Wallara park set for renaming

Bidi Park at Wallara Waters, Wallan East, will be renamed.

THE community will be able to have its say on the name of a park in Wallan’s Wallara Waters estate following an issue with the original name.

A new name was needed for the park – which is surrounded by Bale Way, Mount Eliza, Waranga and Yan Yean avenues – after its original name, Bidi Park, was deemed inappropriate when it was discovered consent for the use of the name was not sought from the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation following the community consultation period.

At last week’s council meeting, Mitchell Shire councillors unanimously agreed to put the park naming out for public consultation for 30 days, before returning to council for a final decision and then be submitted to the Registrar of Geographic Place Names.

The preferred name, Murrack Park, was put forward by estate developers Fraser Properties after consultation with Wurundjeri Elders Aunty Gail Smith and Aunty Julieanne Axford, and a language specialist from the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.

Murrack, meaning grasshopper, was one of three options given to council, along with Tharra, meaning white hawk, and Wangim, meaning boomerang as there is a ‘U’-shaped path in the park.

South ward councillor Rob Eldridge said it was understandable if the community was confused by the renaming.

“This is an interesting one for those in the public that think we’ve already named this, they’d be right,” he said.

“We went out for consultation on this earlier and came up with the name Bidi Park, that was the result of consultation with the community.

“However, that hadn’t been passed by the Traditional Owners, so we now have to go back and go through the process again.

“The preferred name Murrack, I think, is appropriate given the plains we live on down here.

“Unfortunately, we have to go through it again so I can understand the public confusion, but it’s a good outcome.”