Clampdown on naming rights

BAYSWATER council has moved to crack down on opportunistic sponsors trying to permanently saddle community landmarks with corporate names.

In May last year the council got a call from a very excited Bayswater City Soccer Club which had secured sponsorship from Wangara-based financiers Finance 365 and wanted to rename Frank Drago reserve stadium after its new benefactor.

While the change was approved, some councillors were a bit nervous about ditching long-held names which commemorate notable citizens, and called for a review of the policy.

It comes before the council’s planning committee this week with staff recommending that sponsors be allowed “short-term names for the purposes of event promotion of sponsorship”.

The updated policy doesn’t signify a time frame. It does, however, simplify the list of suitable candidates deserving of having a named landmark; war veterans, ex-councillors, MPs and senior council officers are no longer singled out, with anyone who’s a “figure of local historical note” now in the running.

“Names chosen for city parks, reserves, streets and infrastructure are expected to be permanent, and re-naming is discouraged,” the new policy will read if adopted.

“Renaming will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and where significant community support has been demonstrated.”

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