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Byron Shire
April 16, 2021

Tweed moves to recognise Aboriginal history

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Suffolk Park Pump Track

We the ‘Engaged Neighbours’, on behalf of the Suffolk Park pump track’s affected neighbours and 300–400 petitioners and letter writers, request Council NOT to continue to bulldoze the large fenced in section of Linda Vidler Parkland adjacent to Baz and Shaz’s shop, close to the houses on three sides.

The Tweed Shire Council wants to recognize the long history of Aboriginal people in the Tweed Valley with a dual naming policy.

Councillor Gary Bagnall successfully moved a motion to seek input from the council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee on traditional names for significant sites.

Cr Bagnall said sites would include parks and reserves, significant geological features of significance.

Towns and villages that already have Aboriginal names could have their signs redesigned to include the Aboriginal meaning of the name.

Council staff will report back to the July meeting with a preliminary response from the ACC to coincide with NAIDOC week.

‘I see this as a bit of cleaning up,’ Cr Bagnall said.

‘The Geographical Names Board has encouraged dual naming and it has come on board in all states, with Tasmania being the last.

‘With this motion we are asking the (Indigenous) community what sites should be named,’ he said.

‘Other than acknowledging the first peoples, it would also be of interest to residents and tourists to have signs explaining the meanings of original names.

Mayor Barry Longland agreed.

‘We’ve never tackled the dual naming issue and I think it would be symbolic and meaningful,’ he said.

Cr Carolyn Byrne said she supported the motion but said more time should be given to the AAC to respond.

But Cr Bagnall said he had already spoken with a number of Indigenous people on the committee and they thought it would be a nice gesture to be able to make an announcement during NAIDOC week.

All councillors supported Cr Bagnall’s motion except Cr Phil Youngblutt.


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