Council makes right call on cutting bridge naming costs | OPINION

The City of Mandurah council has named the new structure "Mandurah Bridge". Photo: Supplied.
The City of Mandurah council has named the new structure "Mandurah Bridge". Photo: Supplied.

What's in a name?

It’s an age old question, but according to the City of Mandurah the answer is: as much as $20,000.

That’s how much it could cost to run a consultation process on the name of the new Mandurah traffic bridge, which is scheduled to open later this year.

That’s the cost of employing consultants, writing and distributing complex surveys, holding public meetings and writing up massive dust-collecting reports.

The council made the right decision when it chose to name the new bridge without going to all this expense.

Although there will be a debate about whether the name “Mandurah Bridge” is inspiring, it’s bound to better than whatever a consultative committee would come up with.

The Mandurah Mail has been conducting its own consultation process on what to call the new construction.

At last count, of the 3034 people who voted in our online poll, 1222 (or 40.3 per cent) said the new bridge should be called “Bridgey McBridgeface”.

Yes, it’s a joke, and the internet thinks it’s pretty funny. In 2016, the United Kingdom government ran an online poll to find a name for its new polar research vessel and “Boaty McBoatface” won hands down. The ship was instead named RRS Sir David Attenborough.

A little more boring, but respectable. And one of its remotely operated sub-sea vehicles was named Boaty.

Perhaps this just means people expect their elected representatives to make these decisions for them.

In Mandurah we have an entire council of them and their job is to make decisions.

This may mean that sometimes the names of our new infrastructure may not set the world on fire, but it does mean we have a council that’s not afraid of doing its job.

There is a tendency in government (local, state and federal) to defer decisions to committees or over-paid consultants conducting endless consultations.

So good on the City of Mandurah council for making the call.

Even if we all end up calling it the New Old Bridge, at least future generations won’t be stratching their heads wondering who the heck came up with Bridgey McBridgeface.


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