Place names are often very meaningful to local communities. They also help guide park visitors and emergency services to parks and locations within them.
- Naming of parks, features and facilities will be used to recognise and acknowledge natural values and cultural connections to places, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.
- Parks, except historic sites and Aboriginal areas, will usually be named after a prominent natural (geographic) feature in the local landscape. The local Aboriginal name of the feature is preferred.
- Parks may be given a name other than a geographic feature if there is a strong historic or cultural connection that should be reflected in the name.
- Historic sites will be named after the place, event, person or persons they commemorate.
- Aboriginal areas and Aboriginal places may be given an Aboriginal name nominated by local Aboriginal communities.
- Parks, features and facilities must not be named after living people (except for facility names currently already recognised by the local community). They may only be named after a deceased person to commemorate a person who contributed significantly to the park or locality in which the facility is situated, such as an explorer, scientist or conservationist, or an Aboriginal person known to have been from the park’s locality. Prior ownership of the land is not in itself grounds for the application of the owner's name to a park or facility.
- Consistent with the Memorials in Parks Policy, parks, features and facilities must not be named after donors, benefactors, sponsors, politicians, public figures or other people, except where names are consistent with paragraphs 4 or 6 of this policy. They must not be named after organisations or companies. Names must not be used if they could be construed as advertising a commercial or industrial enterprise or product.
Names considered offensive or likely to give offence will not be used.
- Dual naming of parks, geographical features and cultural sites will be used in accordance with the department’s Aboriginal Dual Names Policy (internal document available to staff) as a meaningful way of recognising Aboriginal connection to the lands while retaining an existing name that has community acceptance.
- Names will be investigated and assigned in consultation with all relevant persons and groups. Refer to research and consultation section below.
- No Aboriginal name, other than a name registered with the Geographical Names Board of NSW, will be adopted without consulting and seeking support of the appropriate Aboriginal people, usually traditional owners or Elder groups.
- Wilderness areas will be named in a way consistent with the overall intent of this policy and with particular reference to paragraphs 1 to 11 of this policy.
13-16. Legislative powers and responsibilities
- Under section 30A of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act), park names are assigned by and can be changed by the Governor, with the concurrence of the Geographical Names Board of NSW.
The naming of parks reserved under Part 4A (Aboriginal Land) of the NPW Act does not require concurrence with the Geographical Names Board of NSW.
- The Geographical Names Board of NSW assigns names to places and natural features under the Geographical Names Act 1966. NPWS must submit any park naming proposal to the Geographical Names Board of NSW for concurrence under section 12 of the Geographical Names Act 1966. The Board’s guidelines have been considered in the development of this policy.
- Public roads are named by the relevant roads authority under section 162 of the Roads Act 1993. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is not a roads authority and cannot name these roads.
- However, there is no legislation governing the naming of park roads, management trails or park facilities, and so NPWS can name these.
Further information on responsibilities is included in the accountabilities table in this policy.