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We request that the suburb name of WRAN be rejected for Suburb Area 11 and propose that Area 11 either:

1. Remain part of “SCHOFIELDS” with no change at all OR

2. Be named “TALLAWONG” to match with the name of the railway station that sits within the boundaries of Area 11. The railway station was named “Tallawong Railway Station” by the GNB in April 2018 OR

3. An alternative and more appropriate name be proposed with direct consultation with residents in Area 11.

We, the residents of Schofields (Area 11), have listened to Council’s proposal and deliberated about the impact that this will have on our families and our communities. We jointly present this petition to reject Council’s proposal to the Geographical Names Board (“GNB”). Specifically, we wish to object the change of name for the Area 11 as per the “Revised suburbs area map” and urge the GNB to reject the proposed name of WRAN and let us retain the existing name of Schofields for Zone 11.

Blacktown Council is proposing to use two former Labor Politicians names for new suburb names in our local area. Those names are Wran and Lynch. The name Wran has nothing to do with the NIRIMBA Quakers Hill / Schofields area! The NSW Naming Policy, Clause 9.2 states that “names associated with the heritage of an area are encouraged, especially the names of early explorers, settlers, naturalists, events”. In our opinion the name WRAN does not comply with this clause.

We reject the name change to WRAN on the following grounds:

1. When we made the decision to buy our property we chose the location carefully after considering other areas in Greater Western Sydney and specifically chose Schofields for location and the suburb name. Schofields has evolved as a well-known suburb, due to the attention the suburb name has been achieving due to the growth in the area. Schofields has well established Schools, a train station, new proposed shopping precincts, etc. The change of the suburb name could potentially devalue our homes.

2. In our opinion the name WRAN does not comply with the NSW Place Naming Policy, Clause 3 “Geographical names shall be easy to pronounce, spell and write”. The justification for this as noted in the policy is to “facilitate reliable electronic searching essential for navigation systems, service delivery and public safety”. The name WRAN does not comply as it is pronounced “RAN” (it contains a silent “W”), due to this:

a. It is not easy to spell or write due to the silent “W”

b. Could result in significant confusion / delays in essential services where the silent “W” would need to be explained or repeated as required – this should not be acceptable and can impact public safety. Whilst we respect the name WRAN, it is pronounced ‘RAN’ and use as a suburb name may confuse emergency services deliveries – especially if people are needing to spell the name to make it clearer

c. The proposed suburb of “WRAN” will contain the railway station which is now named “TALLAWONG”, this alone will be the cause of confusion. The majority of railway stations in NSW hold the same name of the suburb they are in.

d. The proposed suburb of WRAN contains land designated for a school. The suburb name will also be used more widely by school children that could be further confused in identifying their location, through a name which has a silent letter “W” as the first letter in the name.

e. The proposed suburb of WRAN also has also land designated as “employment lands” and a local shopping centre near the new railway station of Tallawong. Hence the name will be more widely used and could be confusing.

3. There have been numerous amounts of negative feedback provided regarding the name WRAN. We are struggling to understand how this proposal has been put forward by Council despite the negative feedback.

4. Residents were not ‘formally’ notified through any direct correspondence referencing the property that they hold (i.e. by DP or Lot Number). Residents received a pamphlet which was with their rates notice and could attend general community forums. There are some residents that do not know about the name change at all.

5. Page 34 and 35 of Blacktown Council’s letter to the GNB dated December 2017 makes reference to the significance of Railway Station Naming (in connection with suburb naming), however it did not contemplate that the name “Tallawong Railway Station” had already been advertised for public comment (and now subsequently approved). It would appear unlikely that the station will now be named “Wran Railway Station”.

We support the name TALLAWONG instead of WRAN

Whilst we prefer that Area 11 should remain within Schofields, we acknowledge that due to growth in the Area new suburbs may need to be created, however Area 11 should NOT be named “WRAN”. We would welcome the name “TALLAWONG” on the following grounds:

1. The name of the new railway station that falls within the proposed boundaries of AREA 11 has recently been approved to be named “TALLAWONG”. We note that in the NSW Place Naming Policies, Clause 11.1 makes reference that “Railway stations shall be named after its locality or area of interest unless to do so would lead to a duplicated station name. In these cases a name that identifies with the local area or location of the station should be used”. Further we note that the clause says “Railway station names assist in location and navigation and are particularly important for visitors and travellers”.

a. TALLAWONG was approved on the basis of the above policy. TALLAWONG is a name that is identified in the local area and is of Aboriginal significance. It is derived from the Dharug word ‘dalawang’ for the apple gum tree. The name reflects the positive relationship between the Rouse family, which used the name Tallawong on their estate in the area, and the indigenous population in both the local Schofields/Rouse Hill area. TALLAWONG complies with Clause 9.2 which states that “Aboriginal names are encouraged”.

b. The railway station TALLAWONG is located in the proposed suburb of WRAN. Having a suburb and railway station with difference names would not seem logical or practical at all, and could result in a lot of confusion in the area. The majority of railway stations in NSW are named after the suburb in which they are located.

c. The name TALLAWONG would be more suited and appropriate for the suburb of WRAN. Whilst we would prefer to keep the name Schofields, should this not be possible, the name TALLAWONG for the suburb name is more appropriate to link with the new railway station of TALLAWONG.

d. Blacktown Council have not considered the naming of the railway station TALLAWONG. The information contained in their documents suggests that the station would be named WRAN, however this is not the case.

2. Whilst the use of a developer names for an estate is not the reason for a change in suburb name, it appears that developers have named residential estates in Area 11 with reference to the name Tallawong due to is significance in the area. It is a widely used name, and the name of what will be a key road in the suburb. Therefore if the suburb name is TALLAWONG it would not be due to developers, it would be as it is recognised by the community.

3. TALLAWONG was one of the names that council had proposed for the Area in its initial proposal process.

Following the above, we strongly recommend that the name WRAN is rejected for Area 11 in Blacktown City Council and either the name Schofields is retained or a more appropriate name (such as TALLAWONG is used for the proposed Suburb.

We believe the greatest impact that this proposal has is on our sense of belonging to our community. Council would agree that sense of place is important to all Australians. Hugh Clifford Mackay AO put it so eloquently in an article in The Age, dated October 15, 2005, “Place…is fundamental to the human sense of self, sense of community, sense of mortality and sense of destiny.” As residents of Schofields, we feel that we have a strong sense of belonging to our community. Our sense of community bonding is driven in large part by our connection to other residents of Schofields.

Our children are involved in numerous local community activities and many of our children attend Schofields Public School, which is just a short walk away from where we live. Can Council imagine the sense of isolation and disconnection our children may experience when they are no longer a part of the suburb they have grown up in? Or perhaps the social ostracism they may experience from other children at their school when they are all of a sudden not “one of them” Much of the bond that our children share is driven by an intrinsic appreciation of being from the same place. We are deeply concerned about the impact that the change in name will have on our collective sense of belonging to the Schofields community and strongly urge Council to reconsider its proposal.

As a resident of this area I wish to invite the community to sign this petition and please register their rejection of the name WRAN with the Geographical Names Board If the name is approved by the GNB there will be no chance to change it. It is important you submit your feedback to the email address above.