GNB seeks Yass community opinion on proposal

The Geographical Names Board (GNB) has called for Yass residents to voice their opinions on a proposal to change the existing locality boundaries in Yass Valley. 

The proposal, put forward by the Yass Valley Council, seeks to change the boundaries between Gundaroo, Sutton, Binalong, Bowning, Bango, Yass, Nanima, Springrange, Yass River, Murrumbateman and Wallaroo. 

The reason for these changes, according to Council Rates Officer Ross Luff, was primarily to avoid confusion when travelling on roads which were split between ruralities. 

“This is especially important in an emergency situation where any delays could be life threatening and which was the driving force behind the original localities review,” Mr Luff said. 

“By having all properties who access their land via a particular road in the same locality, this avoids any potential confusion.”

The localities were developed in the mid-1990’s, at which point “nobody really knew what impact they were going to have”, Mr Luff said. 

Across the years, the rural numbers and localities used to identify properties were adopted by the government as the official address, and the emergency services adopted the same system. 

The first review of the system came in 2013, however Mr Luff said that the response from the community was “lukewarm” at the time. 

“Enquiries continued to be fielded by Council, highlighting a number of problems associated with addressing and emergency services in relation to the current localities, so in 2016 it was decided to revisit the matter,” Mr Luff said. 

“Letters were again forwarded to affected residents asking for submissions and this time there was a more positive response.”

The Council report shows that, as Mr Luff said, most respondents to the proposal reacted positively. 

However, Mr Luff did clarify that there were some misunderstandings at first which caused “negative” and “indifferent” feedback. 

“This was a result of residents not fully comprehending what a rural locality was and how it affected them. Once explained in more detail, residents have been very supportive of the current proposals.”