- communications such as postal and news services
- emergency service response and natural disaster relief
- environmental management
- map and atlas production
- navigation and tourism
- property determinations and cadastre
- road maintenance and development
- statistic and census information
- trade and commerce
- urban and regional planning
- vegetation and mineral mapping.
- propose a name or boundary for a feature, locality or road to the responsible local government or other government authority;
- alert the responsible local government or other government authority and Landgate to an issue with an existing name or boundary for a feature, locality or road and request that the matter be investigated; and/or
- assist Landgate in providing advice in the determination of whether a naming request conforms to these policies.
- Review and recommend naming actions and undertake other functions as required in relation to nomenclature.
- Advise the Minister on the establishment and development of the principles, policies and procedures.
- Disseminate information and monitor and review compliance with the principles, policies and procedures.
- Review naming actions, transactions and issues which impact on agencies and may attract significant interest and approve papers and reports to third/external parties which may prompt media, public or government scrutiny.
What are Toponyms?
Toponyms, or geographic nomenclature, are names which represent sites of human occupation (cities, towns etc), natural geographic features (mountains, lakes, bays etc) and bounded areas (states, localities, regions etc). Toponyms are a means of public and personal reference for location description and identification and provide intelligence relating to where a place is, what is there and key elements of maps and marine charts.
Why do we name places and spaces?
The benefits of naming Geographic nomenclature or toponyms are usually the first point of reference used when referring to a spatial location and are a fundamental component of culture. They are indispensable when used as public and personal references for location description and identification for example defence, emergency service responders and postal services, addresses, navigation.
Why do we preserve existing names?
Benefits of recording and preserving geographic names are associated with the past, present and future of a community. They form an integral part of personal identity by defining where people were born, live, have lived and from where their ancestors have come from. Such names are key elements of maps and charts and their practical benefits include the intelligence relating to the location of a place.
Why is there a need for Place Name policies and standards?
In order to comply with relevant legislation and to provide an open and transparent naming process, policies and standards are required. This document is being developed to provide a basis on which the assignment of names to places, features, administrative boundaries and roads can be undertaken. They serve the long-term interests of the community by identifying, protecting and reflecting our culture, heritage and landscape, and apply to all nomenclature within Western Australia.
Who/what may be significantly affected if names change?
The benefits of a consistent writing system (or orthography) of geographic naming is important to a wide range of local, national and international communities who engage in:
What is the purpose of the geographic naming policies?
The following policies must be used in conjunction with the relevant policies outlined in the other relevant sections of this document. They have been established to ensure that no confusion, errors or discrimination may be caused by the naming, renaming or boundary change process.
Tell me more about the Policies and Standards for Geographical Naming in Western Australia
In Western Australia the practice of officially naming features, localities and roads is covered under Section 26 and 26A of the Land Administration Act 1997. The legislation is supported by policies and processes which provide the necessary information for any person or group interested in the naming and the determination of extents for roads, topographical features, points of interest, administrative boundaries and localities.
The use of these standards and policies is mandatory and they have been developed through consultation with local government, government departments, emergency service responders, public service providers and the wider community.
The information in the document (above link) has been divided into the following sections
Section 1: General naming policies and standards
Section 2: Roads
Section 3: Topographic features
Section 4: Localities
Section 5: Local parks and recreational reserves
Section 6: Administrative boundaries
Section 7: Appropriate use of Aboriginal and dual naming
Section 8: Role of the Minister for Lands, Landgate and the Geographic Names Committee
Section 9: A guide to consultation
Section 1 includes general information about the naming processes and details the principles and standards which apply to all naming, renaming or changing the position or boundary of a feature, locality or road.
What other legislation or regulations applies to naming places and spaces?
The information in Section 1 of the Policy and Standards for Geographic Naming in Western Australia states that General Naming Policies and Standards must be used in combination with the various policies and procedures as outlined in the other sections of this document.
Legislation and standards Land Administration Act 1997
These policies and standards are provided for under the Land Administration Act 1997, Part 2 – General administration, Division 3 – General; 26. Constitution, etc. of land districts and townsites; 26A Names of roads and areas in new subdivisions.
Land Information Authority Regulations 2007
These policies and standards are also provided for under the Land Information Authority Regulations 2007; 3 – Information prescribed as fundamental land information.
Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4819:2011 Rural and urban addressing
All Western Australian rural and urban address allocations are recorded by Landgate is in accordance with AS/NZS 4819:2011. This Standard was prepared by the Street Address Working Group of the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM).
Names covered by other legislation or regulations
The naming of local government authorities and wards - Local Government Act 1995. The naming of Electoral Districts - Electoral Act 1907
Requesting and processing submissions
Any person, community group, organisation, government department or local authority can request a new name or an amendment to an existing name or boundary by contacting Geographic Names within Landgate in the first instance.
