Mosman name change divides local council & community

Darren Moffatt


It's not every day that a suburb makes front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, but this week was Mosman's turn with the news that it is to be divided into 5 separate suburbs, each with different names.

Under the council plan currently before the Geographical Names Board,  what is now known collectively as "Mosman" would become a hydra-headed bunch of euphemisms such as 'Clifton Garden', 'Beauty Point', 'Mosman Bay', 'Balmoral Beach' and 'Mosman'.

Although locals already refer to these discrete areas by the proposed names, all currently fall under the umbrella suburb of "Mosman". The proposal would see that ditched, although residents of each of the five boroughs would retain the postcode of 2088.

As reported in the Mosman Daily, the plan has received harsh crticism from local residents and business owners. There is a suspicion amongst locals that the plan is really a stalking horse to boost exclusivity  - and therefore property prices - in Balmoral Beach by allowing it to become a stand alone suburb. Indeed, it's not just the residents who are divided, the issue appears to have split the council itself, with councillor Simon Menzies opposed.  

"This issue is all about pushing up property prices in Balmoral and reducing them elsewhere by taking the Mosman name away from them," Mosman councillor Simon Menzies said.

"The other suburbs are just being named so it doesn't appear just to be for Balmoral. The whole thing is quite ridiculous."

Mosman has immense name recognition as one of the most exclusive suburbs in Australia, and many small business owners have paid good money to trade in "Mosman". Now that they may find their businesses instead in 'Mosman Bay'  or 'Beauty Point', they are aggrieved.

Equally, residents are upset at the confusion such name changes will bring & the costs associated with such a change, as argued by local blogger Warren Yates. They also are concerned about the anticipated negative price impact on the values of their property. Although many residents think house prices in the non-Balmoral Beach suburbs of "Mosman" will fall, local real estate agents don't appear to share this view.

What do you think?

It would be great to hear from residents, real estate agents and business people in the area. Is this good for the suburb, or an ill-conceived plan to benefit the few of over the many?

The 'NO' case appears to be well documented, but I have seen little genuine 'YES' support in the local media. What do residents really think?    

People can view and comment on the plan for Mosman name changes here: