THE contentious decision to change Rosebud West to Capel Sound will become reality if councillors back a staff recommendation.
The call for change follows months of discussions, meetings, submissions, editorials and a public vote via a mass letter-box drop.
Letters and surveys were sent out on 7 December with a 5 February closing date for surveys and submissions.
Of the 5600 letters sent to residents, ratepayers and community groups, 1902 responses were received (or 33.9 per cent).
In summary, 1065 replies favoured the change – 19.02 per cent of the total posted – or 56 per cent of those received back. There were 837 votes against the change, 44 per cent of those received back.
Most of the letters posted – 66.14 per cent – were not answered.
An online petition of 356 signatures also opposed the name change.
The vote was reportedly held in accordance with the Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 Version 2, which gives the council the power to recommend to the state government that Rosebud West become Capel Sound.
The recommendation would then be sent to the Registrar for Geographic Names for final consideration and approval.
Pro-Capel Sound proponent Terry Wright said his group had “worked hard to get all residents and ratepayers to respond to the council’s survey, irrespective of their opinions”.
“This involved two letterbox drops across the 3500 residences. We’re pleased with the number of people who took the time say what they thought.”
“This is not about the short-term,” he said. “Change is always inconvenient. But we strongly believe people will look back in 10, 20, 50 and 100 years … and be grateful the community had the foresight and made the effort to make what is an important change.
“Clearly, the people of McCrae, Blairgowrie and St Andrews are grateful someone made the effort in their communities.”
The Office of Geographic Names has told council it is “of the opinion that council should consider proceeding with the proposal as there are more in favour of a name change; this represents a majority decision”.
“As council is the naming authority, it is council’s decision as to whether to proceed with the proposal based on the survey results.”
A group of Rosebud West property owners last year said that “the proposed name change aims to improve the pride that residents and businesses have in their locality. The name of Rosebud West communicates nothing of the special nature of the area and assumes it has no character in its own right”.