Road & Street Naming

 

How did your street get its name?

To determine how your street got its name, download the Roads and Open Space Historical Index
This document will provide an alphabetical list of present, former and proposed street and locality names within the City of Ballarat. The list includes the origins of the names where possible, however this information is not available for all names.

More about naming processes


The definition of 'place' in the Geographic Place Names Act 1998 includes 'any place or building that is, or is likely to be, of public or historical interest'. Roads, streets, suburbs, parks, creeks, lakes, mountains, government schools and public hospitals are all included.

Private facilities may also be included if they are of public interest private schools and hospitals, major shopping centres, and large housing and industrial developments fall within the definition.
 
How can you request that a place be named or renamed?
Any person or organisation may request that a place be named or renamed. A request must be made in writing to the Place Names Officer, City of Ballarat (or the municipality in which the place is located).

A request need not be detailed, but it must include:
  • the name and postal address of the person or organisation making the request,
  • enough information to enable the place to be clearly identified, and
  • the reasons for the request.

A request need not suggest a name, but if a name is suggested, information supporting the suggestion must be included. See also Guidelines for selection of names (below). The City itself may initiate a naming proposal where this is considered desirable. Note that the City is obliged to act on situations that could result in delays to emergency services.


How will you know that a name is proposed?

If a request appears to have merit, the City must seek public comment. The Geographic Place Names Act 1998 requires the City to prepare a document describing the proposal and invite public comment by advertising the proposal in local newspapers. Council policy is that public comment be sought before a naming proposal is considered by Council, to enable Council to make an informed decision on the proposal.

Documents describing current naming proposals are available for inspection at The Phoenix, 25 Armstrong Street South, Ballarat. Copies may be obtained free of charge.


How can you make a submission on a naming proposal?

Any interested individual or organisation may make a submission in support of, or opposing a naming proposal. Submissions must be in writing (faxed or emailed submissions are accepted) and clearly show the name and postal address of the person or organisation making the submission. (See also Privacy Policy.)

Before Council makes a decision: You must send your submission directly to the Place Names Officer, City of Ballarat, to ensure it is received in sufficient time for inclusion in the Council report. A late submission can only be accepted if there is just cause for late lodgement and the report deadline has not passed. The deadline for receiving submissions will vary depending on the processing of submissions and the need to obtain or verify information. Your submission should quote the Council Reference shown on the proposal. If desired, you may make your submission on a Naming Proposal Comment Sheet (doc) link to, which is available from Council offices.

All submissions received by the Place Names Officer before the closing date will be taken into account before Council makes a decision. If two or more submissions on the one proposal are received from the same organisation, person or property, they will be treated as one submission unless they contain conflicting viewpoints. If no submissions are received, it will be assumed there are no objections to the proposal. If a submission reveals significant new information, the proposal may be deferred to allow further research and/or readvertised to allow further public comment.

After Council makes a decision: You may make a submission to the Registrar of Geographic Names, within one month of publication of the name. A submission to the Registrar can only be made on the grounds that the proposal does not comply with principles or procedures approved by the Minister. (Briefly, this means that the proposal must have been advertised to allow public comment, and the name must comply with the guidelines.) The Registrar will not usually consider an objection to the name itself unless there has been a serious breach for example, if the name is offensive.


What if a proposal changes my address?

When a proposal is adopted, the City and/or the Registrar of Geographic Names will notify relevant public authorities and key private organisations such as electricity, gas and telephone companies and street directory publishers.

You should not assume that this will ensure your details are updated, so you should advise all relevant people and organisations of your new address. In particular, you must advise VicRoads if the change affects your drivers licence or motor vehicle registration instructions are shown on your licence or registration papers.

Guidelines for selection of names

Proposed names must comply with the current Guidelines for Geographic Names Victoria, which are reviewed at least every five years. The following is a brief summary of the guidelines (additional information may be obtained from Councils Place Names Officer):

  • Names should not duplicate or be likely to be confused with existing names within the municipality or nearby areas. Road names should not be duplicated, even if the street type is different (eg: there should be no other road named Sturt, even if called Sturt Court or Sturt Place).
  • Names should be easy to pronounce, spell and write, and not be offensive when judged against community standards, including those of culturally diverse communities.
  • Names should be as short and simple as possible. Road names should preferably consist of only one word plus the street type.
  • Names of Aboriginal/Koori origin must be appropriate to the place being named, and their use is subject to agreement with the relevant Aboriginal/Koori community.
  • Names of living persons or current organisations should not be used. Names of deceased persons may be used only where the person had a direct and long-term association with the place being named. (If proposing such a name, an outline of the persons life and achievements must be provided.)
  • Names beginning with 'The' (eg: The Avenue) are discouraged, as are names beginning with 'St' (Saint), as recent experience shows that they cause confusion unless the name has a recognised connection (eg. St James Avenue is near St James Church).

Many existing names do not comply with the guidelines. Generally, these will only be changed if there are compelling reasons (eg. confusion with a similar name).


Further Information

Guidelines for Geographic Names, issued by the Registrar of Geographic Names, can be downloaded from VicNames


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