Last September, a majority of Councillors voted to strip the name "Elizabeth McCrea Playground" to rename it Kepos Zamia Playground. I was particularly disturbed by this action because The Clover Moore Party voted as a block to remove the name of a prominent local woman from the park to replace it with a nondescript street name. One has to wonder at the logic!
The community overwhelmingly supported retaining the name Elizabeth McCrea Playground during consultation but this was ignored by some Councillors, one of whom stated “it’s just a consultation, not a vote”. Indeed, the Council staff recommended retaining the name “Elizabeth McCrea Playground” because over 80% of residents supported retaining to original name.
Following my intervention with the Minister responsible, I referred the matter to the Geographical Names Board (GNB). I am pleased to say that that the GNB has resolved to reject the proposed name of Zamia Kepos Playground and has recommended gazetting Elizabeth McCrea Playground as the official recorded name.
This resolution was based on the policy of ensuring that names chosen for reserves are enduring, and changes are discouraged unless deemed to be in the public interest or for safety reasons. The Board also noted that the incorporation of two street names for the playground name is not an acceptable combination of words, or recognised format and is consequently not used for names assigned under theGeographical Names Act 1966.
Following this outcome and continuing to support the views of the local community, I will urge Council to support the Geographical Names Board recommendation to gazette ‘Elizabeth McCrea Playground’ as an official recorded name and retain the historical significance and familiar recognition of the reserve.