Residents concerned about their loss of local identity

A small number of Warrell Creek residents are not happy about the change of street address the highway bypass will bring with it. 

The upgrade will see addresses between Browns Crossing and Bald Hill change from Pacific Highway to Giinagay Way, as will hundreds of other homes through to the Bellingen Shire.

Twenty two residents say they fear their sense of community will be lost and are concerned about confusion for emergency services. 

The alternatives of Warrell Creek Way or Warrell Way were suggested with the investigation of a possible dual naming system recommended by council staff. 

The General Manager, Michael Coulter, said a direct mail notification to residents in 2015 made it plain the sections that would renamed.

He said back then there were a small number of objections and the council voted to proceed with Giinagay Way due to the “lack of real alternatives, the potential marketing benefit and Council’s aspiration to use the naming to increase local awareness of the Gumbaynggirr language and culture.”

Cr John Wilson said he was against exploring alternatives at this late stage.

“The matter was correctly advertised in 2015 and the Geographic Names Board is unlikely to approve another change,” Cr Wilson said. 

“There is no point in pursuing it if we can’t do anything anyway.

“Besides, ‘Giinagay’ means ‘welcome’, ‘it’s good to see you’ … it would be a pity to see that changed.”

Cr Rhonda Hoban said there is already Upper Warrell Creek Rd and the suggested names could create confusion. 

The motion to explore the naming further was lost.