About the Geographic Names Committee
The GNC provides independent expert advice and recommendations to the Minister for Lands and to Landgate on:
- Geographic naming policy and principles
- Contentious or complex geographic naming matters
- Geographic naming issues of regional, state and national significance.
The GNC is a non-statutory, independent committee with members appointed by the Minister for Lands. The composition of the GNC represents a diverse and broad cross section of the community, including representatives from:
- state government agencies
- local government representatives
- mail delivery services
- emergency services
- community representatives.
Landgate provides executive and secretariat support for the committee.
When does the Committee meet?
The GNC meets quarterly, usually on the first or second Thursday of the third month.
How are naming proposals tabled with the GNC?
Naming proposals are presented to Landgate by local government authorities.
Naming proposals which are complex, contentious, or are of state significance, are tabled with GNC by Landgate for independent advice. Landgate may also present proposals to GNC for advice where they are non-compliant with the Policy and Standards for Geographic Naming in Western Australia. The Minister for Lands may refer items directly to the GNC for advice through Landgate.
History of the committee
First established in 1936 as the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, it was appointed by the Minister for Lands to review and approve naming applications from the local road districts.
The first meeting of the GNC took place in 1936 and the minutes of the meeting notes:
"The inaugural meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Nomenclature of towns, etc., took place at the Office of the Surveyor General (Mr.J.P. Camm) on Monday July 27, 1936, at 10 am.
The committee came into existence as the result of representations by the Western Australian Historical Society that action should be taken to see that towns and places etc., were properly named and that, in this connexion, due regard should be paid to all historical and aboriginal features of the towns and places to be named. The Minister for Lands (Hon. M. F. Troy) agreed with the representations of the Society and accordingly he appointed the following as an Advisory Committee in the matter:
Dr. J.S. Battye (Chancellor of the University, and Chairman of the State Archives Board)
Mr. J.A. Klein, M.SA. (Director of Education)
Mr. J.A. Camm (Surveyor-General)
Mr. Paul Hasluck (Western Australian Historical Society)
Mr. F.I. Bray (Chairman of Memorials Committee of Western Australian Historical Society and member of State Archives Board)"