News

Rename pain

By James Bennett

Street name changes in Finley are still causing issues for businesses and the wider community three years after they were implemented.

There are also lingering concerns regarding the potential confusion for emergency services when called to an address.

Berrigan Shire’s decision to rename several streets was implemented in 2015 and was met with strong community opposition at the time.

Finley business owner Ashley Haynes said he’s disappointed that this decision is still causing problems.

Mr Haynes said he doesn’t understand why the shire ‘‘wasted money’’ on renaming the streets ‘‘when there wasn’t an issue to start with’’.

He said his frustration surfaced once again when a lady’s car had broken down outside his business, Ashley Haynes Butchery, in Pinnuck St, which was formerly Warmatta St.

‘‘She was visibly distressed so I offered to call the NRMA who told me that Pinnuck Street didn’t exist.

‘‘What frustrates me as a business owner is why council spent ratepayer money on this, plus I’ve needed to spend my money on new business cards and other associated overheads.

‘‘Finley people know the streets as what they used to be. I don’t bother with telling delivery drivers my business is in Pinnuck Street because on Google Maps it has it listed as Warmatta Street,’’ Mr Haynes said.

Finley Chamber of Commerce president Gary Carr said he too is concerned the renaming of streets is still affecting businesses and hopes the matter can be resolved soon.

‘‘It’s worrying to hear businesses are still being affected by this.

‘‘When you try and get a power meter reading they still refer to the old addresses.

‘‘The question we direct to the shire is have they properly notified the government services and other agencies with the name changes? You would think these problems would have been fixed three years ago.’’

Four Finley street names west of the rail line were changed in 2015 — Warmatta St to Pinnuck St, Headford to Ulupna, Osbourne to Scoullar, and Townsend to McNamara.

Warmatta, Headford, Osbourne and Townsend street names were retained on the east side of the rail line.

Berrigan Shire director of corporate services Matt Hansen said he believes the problems are mainly arising due to the updates not being recognised on Google Maps.

‘‘Google Maps seems to be the problem as both Apple Maps and Bing Maps have the correct names listed,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve contacted Google Maps on numerous occasions for them to permanently fix the problem.

‘‘However, Google Maps allows the public to report ‘errors’ on their maps and these street names are continually changed back to the old ones.

‘‘If residents are still experiencing problems with emergency services or utility services not recognising the new names we’re happy to contact those agencies and attempt to rectify the problem.

‘‘We hope emergency services are taking their information from the SIX Maps database managed by Land & Property Information New South Wales because that is the official service and has it listed correctly.’’

The request to change selected street names in Berrigan, Finley and Tocumwal was first lodged by emergency services representatives on Berrigan Shire Council’s Local Emergency Management Committee in 2012.

They said streets interrupted by blocks such as the railway land in Finley made addresses difficult to find in an emergency situation.