Sutherland Shire Council looks at giving wards 'meaningful' names

The bland names of council wards in Sutherland Shire could be replaced with something more descriptive if councillors get their way

A, B, C, D and E wards could be given names such as Beaches Ward, Rivers Ward, Bay Ward and National Park Ward under the proposal.

And, there is nothing to stop the council approving the idea.

A spokesman for the Office of Local Government said a council could rename its wards under section 210(4) of the Local Government Act.

“Ultimately, it is a matter for each council to determine the names of their wards,” he said.

“There is no prescribed process under the Act.

“Councils may wish to consult with their communities on any proposed ward name changes.

“The NSW Electoral Commission requests that any ward name changes are finalised at least six months prior to the elections.”

Shire councillors, at their last meeting, asked for a report from staff on the options and implications, including a review of boundaries and a plan for community consultation. 

Most councillors agreed the existing names were meaningless, confusing and out of date, with many residents did not know in which ward they lived.

Cr John Riad, who moved the motion, said he didn’t know a suburb in A or B wards that started with those letters.

He said names like East, Central, North, South and West would be more meaningful for residents.

Cr Marie Simone suggest A Ward, covering the Cronulla area, be renamed Beaches Ward.

Cr Greg McLean said descriptive names would “enable residents to have a closer association with the council”.

His suggestions for four of the wards were Beaches, Bay, River and National Park.

A new name for E Ward, covering the Menai area, proved more of a challenge.

Tip Ward was a light-hearted suggestion, but Cr Steve Simpson, who represents the area, said Bank Ward would be more appropriate.

Cr Simpson said the money being paid by the Lucas Heights waste centre operator funded projects for the rest of the shire.

Cr Barry Collier was the only one opposed to the renaming proposal, saying it would be a waste of ratepayers’s money.

Cr Kent Johns quickly responded, “We were going to name one ward after you, but not now.”

Cr Johns was on a roll and quickly added, “There could be two wards named after you – we would call B Ward Barry and C Ward Collier – and they will be split by the F6” [a project Cr Collier long opposed before later supporting a tunnel option].