Council Reference: NP- 217
Name Re-Name Winter Swamp- Mullawallah Wetlands
Council is required to seek public comment before making any decision on a naming proposal. This document is issued to encourage informed discussion and comment on this proposal.
The Proposal in Brief
If implemented, this proposal will assign the name Mulllawallah Wetlands to the wetlands area in Cardigan known as Winter Swamp.
Effect on Property Addresses
This proposal will not affect any current addresses.
Locality and Details
The waterbody and surrounding reserve area to be named is situated in Cardigan off Remembrance Drive and occupies a total area of approximately 2060.8m.The water area is outlined in red below with the surrounding reserve area in green.
Background to Development of the Site or Feature
The water and reserve area that is currently known as Winter Swamp is a feature of great cultural significance for the local Indigenous community. Aboriginal people have a special affinity with the land and in particular with bodies of water that are spiritually and culturally precious to them. This special connection has been recognised through legislation in Victoria in the form of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.The Winter Swamp is the site for thousands of Aboriginal scatters and artefacts and was the site where many Indigenous people lived prior to and during early settlement in Ballarat. The water body was simultaneously a place to live, meet, source food from and was the site of many significant cultural practices including burial; as such it is a sacred place.
Background to the Proposed Naming
Council recently received a request to rename Winter Swamp. The Winter Swamp is situated on State managed land under the auspices of the Department of Environment, Land and Water (DELWP) with the Committee of Management being the Ballarat Environment Network (BEN). Council is working in partnership with these two authorities on the naming proposal. The name was earlier used for the area and registered in 1966 after being sourced off paper maps, it seems that the name had been used unofficially for some time and then eventually registered in the absence of any other name. It was said that Jock Winter used the area to graze sheep on. The name Winter has already been used to commemorate Jock Winter for a creek, street and more recently a suburb in Victoria and is thus well represented in the region. Although there is no definitive research that demonstrates if Winter Swamp was named after the same Jock Winter that the suburb and creek of the same name are, it is assumed that this is the case. It holds little meaning for the local Indigenous community and preference would be for a culturally meaningful name to be bestowed on the area considering its importance to the local Aboriginal group, the Wathaurung. The use of the suffix Swamp does not also adequately reflect the features of the area with the land being comprised of ephemeral wetlands that provide habitat for many amphibian and aquatic birds as well as frogs and numerous wetland species. Additionally the area has significant flora and fauna as well as the aboriginal scatters.
Rationale for the Naming Recommendation
The water body is known to be one of the final places that Mullawallah lived. Mullawallah was the last known Aboriginal leader in Ballarat and his memory holds special significance for the local Indigenous community.
Submissions and Objections
Interested individuals and organisations are encouraged to make submissions in favour of or against this proposal. Please note: if no valid submissions are received, it will be assumed that there are no objections to this proposal.
For guidance on making a valid submission, please see the sheet, How to make a submission on a naming proposal, included with this correspondence and also available from Council’s Customer Service Centre, 25 Armstrong Street South, Ballarat Central. Details of the proposal are also available online on Council’s Have Your Say page, go to http://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/
Council cannot consider this proposal or any individual submission before the public comment period closes, and must consider all valid submissions before making a decision.
Submissions must also be in writing and reach the Place Names Officer, Lani Smith by no later than 5pm on Monday, December 21st 2015.
Further details about this proposal may be obtained from Council’s Place Names Officer, Lani Smith 53205763. The City of Ballarat has also prepared an information sheet to provide guidance for anyone who wishes to request a place be named or renamed, or who may be affected by a naming proposal.