Right­ing a Wonga by adding Beach

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

DRIVE 15 km north of Moss­man and you en­counter signs that re­fer to Wonga Beach, Wonga Beach Rd, Wonga Beach State School and Wonga Beach Car­a­van Park. Yet of­fi­cially Wonga Beach doesn’t ex­ist. ‘‘Wonga Beach’’ is in pop­u­lar us­age, though, to the ex­tent that even the sig­nage agrees.

To cor­rect this anom­aly, there are moves afoot to gauge pub­lic opin­ion a name change for the lo­cal­ity, and with enough sup­port the area will be­come known as Wonga Beach -of­fi­cially.

One rea­son Wonga Beach has been in us­age is that for a long time it has helped avoid con­fu­sion with other Won­gas around the na­tion. There’s a Lower Wonga near Gympie. And there’s the Wonga Wet­lands near Al­bury.

Mayor Leu said: ‘‘I am a for­mer res­i­dent of Wonga Beach, and was sur­prised when I found out that ‘Wonga Beach’ was not of­fi­cially called ‘ Wonga Beach’, es­pe­cially as the pri­mary school, lo­cal road sig­nage and car­a­van park all re­ferred to ‘Wonga Beach’.

‘‘I ini­ti­ated this pro­posal on be­half of res­i­dents some time ago through CRC , so it is very good to see it is now open for pub­lic sub­mis­sions via the State govern­ment process.

‘‘I would cer­tainly en­cour­age all Wonga res­i­dents to have their say by the clos­ing date of April.’’

Sub­mis­sions in writ­ing, ei­ther in sup­port of or against the pro­posal, may be sub­mit­ted on­line at www.dnrm.qld.gov.au

David Kemp­ton, Mem­ber for Cook, said ‘‘Ar­eas like Wonga which ex­pe­ri­ence rapid growth can also ex­pe­ri­ence con­fu­sion for lo­cal emer­gency ser­vices and postal ser­vices try­ing to lo­cate prop­erty ad­dresses,’’ Mr Kemp­ton said.

‘‘This pop­u­lar area has long been com­monly re­ferred to as Wonga Beach, which is re­flected by lo­cal road sig­nage.

‘‘The beach­front is cur­rently of­fi­cially un­named so this a great time to bring con­sis­tency to the area’s iden­tity and build a greater sense of com­mu­nity.

‘‘We en­cour­age in­put from lo­cal res­i­dents and com­mu­nity groups to de­ter­mine whether the nam­ing pro­pos­als have pub­lic sup­port.’’

Queens­land place name plan QPN1231 shows the lo­ca­tion of the place con­sid­ered un­der the pro­posal.

Copies of the pro­posal plan can also be down­loaded from the Queens­land Place Names sec­tion at www.dnrm.qld.gov.au.

One Wonga lo­cal who agrees with a name change is Kathy Jordi­son, who runs the Wonga Beach Cal­tex Servo on the high­way.

‘‘I think it should be named Wonga Beach,’’ she said. ‘‘It is a beach – we’re on the beach.’’ Mrs Jordi­son has lived in Moss­man and the lo­cal area for more than three decades and says she has long thought of the area as Wonga Beach.

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