Street name change officially axed
PLANS to change a street name in a Somerset town have been officially abandoned after it was discovered the change would come at great cost to a local school.
Gardner St South in Toogoolawah has been a source of confusion for travellers searching for the town’s RV park, accessible via Gardner St North.
Online services such as Google Maps refer solely to a single Gardner St, without differentiating between the two distinct road segments,
Last year, Somerset Regional Council proposed to change the name of Gardner St South to Dumbirrbi Lane to help ease this confusion, but received 25 objections to the plan.
In December, the council deferred the plans to rename and contacted all the objectors explaining their reasons for the change.
“Only two of the original responders have replied to council’s letter, reiterating their objection to the proposed renaming,” director of operations Craig Young said.
“They suggested this was neither necessary nor appropriate considering the historical background as well as the expense that would be imposed on the Toogoolawah State School in having to change their address, currently 72 Gardner St.”
The Gardner family has a long association with the town and surrounding area, but the council noted the name would still be attached to Gardner St North and Gardners Bridge if the change was made.
The issue with the school, which hadn’t previously been raised in any discussions on the topic, prompted the council to contact the school’s principal and business manager.
“Recent conversations have revealed the school’s concern with the impact of the proposed renaming, citing the need to advise numerous parties of the change, update stationery details and frequently spell the new name,” Mr Young said.
Given the resistance to the decision, the new-found inconveniences to the school and the success of new signage recently installed to direct travellers to the RV park, the council decided to abandon the plan to rename the street.
“The objectors gave some strong reasons for their stance,” councillor Cheryl Gaedtke said.
“We can learn from this that we need to consult more effectively on some of these decisions.”
Councillor Sean Choat thanked the community for their feedback and co-operation.
“This is representative of council’s drive to respond to the community and to the strength of our community,” he said.
“It shows people do pay attention to what we do and are interested in what’s happening in their area.”