When Elspeth and Brian Newby received a letter from council saying a road on their property was being named, they assumed it was a mistake.
Their road is a private driveway, that is also a right of carriage for seven other properties at Krawarree.
As the road is on their property, and belongs to them, they do not see that council has the right to rename the road, Mr Newby says. He believes they are adequately serviced by their Rural Mailbox Address, which comes up on Google Maps.
He is also also upset by the lack of consultation with the road’s owners prior to the decision.
“This road is totally on private land, it’s a private road,” Mr Newby said.
“I don’t mind them naming unnamed road, but it’s wasting money on an existing road that’s an existing address.”
Mr and Mrs Newby have no confidence that a road name will make them any easier to find in the case of an emergency.
They are concerned, however, about the potential security risks that come with increased traffic.
“They’ve cited the emergency services as the safety of people that live here for changing the road to make it more easily identifiable, but we’ve currently got a rural addressing,” Mr Newby said.
“I know how Australia Post works, it’s going to take a little while for it all to filter back down, and the locals here who are involved, particularly with the RFS they know where the properties are.”
After taking their concerns to council, Mr and Mrs Newby were disappointed to receive a response indicating that the naming process would continue.
A representative from council defended the decision to name the road, saying it was part of a broader process phasing in road names.
Council did agree to install a sign saying ‘No Access to Deua National Park’, in addition to the signs saying ‘Private Road’ and ‘No Through Road’.
The process of naming unnamed roads is part of a broader process statewide, the spokesperson said.
“Council have been working on this project for a number of years,” a spokesperson said.
“It has become evident over the years that a lack of an appropriate address causes confusion for emergency services, particularly when out of area personnel are involved.”
“At least ten other Rights of Carriageway or Crown Public Roads have so far been named and correctly addressed. The NSW Addressing Policy states that if a Right of Carriageway or Crown Public Road services four or more properties it should be named to provide accurate rural addresses.”
Without road names, those living in rural areas will find it difficult to apply successfully for a range of government documents, the spokesperson said.
“The New South Wales State Government have indicated that in the not too distant future, if a property address is not recorded in GNAF (Geocoded National Address File) certain government issued documents and permits such as gun licenses, passports and vehicle registration will become difficult to obtain.
“The NSW State Government have nominated local Councils as the Road Naming Authority for local government areas around the state.”