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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 November 2018) . . Page.. 5010 ..


Committee and the place names unit on key considerations for names and the types of terms and names to be avoided. The guidelines also provide specific direction on the naming of places after persons and when naming geographical features. For example, when considering naming a place after a person the guidelines state that only the names of deceased persons should be determined and that at least 12 months should elapse after the person’s death before their name can be used.

As the responsible minister I recognise that decisions on place naming are important. They reflect our society’s history, our attitudes and the things we value. Given the importance of place naming, a detailed process is undertaken in the identification, researching and final decision-making of names for public places.

For the benefit of the Assembly I will take a moment to briefly outline the process undertaken when naming a public place in the ACT. The ACT place names unit within EPSDD researches potential names in accordance with the criteria in the Public Place Names Act. Each division, also known as a suburb, has a nomenclature theme which guides the potential place names for that suburb. Some of the recent examples of themes used include the names of architects, town planners and urban designers for the suburb of Taylor; native fauna for Throsby; and activism and reform for Denman Prospect.

The ACT Place Names Committee reviews the draft names for new roads and other public places and provides expert advice on any sensitivities that may have been overlooked. The committee considers opportunities to commemorate names which are reflective of a diverse cultural situation and to improve the gender balance represented in ACT public place names in accordance with the act. Advice is then provided to me or the director-general of EPSDD as my delegate to make the final decision on place names and to sign the formal legislative instrument, which is publicly notified on the legislation register.

During the naming process and as required by guidelines, the Place Names Committee seeks to consult with the person’s relatives, close colleagues or their professional organisation. If the name proposed is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander name, consultation must occur within an appropriate cultural group.

Despite the detailed research and expert advice provided for each place name, I am aware that some names have led to debate within the community, including the two names outlined by Ms Cody in her motion. As new information comes to light, the government is open to reviewing existing place names and determining whether these names should continue to be commemorated.

As the minister responsible for place names I am pleased to support the specific actions called upon by Ms Cody in her motion. The motion presents an opportunity to review the terms of reference and membership of the ACT Place Names Committee to ensure that it continues to be representative of the diversity of Canberra as a modern, inclusive and progressive city.

The motion also brings an opportunity to review the guidelines for place naming in Canberra to ensure they continue to meet community expectations and standards. The


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