-consuming review of all place names in the ACT was somewhat alarming. Media reports claimed that this audit could result in name changes for streets and places and people’s residential addresses. This would have had the potential to cause more problems than it helped to solve.
There are numerous services and datasets that rely on a person’s address. I believe that there are at least 150 government data points. The obvious one is Australia Post; we want them to know where we are. But there are other ones: electricity, communications, electoral rolls, health records, mapping platforms, cards, mail, databases et cetera.
The 30 October edition of the Canberra Times reported the ACT Place Names Committee co-chair Jeff Brown’s concerns about the many difficulties associated with changing a place name, and I will not elaborate on this more than Mr Parton has already.
Fortunately, the motion before us today is a much more workable idea than that. This motion sets up a process whereby non-residential place names that the community have concerns about can be referred to the Place Names Committee. That seems like a fairly sensible approach. Mistakes, no doubt, have been made by many people, possibly even the Place Names Committee, in the past.
The motion makes it clear that residential street names or anything that is part of a residential address are not going to be changed. This clarification will have come as a relief to many people who live on streets which are named after people who they may be concerned could have a questionable history. As Mr Hanson pointed out, all the generals from World War I could potentially be in that, and there are a lot more than that.
While we are talking about street names, I thought I would talk about some of the things that we do well about street names in Canberra. First off—this is a really good thing—no two streets share the same name. You may feel that that is unexceptional, and it should be unexceptional, but if you go almost anywhere else—Sydney, Melbourne—you will find a heap of streets called Railway Street or High Street. I could go on and on. We have at least worked that one out.