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Minister says there's a time and a place for historic names

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The Queensland Government has encouraged anyone with concerns over offensive place names to make themselves heard.

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Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham has avoided taking a position on the latest bid to change place names, instead encouraging anyone with concerns to make a submission through his department.

“It is important to remember that regardless of their origins, any place name changes need to be thoroughly considered,” Lynham said.

His comments came after a petition called on the Queensland Parliament “to discover and rename all places named for British aristocrats and politicians who were in favour of slavery or who voted against the slavery abolition laws introduced in Britain in the early part of the 19th century”.

“The first to be considered should be Russell Island named for Lord Russell who voted against slavery abolition,” the 393 petitioners argued.

Lynham, in a response to the petition tabled in parliament, said he was aware that some place names chosen in the past might not be considered appropriate today.

“In recent years the department has been removing racist names that are clearly inappropriate,” Lynham said.

“During the past year, the department reinstated the names of two mountains in the Rockhampton area to the Indigenous names of Baga (formerly Jim Crow Mountain) and Gai-i (formerly Mount Wheeler).

“Place naming creates an important connection between people, history and place, however for the Darumbal people – the Traditional Owners of the Rockhampton Area – the now renamed Mount Wheeler and Jim Crow Mountain were a hurtful reminder of colonial history.”

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