SHIRE councillors have agreed to spend up to $19,000 to survey residents about changing the name of Rosebud West to Capel Sound.
The change was proposed in July by a group of Rosebud West residents who said there was a disconnection between the name and the area’s real character “and the impact this has on the pride we feel about our place”.
Spokesman Terry Wright said changing the name was not the sole solution to improving the town but it would “bring a new identity, a new character; we hope it builds on what was done during the [2007-13 Rosebud West Community] renewal project”.
He said precedents for a change included McCrae once being called Dromana West (in the 1940s) and “at some point Blairgowrie was Sorrento East”.
“West Rosebud as it was first called – now Rosebud West – and Rosebud South were the last ‘directional’ name on the peninsula,” he said.
Mr Wright said the group was pleased the council had agreed to take the first step. “We want all people to have a say.”
He said the group – now known by its web address CapelSound3940.org – would soon release a list of “21 great things to do in 3940”.
Last week, councillors voted to consult with the community for 60 days from the date of an initial letter and survey form to be sent to 5500 residents, community groups and organisations. This could be extended because of the coming holiday period.
The shire will put public notices in local newspapers and seek submissions.
An attempt to abandon the process, led by area councillor Antonella Celi, failed when just two councillors supported her – Anne Shaw and Andrew Dixon.
Voting against her move were councillors David Garnock, Tim Wood, Lynn Bowden, Tim Rodgers, Hugh Fraser, and her Seawinds Ward colleagues David Gibb and new mayor Graham Pittock.
One element in favour of the change is that the Office of Geographic Names, which has final approval of name changes in Victoria, is not in favour of what it calls “directional names”.
Its guidelines state they should be avoided. “A proposed name that uses a cardinal direction [north, south, east or west] to distinguish itself from another similar name is considered to be a duplicate name.
“In these instances a different name should be chosen to allow for a clear distinction between the two or more features, localities or roads.”
An officers’ report to the council stated the OGN had “advised that if there is an opportunity to change Rosebud West, in order to remove the cardinal direction, then council should consider” this.
After the first letter to residents and others, which will cost $4180, a report on reaction will be prepared for the council.
The council agreeing to go ahead with the next stages will cost a further $14,820.
If the council agrees to the new name, the OGN will be notified. Submitters will have 30 days to send objections to OGN.
- Capel Sound, a stretch of Port Phillip between Rosebud West and Rye, first appeared on a chart in 1836 and was most likely drawn from the survey of Port Phillip carried out by HMS Rattlesnake. Thomas Bladen Capel, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy’s Far East squadron, served in the French Revolution War and the Napoleonic Wars.