WHICH IS IT?: Bourkes, Bourke’s or Bourke Rd?
WHICH IS IT?: Bourkes, Bourke’s or Bourke Rd?

Apostrophes put Council in a spin

THE apostrophes are no where to be seen and now the letter is on the chopping block from Southern Downs' road names.

In 2010 council engaged consultants to carry out a survey on street names resulting in a report tabled at this week's engineering services meeting recommending standardising names written various ways for a council database.

The database already started to ditch the apostrophe in iconic roads like Shelley's Rd and Grayson's Rd with questions raised over whether the "s" should also be given the flick.

But the report - designed to clarify confusion - seemed to have the opposite affect with councillors, including Cr Neil Meiklejohn, admitting they didn't quite get it.

"Well reading this report twice didn't help me a lot," he said.

"We will refer to it as Grayson and everybody will know it as Grayson's. Are we trying to push this problem up hill, but then making it worse?"

Cr Vic Pennisi agreed.

"I think we should be keeping the 's' everywhere. I think we are going to make it worse," he said.

Engineering services director Peter See said there was no choice but to drop the apostrophes because council data came from the Department of Environment and Resources which dropped them anyway. "It doesn't mean people will have to change addresses," he said.

Mr See said it would be left to council customer service staff to pick up when, for example, Grayson's Rd meant Grayson Rd in the council database.

Cr Meiklejohn asked if DERM was even consistently dropping the "s" which resulted in more blank looks.

"I'll have to talk to DERM to understand their program," Mr See said.

A council spokeswoman said the 46-page report took "many months" to compile and no decision was made on the fate of the letter s.

"The Council requested that Engineering go back to DERM to request more information ..." she said.


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