Dollypot, Greenhide and Spindrift:

a journal of bush history

Vol 2. No. 5

Pollies and Places

The political alienation of our nomenclature is ongoing. The landscape is littered with names of foreign rulers and thankfully forgotten politicians, a thematic display of misused power and irrelevance.

In 1987 the City of Stirling named reserves after successive premiers, Brian Burke and Ray O’Connor, in retrospect shown to be political criminals-in-training. Time will tell how long they had been training!

It is a rule of nomenclature, most often honoured in the breach, that places are not named after living persons. By the time they are dead, if their sins were outweighed by the good they may have done, then they might be considered.
My letter to the Minister for Lands in December 1987 pointed this out, and commented that it “…is a practice usually reserved for dictatorships. Just as quickly they disappear with the removal of the individual or his party.”
The City of Stirling Council were the brown-nosers responsible for inflicting such on the public. The Minister refused to act on the outlined principles.
In 1995 I returned to the now ripe old bone as the inevitable had happened. The true colours of the two political gangsters had been shown, both serving time in prison for their corrupt activities.
I wrote to the City of Stirling, “…what action does the Council intend to take to remove such blots to its namescape? Or are such rogues still held to be representatives of Stirling City.” The Council replied, “…no action is anticipated.”
I asked the Minister, “Is the City of Stirling as proud of its inhabitants as it was when it promoted this naming?” The Minister, washing his hands in true PP style, said, “I do not intend to change these names without the support and alternative proposals of the City of Stirling, and am therefore unable to accede to your request.”
What then developed more than confirmed that criminality from politicians was all the go in the City of Stirling. By 2005 the old bone was really stinking and other dogs were homing in on the stench.
 In 2006, several maggots dropped out of the bone and the former mayor, Adam Spagnollo and councillor Graham Burkett were both imprisoned for corruption. They had a community center and a reserve named after them by the City of Stirling.
As can be seen the City of Stirling had a particularly intransigent attitude towards the decriminalisation of its landscape, but a 20 year campaign had finally floresced, like that century plant that releases an immense stench with its flowering.
In late 2006 the City of Stirling, “..voted unanimously  to recommend changes in its naming policy.”
The names of Burke, O’Connor, Spagnolo, and Burkett no longer decorate the landscape, but are buried like the rotting corpses of corruption they are.


Postscript. A little victory. There are other battles. I notice that a notorious foreign terrorist leader is commemorated in Perth. Why?  

Peter the Painter.