Council rejects name change

ELISIA SEEBERSound Telegraph

Rockingham and Kwinana city councils have locked horns over the naming of the new Mundijong Road extension.

Kwinana City Council ruffled its counterpart’s feathers when it turned down a recommendation to name the new 4.2km entry strip Kulija Road, meaning little penguin, at its December 11 meeting.

Kwinana City councillors voted the recommendation down 6-1, approving a motion to keep the name as Mundijong Road for its entire length, 5-2.

Councillors believed the name change may cause confusion, because of one road being known as two names.

Elected members considered its Aboriginal heritage had already been recognised with the name Mundijong.

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels was surprised by the decision.

“The new road name has links to our history and the natural area,” he said.

“Kulija is a Noongar word relating to little penguins and is inspired by Rockingham’s Penguin Island and little penguin colony.”

Cr Sammels said Rockingham City Council was investigating its options and would lobby Kwinana councillors to reconsider their position.

“We believe we have a solid case,” he said.

“Many other east and westbound exits from the Kwinana Freeway have different names and we see this as a fitting naming of the new road.”

Rockingham councillors selected the name at a September meeting.

Kulija was chosen from 15 Aboriginal heritage names submitted by Moodjar consulting Professor Len Collard, who was engaged by the City of Rockingham to investigate a Noongar word, with the help of elders with traditional owner status.

The Rockingham council required its neighbours to endorse the decision for it to be approved by the Geographic Names Committee because part of the road extends south of Leda Reserve. Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said a time was being arranged for the Rockingham council to elaborate on its justification for the proposed name change.

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