Consultation with the relevant local authority is required in each case. To expedite the process, such requests should be put to the relevant local authority for their comment and/or endorsement prior to the submission being sent to Landgate for consideration.
Further information on the process of submitting naming requests can be found in Appendix 1A of the Policy and Standards for Geographic Naming in Western Australia
Can a regular person name a public place or space?
Members of the public Members of the public are welcome to participate in the naming process. They may do so by submitting such proposals to the relevant local government or other government authority responsible for the feature, locality or road they are interested in naming/renaming or adjusting the position/boundaries of.
Further specific details of the naming proposal procedures, and the information that should be provided in such submissions, are outlined in the relevant sections of the Policy and Standards for Geographic Naming in Western Australia.
Can stakeholders such as emergency service responders name a space or place?
Stakeholders such as emergency service responders and other service providers may request a naming action in three ways:
Who gives the final approvals?
Local Governments and other government authorities Local Government and government departments/authorities responsible for the administering of land within Western Australia are required to make submissions to Landgate for any naming proposals for place names, features, administrative boundaries, localities or roads within their jurisdiction.
Cooperation between agencies Geographic information and the systems which use such data are ever present and of constant interest to the general public, developers, surveyors, state and commonwealth government agencies, and of particular importance to emergency service responders.
All such agencies and groups are encouraged to collaborate on naming issues when necessary. This is particularly important when naming issues extend across local government boundaries or are of great significance to the wider community.
Minister responsible for the Land Administration Act 1997
The Minister for Lands (the Minister) is responsible for the Land Administration Act 1997. Through delegated authority, the Minister enables Landgate to review submissions and identify, capture and maintain new place names, features, administrative boundaries, localities and roads within Western Australia and formally approve these actions on the Minister’s behalf.
Geographic Names Committee
Originally known as the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, the Geographic Names Committee (GNC) was appointed as an advisory committee to the Minister for Lands in 1936 to provide advice to the Minister on geographical naming issues. Appointments to the GNC are made by the Minister for Lands and represent many different points of view, from local communities to professional institutions and government agencies within Western Australia.
The GNC is served by a Secretary and a Secretariat, both of which are provided by Landgate. This office is responsible for managing the nomenclature needs for geographical features, administrative boundaries, localities and roads and for the maintenance of the State's Gazetteer, GEONOMA (geo = geographic, noma = Latin for 'names'), and nomenclature database. The database contains official names and geographical coordinates of geographic features in Western Australia including the official spelling of the name, feature type, classification, derivation, map number, coordinates and any alternative and historical names.
GEONOMA is recognised by the Western Australian Government as the primary source and official register for all approved named geographic features, administrative boundaries and road names and their positions and/or extents. Names added to or amended within GEONOMA are automatically propagated to features in other linked government systems.
Responsibilities of the committee:
The Minister appoints the Geographic Names Committee (GNC) to provide expert advice on submissions considered to be controversial, of state significance or those seeking special consideration due to their non-compliance with the naming policies. Further information on the role of the Minister, Landgate and the GNC can be found in Section 8: Role of the Minister for Lands, Landgate and the Geographic Names Committee: Policy and Standards for Geographic Naming in Western Australia.
Western Australian Gazetteer Landgate is responsible for maintaining the State’s Gazetteer and nomenclature database which is known as GEONOMA. This information system contains official, recorded, historical and administrative names and geographical coordinates of places, localities, features, points of interest, public and private roads for all of Western Australia and its territories. Information (attributes) considered to be essential to these names such as the official spelling of the name, feature type, classification, derivation, map number, coordinates and if known, any alternative and historical names is also recorded.
GEONOMA is recognised by the Western Australian government as the primary source of truth and the official register for all approved names for topographic features, administrative boundaries and roads, including their positions and extents. Names added to or amended within GEONOMA are automatically propagated to features in other linked government systems.
Use of official names Names that have been formally approved by the executive officer, chairman of the GNC or the Minister are deemed to be ‘official’ or ‘approved’ names. Such names are recorded within the State Gazetteer as approved and these names must be used for all official maps and spatial data products within Western Australia.
Gazetteer of Australia
The Gazetteer of Australia is a composite database which contains recorded geographical names within Australia. This database is maintained in cooperation with ICSM and the Permanent Committee on Place Names (PCPN). The information within this gazetteer is provided by the jurisdictions. The copyright for the information resides with the relevant state, territory or Australian jurisdiction that remains the official custodians of this information. Further information about the Australian Gazetteer can be obtained from Geoscience Australia