Renaming Moreland: Give Our Community A Say
Renaming Moreland: Give Our Community A Say
Why this petition matters
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this land and our local area, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present, and future.
As a group of local parents, business owners, and ratepayers who care about the future of our city and area - we are concerned with the way Moreland City Council has engaged the community in renaming our city.
Moreland City Council engages with local issues with poor governance and secrecy. Councillors are using ratepayers' money for their own agendas - all whilst looking to avoid scrutiny.
The backroom deals and secret negotiations need to stop.
Mayor Mark Riley was alerted to the issue last year by an urgent letter from a group of people, including a former Greens Councillor. It is unclear how this research project commenced and who funded it. The letter came without any official letterhead.
The council has used the letter and its own backroom deals as a way to give them the self-right to change the city name.
Many meetings are hidden. What was discussed is missing. Records of minutes are not disclosed. The community questions on the matter are shut down.
This renaming process should happen if our community support it. Give them a proper say. Not a sham consultation process.
Let them suggest a name as you promised.
We deserve better. Our community deserves better.
We call on the Victorian State Government Minister for Local Government Hon Melissa Horne and Moreland City Council CEO Cathy Henderson & Eamonn Fennessy Director, Community and Mayor Mark Riley to perform the following actions:
- Investigate and confirm whether any councillors or council officers had a prior engagement with the group or its participants who sent the urgent letter to the council regarding the name research, and whether the council had funded this project prior to December 2021.
- Commit to providing a separate line item in the budget for all expenses related to the renaming process and engagement in accordance with the public transparency policy. This includes items which may have been absorbed from other budgets including any marketing, communications, engagement, third-party fees and meetings held.
- Identify and confirm whether any council officers, councillors or third-party providers had or hold any conflict of interests regarding this process and name change.
- Rework the community engagement process to include a provision for the community to suggest names as was initially promised by the council resolutions of 13th December 2021.
- Engage with the community to vote on a suggested name, with the option to not rename. Engagement must be held online and offline with the opportunity for residents and ratepayers to have a say.
- Update the existing engagement process to allow for the final vote/decision to be based on the community engagement or voting process. Where such a name may be deemed unacceptable by the State Minister and voted upon as the preferred name by the community, an independent assessment is to be carried out.
- Engage with other First Nations people and groups to seek their opinions and views regarding the renaming process. Work with these groups to identify other options if the renaming process does not involve an Indigenous name.
- Require that all future and current working groups or reference groups be subject to the same Governance Rules and obligations of Advisory Committees, with consideration given to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) particularly sections 7 and 16, and the principle of proactive release of information as per the FOI Professional Standards. As such, any community or third-party engagement group formed by or via council for funding or a project would be required to abide by these rules and standards.
- Provide a record of all engagements that have occurred for the renaming process and table these to the council along with any minutes and a summary of outcomes not previously publicised. Where minutes are not available, this is to be formed based on the group's participants with the assistance of governance staff and an independent auditor.
- Commit to reviewing governance performance and establish a new key performance indicator for council's CEO and officers to ensure these standards are upheld.