Under the Geographic Place Names Act 1998 (the Act) there is a legislative requirement to review the Naming rules for places in Victoria 2016 (naming rules) at least once every five years. This review ensures that any issues in the implementation or operation of the naming rules are addressed periodically while also providing the opportunity to refine or improve the principles and processes. The review process will incorporate feedback from stakeholders and reflect community interests as far as reasonable within the scope of the document and within the policies and procedures of Geographic Names Victoria (GNV).

The Naming rules for places in Victoria 2016 will be reviewed over 2020-21 under the Geographic Place Names Act 1998. Prior to March 2020, it was envisaged that face-to-face meetings and participatory workshops were to be held during 2020 to capture stakeholder views and feedback; this plan has been revised in line with the Victorian Government’s response to COVID-19.

Project benefits

Place naming is integral to land administration and planning processes in Victoria. As place naming embeds community identity into our landscape, the naming rules form an important statutory instrument for GNV, naming authorities and the community. Periodic revision of the rules will ensure that the document remains relevant, providing the level of guidance about place naming required for our developing State. Revision of the naming rules will reflect the Registrar of Geographic Names (the Registrar) concerns about some aspects of the current naming rules. Stakeholder and community feedback will be considered in the revision process. The revised naming rules will provide accessible information about the key policies and procedures for creating or redefining feature names, road names and boundaries of localities in Victoria.

The naming rules also offer advice to the community, naming authorities and other stakeholders about how to ensure compliance, lodge proposals, undertake consultation, how to deal with submissions and appeals and how GNV will deal with naming proposals.

How to participate

You can participate directly in the review of the naming rules by responding to the questions and or making an additional written submission.

Participants in the review will Influence the outcome of the review process, including having the opportunity to guide the direction and focus of Geographic Names Victoria. For example, supporting promotion and adoption of Indigenous languages and names, promoting and supporting gender equality in naming, streamlining naming processes and commemorating prominent Victorians.

In addition, users of the naming rules and participants in the review can identify issues and gaps, and propose enhancements.

With that in mind, we must note that there are international, national, and State principles and procedures which must be maintained to ensure communities are protected and our Victorian cultural history is preserved.

Virtual workshops

In February 2021, three virtual workshops were held which saw over 150 attendees. We saw fantastic engagement and comments, thanks to all involved.

Project update

May 2021: We are well into the review of the naming rules and making edits to a working draft document. We have seen over 6,500 visits to this site which has generated over 480 submissions. The team is working through these submissions and making the necessary and appropriate amendments to the naming rules draft based on discussions with our NRRC, MCRG, and the TORG.

July 2021: It was anticipated that a first draft would be ready for July 2021, though with recent COVID lockdowns and the sheer number of comments, (out of 480 submissions) over 2,200 comments were received, has meant more work for the Committees and GNV.

It is now anticipated that we will have a first draft ready for review by mid-August 2021, which will be open for a period of four weeks.

August 2021: The draft Naming rules for places in Victoria - 2021 have been released, further information is provided below.

September 2021: The draft Naming rules for places in Victoria - 2021 have been open for comment, for a period of four weeks. Thank you to those that have taken the time to make a submission. Final comments are being reviewed and will be discussed with the NRRC, MCRG and TORG where necessary.

January 2022: We anticipate the release of the revised Naming rules for places in Victoria document in early February 2022. Stakeholders will be informed of the release in due course.

Naming rules for places in Victoria - 2021 - Draft released

The 2021 review has seen fantastic engagement with the Victorian community. To ensure proper governance of the review a Naming rules review Committee was established. In addition, a Municipal council reference group has been formed and a Traditional Owner reference group. The committees have been meeting regularly to review the proposed list of amendments and enhancements.

The draft naming rules document was released in September 2021 for a period of four weeks. Comments were considered and final amendments made to the document.

We would like to thank everyone that participated in the review.

Next steps

Feedback will be considered by the Naming rules review Committee, the Municipal Council Reference Group and Geographic Names Victoria. It is expected that the feedback will lead to changes to the Naming rules for places in Victoria.

Have your say

You are invited to complete one of the surveys below and or make a formal submission.

General public

Industry stakeholders

Upload submission

Privacy collection statement

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws. The information you provide will be used to enable Geographic Names Victoria to provide updates to you on the review of the Naming rules for places in Victoria and if required to follow up to discuss your submitted responses.

The information you provide will be made available to Geographic Names Victoria, the Naming rules review Committee and the Municipal council reference group who will review submitted information and determine appropriate amendments to the naming rules.

You may access the information you have provided to DELWP by contacting the Project Team on 03 8508 2166 or email geo.names@delwp.vic.gov.au.