SAVE OUR SUBURB! DO NOT NAME AREA 8 KWIGAN!

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The residents of Riverstone need your help. The renaming of Area 8 has caused outrage in the community. The Riverstone community has been ignored multiple times by Blacktown City Council. We are a very small, undeveloped area of Riverstone that many Blacktown Council councillors are hoping will remain silent.

We are not rejecting a change to our suburb name of Riverstone. We are specifically rejecting the proposed name Kwigan. Instead, we are requesting for a new suburb name to be allocated - suggestions include Grantham, Grantham Heights, Grantham Farm, North Riverstone, Riverstone Heights and the list goes on. Our area was once known as Grantham Park and Grantham Farm Estate, with a long standing history dating back to 1884. Our area has never been referred to as Kwigan.

The area that I am referring to is referred to by Blacktown Council as Area 8, which sits between Perth Street and Garfield Road East, and between Hamilton Street and Windsor Road. Blacktown  Council will not listen to what the community wants, more specifically the Labor councillors of Blacktown City Council will not listen to the community, they are pushing name changes through to leave some sort of legacy – a detrimental legacy.

Our area is well established as Grantham. The NSW Police and other emergency services know our area as such. When people ask where we live, we reply, Grantham.

The proposed name Kwigan, a Dharug word for a parasitic native cherry, is not speicifc to our area of Area 8. Technically, every Australian suburb between Baroota in South Australia, Catamaran at the southernmost tip of Tasmania, Tullamore in central New South Wales, up to Agnes Water in south east Queensland should be named Kwigan due to the possibility of a Kwigan plant growing there. Randomly picking just any word of Aboriginal origin cannot be justified. The known historical value of our area cannot be disregarded and replaced with a common parasitic plant.

There will be significant long term repercussions to the value of our properties and on our location itself. The name Grantham Farm is a regal name, a strong name that is desirable to home buyers and renters. The value of our properties will be impacted if we are called Kwigan. The name Kwigan cannot compete with desirable surrounding suburb names such as: The Ponds, Box Hill, Schofields, Annangrove, Rouse Hill, Marsden Park, Quakers Hill, etc. Financial experts, property experts and common sense can tell you that, names do impact property value. The name Grantham Farm will maintain our property value and have potential for growth in the future.

Traditional Darug pronunciation is for the ‘K’ to say ‘Gu’, meaning Kwigan is pronounced Guwigan. This has caused a lot of confusion within the immediate Area 8 community and also the surrounding and wider community. There is a significant difference between the ‘K’ and ‘Gu’ sound. In addition to this, many community members are actually pronouncing Blacktown Council’s proposed name completely differently as they believe that the K must be silent, as they pronounce the proposed name as Wigan. The name Kwigan is an inappropriate choice as it is not easy to pronounce or spell. Grantham Farm in comparison is an established name for Area 8. The local and surrounding community can pronounce, spell and write our suggested suburb names with ease and without confusion.

We urge you to consider the significant local history of Grantham Farm on which we the residents live, and streets are named after. We are proud of the history of our area within Riverstone and if our name is to change, we want to choose our suburb name.

An invalid voting process put forward by Blacktown City Council has prevented our request to be called Grantham Farm from being heard. Any person from anywhere was able to vote on the names of each area proposed by Blacktown City Council i.e. Someone from Western Australia or Brazil could vote on the three options 'Dryden, Kwigan or McDonnell'. We, the residents, all voted 'Other' options but the power of our vote was undone by the invalid voting process. We care the most about the name of our suburb and we weren't listened to because of a flawed council process.
I implore you, please support your community. A suburb name is permanent. We do not and will not live in Kwigan.

Please support our request to be heard, listened to and respected by the Geographical Names Board and Blacktown City Council. Please support us in selecting a name for Area 8 of Blacktown Council that the community want.



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