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Important Update on the Suburb Name Change Campaign

Recently the South Beach Community Group (SBCG) and the Port Coogee Community Association (PCCA) jointly submitted to Landgate an informal document detailing additional information in support of the proposed suburb name change. This document laid out how the SBCG and the PCCA identified and believed that the name change proposal and the two proposed new suburbs were specifically compliant with Landgate’s own policies.

Subsequent to this, representatives from SBCG, PCCA, and the City of Cockburn (CoC) met with Landgate representatives to discuss the contents of the document.

During the meeting the Landgate representatives indicated that our latest document provided information that they hadn’t been aware of previously, or had even considered, and in light of this there could be a possibility of reaching an ‘agreement in principle’ to create the two new suburbs. And then, with the provision of some additional Landgate requested information, a ‘compelling need’ will be established which is in line with Landgate’s policy.

In the discussion that followed about the preferred new suburb names. Landgate representatives indicated that whilst the ‘Port Coogee’ suburb name could be an acceptable suburb name, the ‘South Beach’ suburb name could not be. They indicated that this decision was final, would never be entertained, and their reasoning was due to there not already being an existing feature in our area with the name South Beach plus their concern around safety confusion, relating to identification of the location, given that there is a feature of the City of Fremantle named South Beach.

However, Landgate reps did provide some commentary on an alternative name choice to South Beach, and this was based on the October 2022 community questionnaire conducted by SBCG at the request of CoC/Landgate to identify a third naming option – Catherine Point and Nara Beach were the names put to the community.

Catherine Point was indicated by Landgate as being a name that could be acceptable. Nara Beach was indicated as requiring extensive Aboriginal consultation and that, in their experience, whilst there had been good intention from the proponents in recognising Aboriginal heritage with names or variants, these are not always been supported due the usage of the word or text not being in context or the intent of the original Aboriginal meaning.

So, in order to enable a name change proposal to be progressed, it is intended that the community groups liaise and work with the CoC. The goal being that a new name change proposal can be developed and submitted by the CoC to Landgate. It was highlighted by the Landgate representatives, that a successful name change proposal can take up to 12–18 months after successful approval completion, before full implementation is achieved.

Unfortunately, and despite all of our best efforts it does seem that our suburb can NOT be named ‘South Beach’ and to continue to try and pursue this option would be lengthy, with no certainty of success. It’s our feeling that pursuing this goal of naming our area South Beach is no longer viable. Sadly, we’ve reached the end of that road.

However, it should be highlighted and recognised that the process and efforts taken thus far have actually achieved the opportunity for there to be two separate suburbs, which is in itself likely to alleviate most of the historical and ongoing issues experienced by our residents due to having the single suburb name of North Coogee.

The SBCG will now make plans on consulting with the wider community on how to pursue this somewhat altered objective of splitting into the two suburbs of Port Coogee and our suburb.

As a community we will need to decide if our suburb would remain as North Coogee or change to an alternative name chosen by ourselves, that's acceptable and agreed with by Landgate before formal submission. We must take note that there may be greater difficulty in retaining the North Coogee suburb name if that’s what we choose, as opposed to going forward with an agreed alternative suburb name.

When or if the preferred suburb name for our community is identified, this would be communicated to the CoC and they can put forward the submission to Landgate for their decision.

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