Ramsay School Rd turn-off (centre) from O'Keefe Rd in Ramsay. The road has now been sealed by the applicant.
Ramsay School Rd turn-off (centre) from O'Keefe Rd in Ramsay. The road has now been sealed by the applicant.

Rural road name change sparks council stoush

AN APPLICATION to change the name of a small section of a rural road has sparked a massive debate among the councillors.

Ramsay resident Cameron Sharp applied to the council in January to change the name of a 300m section of Ramsay School Rd, which he had recently upgraded as part of a building approval.

Ramsay School Rd is separated by a deep gully, making it impossible to cross from the eastern side.

Infrastructure general manager Mike Brady said Mr Sharp's application was due to possible confusion for emergency services that might go to the wrong end of road if an incident was reported.

"Mr Sharp's concern that emergency services and support services will have difficulty locating the property is currently valid, as his rural address of 496 Ramsay School Rd shows on Google/Apple/GPS systems near the intersection of Ramsay School Rd and Falvey Rd as this is currently the easternmost extent of the formed section of Ramsay School Rd," the report said.

Consultation of neighbouring properties found the majority of residents didn't want the name to change, with Bebbington Rd and McClintock Rd also suggested as options if it was to go ahead.

Several residents said they had never experienced any issues with emergency services trying to find the western side of the road.

Map of Ramsay School Rd name change application with the Toowoomba Regional Council.
Map of Ramsay School Rd name change application with the Toowoomba Regional Council.

While the council officers recommended the entire 2km western length of Ramsay School Rd up to the gully be renamed, if that was the councillors' wishes, Cr Nancy Sommerfield moved that the TRC rename just the 300m section leading from the main road to Mr Sharp's property.

"I believe that it needs to be changed because of the things we talked to about emergency and support services," she said.

"I do believe it does cause confusion and I would like to see this section be changed."

After some failed amendments, Bebbington Rd was listed in the motion.

Cr Bill Cahill spoke against the proposal, citing the community consultation that had taken place showing opposition to the name change.

"I speak against the proposed motion because I'm going to go with old-fashioned community consultation on this one," he said.

After the motion was carried, infrastructure chair Cr Carol Taylor took aim at her colleagues for the decision, calling it "disappointing".

"Councillors, I see a few smiles around here, I think it's actually very disappointing for the community there, to be treated with personalities (like this)," she said.

Deputy Mayor Geoff McDonald took issue with the comment, saying Cr Taylor could reintroduce the matter for discussion again at the ordinary meeting next week.

Cr Taylor indicated she would do so.