Part III: The final boundaries - District names

District names

  1. Many submissions proposed new names for districts. Several writers, including the Family First Party, suggested that the EBC make more effort to use names reflecting Victoria’s indigenous heritage. Although the EBC is sympathetic to this idea, experience in the geographical naming process indicates that long consultation would be required to arrive at names that would be acceptable to all indigenous people in an area. Time constraints do not permit the EBC to engage in such consultation.
  2. Writers also suggested that the EBC use the names of outstanding citizens, such as Galbraith (after the renowned Tyers botanist Jean Galbraith) for Morwell. However, Victoria does not have a tradition of using individuals’ names for electorates.
  3. Apart from those already covered, the EBC considered the following possible changes to district names:
    • Ballarat (Wendouree): Several writers correctly pointed out that name Ballarat could be confused with the Federal division, the Council and the urban area. The EBC has decided to rename the district Wendouree – a name that has long been associated with Ballarat, particularly its western side;
    • Eltham: The Family First Party suggested renaming the district Diamond Valley, after its dominant geographic feature. However, the valley extends well beyond the district, and the EBC considers Eltham is a more accurate name;
    • Evelyn: Mooted alternatives were Coldstream, Lilydale and Yarra Valley. However, the name of Evelyn has been associated with this area for over 150 years, and the EBC does not believe there is sufficient ground to change it;
    • Ferntree Gully: Mr Michael Tandora argued that the district should be renamed Wantirna, because Wantirna is more geographically central and economically significant. However, the EBC considers that Ferntree Gully is probably the best known suburb in the district, and the name should continue;
    • Ivanhoe: The Family First Party thought that the district should no longer be Ivanhoe, because only a minority of voters live there, but should be called Heidelberg, which is more central and reflects the Heidelberg School of artists, or Wurundjeri. However, Ivanhoe is the largest suburb in the district. Ivanhoe district has existed since 1945, and there does not seem to be adequate reason to change its name;
    • Lowan: Mr Craig Wilson thought that the name Lowan didn’t reflect anything, being the name of a shire that ceased to exist in the mid-1990s, and that the name Wimmera better reflects its land mass. However, the district extends well beyond the Wimmera as far as Hamilton and the lower Glenelg. Lowan is a more neutral name that has long been associated with the area; the county of Lowan was gazetted in 1871, and a Lowan district has existed on and off since 1889;
    • Melton: Mr Tandora thought that Bacchus Marsh and Melton was a more accurate description of the district. However, the suggested name is somewhat unwieldy, and the EBC considers the name Melton is suitable;
    • Mill Park: Four writers suggested that the district be renamed South Morang, because the district now included all of the suburb of South Morang while Mill Park itself was divided with Bundoora district. Despite these facts, the district still contains more electors enrolled in the suburb of Mill Park than in South Morang, and includes the commercial centre of Mill Park, and the EBC does not believe a change of name is required;
    • Monbulk: Mr Tandora stated that Monbulk was only one locality in the district, which should be renamed The Dandenongs after its principal geographic feature. “The Dandenongs”, though, risks being confused with Dandenong district. The name Monbulk is evocative of the area. The district has existed since 1967, and should remain;
    • Morwell: A plethora of alternative names were put forward for this district: Hazelwood, Latrobe Valley, Gippsland Central and Galbraith. As the final boundaries are very similar to the existing ones, the EBC does not see any reason to change the district’s name;
    • Narracan: Mr Wilson argued that the name Narracan did not reflect the seat’s land mass, and suggested Gippsland West, Baw Baw or Central Gippsland. However, there are reasons against each of these alternatives: the district covers a different area from the former district of Gippsland West; Baw Baw duplicates the name of the Shire; and Central Gippsland is not an accurate description of the district’s location. There is a township of Narracan, and the name is evocative of the area and has existed since 1967;
    • Niddrie: The Keilor Historical Society suggested that Niddrie district should be renamed Keilor, in recognition of Keilor’s history and people’s identification of the name. Mr Jeff Waddell pointed out that the district now included all of the suburb of Keilor. On the other hand, as Mr Andrew Gunter observed, Keilor is peripheral to the district, which is overwhelmingly composed of the current district of Niddrie. The EBC does not believe that changing the district’s name to Keilor is justified;
    • Polwarth: Mr Wilson observed that there is no locality of Polwarth, which is the name of a breed of sheep, and thought that Otway or Otway Ranges might better reflect the seat’s land mass. However, such a name describes only a small part of the district. The county of Polwarth was gazetted in 1849, and there has been a district including the name of Polwarth in the same part of Victoria since 1856. There seems no adequate reason to change the name;
    • Preston: Two writers suggested that the district be renamed Reservoir, because it now included only half of Preston but nearly all of Reservoir, which had twice Preston’s population. However, the district includes the heart of Preston, which is a more important activity centre than Reservoir, and the EBC considers that the changes to the district do not justify a change of name;
    • Ripon: Mr Wilson observed that Ripon was a shire that was abolished in the mid-1990s, and that there is no such place as Ripon. He thought that a name like Central West could perhaps better reflect the seat’s land mass. However, the county of Ripon was gazetted in 1849, and a district including the name Ripon has existed since 1856. The EBC does not believe it necessary to change the name;
    • Scoresby (Rowville): Dr Mulcair and Mr Tandora suggested that Rowville would be a more accurate name for the district, and the Family First Party also thought the district should be renamed. Scoresby district has existed since 1945 (with a gap between 1976 and 2002). However, the suburb of Scoresby is comparatively small and is located at one end of the district. Rowville is central to the district and contains more than half of the district’s electors. The EBC considers that Rowville is a better name for the district;
    • Sydenham: The Keilor Historical Society suggested that, as an alternative, Sydenham be renamed Keilor. As the district does not contain any part of the suburb of Keilor, the EBC cannot see any reason to make this change;
    • Warrandyte: Several writers criticised the name Warrandyte, stating that most of the electors in the district lived in Doncaster East and Donvale, and had no connection with the small township of Warrandyte. They suggested the name Mullum Mullum, after the creek that flows through the district. One problem with the suggested name is that it duplicates Mullum Mullum Ward of the City of Manningham, plus Mullum Ward of the City of Maroondah. Warrandyte district has existed since 1976. The township has never been the main population centre of the electorate, but has been an outstanding feature. This is still the case, and the EBC considers that the name should continue.

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