Councillor critical of naming board

Air Marshall Jake Newham.
Air Marshall Jake Newham.

What’s in a name?

In the case of a street name not an aphostrophe before the letter S, Christian or surname, or names containing more than three words if you’re Cowra Shire Council dealing with the Geographical Names Board in an attempt to name streets in a proposed subdivision.

The Naming Board recently rejected the name “Ken Richards Drive” and Air Marshall Jake Newham Way when they were proposed by Cowra Shire Council for streets in the Council’s proposed Cowra airport subdivision.

Instead the board suggested Cowra Shire Council name the roads Richards Drive and Jakes Way, a move that angered a few Cowra Shire councillors.

“This has been a long onerous process for two very simple signs,” Cr Ruth Fagan said at Cowra Shire’s most recent monthly meeting.

“We are going to have some information boards put up (at the subdivision) explaining why we have named the roads this way, it is really important for historical significance, it will help give an environment to the airport subdivision,” Cr Fagan said.

Air Marshall Jake Newham was born and educated in Cowra.

Ken Richards was a World War I mate of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith who famously flew under the old Cowra bridge in 1950.

Councillor Bruce Miller described the naming as “a compromise” but was highly critical of the Names Board.

“Frankly, the Geographical Names Board is a nonsense, their rules and regulation are just plain nonsensical.

“We could say no to their suggestion but we don’t want to hold this whole project up, so we give in to a stupid, stupid, mob which is unrepresentative.

“Perhaps we should be lobbying the appropriate people to have some of these rules changed,” Cr Miller said.

The name Ken Richards Drive was objected to because the use of a given or first name in conjunction with a surname is not acceptable for road naming in accordance with Section 6.7.5 of the Names Board’s Guidelines.

The name “Air Marshall Jake Newham Way” was objected to by the Board because road names should not exceed three words, and the use of a given or first name in conjunction with a surname is not acceptable for road naming.

The NSW Geographical Names Board advised Council that appropriate alternatives to the suggested names would be “Richards Drive” and “Jakes Way”. 

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