Guidelines for naming or proposing to name or rename a place

Information on this page

Review of the Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010

The Office of Geographic Names is currently undertaking a review of the guidelines in compliance with Section 6 of the Geographic Place Names Act 1998.  For more information see the news and current projects page.   

Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 Version 2

If you are interested in the process and procedures for naming places you will find in the Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 Version 2 step-by-step information on naming, renaming or changing the boundaries of features, localities and roads in Victoria.

These guidelines, provided for in the Geographic Place Names Act 1998, are mandatory for naming authorities in Victoria. They have been developed through detailed consultation with municipal councils, government departments and emergency response and public service providers. The guidelines are based on national standards and policies and provide a strong basis for standardised and unambiguous naming procedures across the state.

You can either download the complete Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 Version 2 or download just the sections in which you are interested. Please note that Sections 2 (Features), 3 (Localities) and 4 (Roads) must be read in conjunction with Section 1 (Principles and Procedures).

When using the guidelines please refer to the supplementary documents Consulting with the wider community, Consulting with Indigenous groups, Checklists for additional information.

The guidelines are divided into four main sections:

  • Section 1: Purpose and Principles
  • Section 2: Features
  • Section 3: Localities and
  • Section 4: Roads.

The information in Section 1 should be used in conjunction with the various principles and procedures outlined in Sections 2, 3 and 4.

Guidelines by section

Section 1: Principles and Procedures

Section 1 includes general information about the naming process and details the principles applying to all cases of naming, renaming or changing the boundary of a feature, locality or road. The information in this section should be used in conjunction with the various principles and procedures outlined in Sections 2, 3 and 4.

Section 2: Features

This section outlines how features can be named, renamed or have their boundaries and spatial reference points realigned. Information included in Section 2 is to be used in conjunction with the principles and policies outlined in Section 1 of these guidelines.

For a list of approved feature types please refer to the attached spreadsheet.

Section 3: Localities

This section outlines how localities in Victoria can be named and renamed, and also defines how the boundaries can be altered. Information included in Section 3 is to be used in conjunction with the principles and policies outlined in Section 1 of these guidelines.

Section 4: Roads

This section provides information on how 'coordinating road authorities' (municipal councils or government departments and authorities) can name roads – both public and private – within their jurisdictions. Information included in Section 4 is to be used in conjunction with the principles and policies outlined in Section 1 of these guidelines.

Supplementary documents to the Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 Version 2

The supplementary documents below should be used in conjunction with the guidelines when naming, renaming and adjusting the boundaries of geographic features, localities and roads.

Consulting with the wider community

This document outlines the recommended processes for consulting with the wider community when naming and renaming geographic features, localities and roads.

Consulting with Indigenous groups

This document outlines the recommended processes for consulting with Indigenous groups when naming or renaming a feature, locality or road with a name derived from a traditional Indigenous Australian language.

Checklists

The checklists should be used to ensure correct processes are followed when naming or renaming a feature, locality or road.

Quick reference guide for land surveyors - road naming

A quick reference guide is available for land surveyors naming roads. The guide is an excerpt from the Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 Version 2 and includes a list of the key principles within Section 1 Principles and Procedures and specific principles in relation to road naming in Section 4 Roads.

Examples of naming/renaming proposals

A set of naming proposal examples has been compiled for use by councils. The set of examples include council proposals for geographic feature naming, road renaming, locality boundary changes and public naming competitions. You can obtain these by contacting the Office of Geographic Names on (03) 8636 2525 or by emailing geo.names@dtpli.vic.gov.au

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) Guidelines

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) is the coordinating naming authority for schools. Local councils are now consulted and invited to comment on any school naming proposal, but are no longer required to coordinate the naming process.

See the DEECD Guidelines for the naming of schools.

Recommended spelling of Indigenous place names

For many reasons there are multiple ways Victorian Indigenous languages have been spelt in historical records. If you are using the VICNAMES historical information database to submit historical information relating to a Victorian Indigenous language, please refer to VICNAMES - Recommended Spelling for Victorian Nations/Language Groups, provided by the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL).

Road name history form

This road name history form should be uploaded with your plan of subdivision. One form should be used per road name.

Any name proposal must comply with the Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 Version 2.  

Providing detailed historical information in this form will assist the approval process. When the Office of Geographic Names audits the plan of subdivision, the information provided will help ensure that the name is appropriate, that it complies with the guidelines and the history behind it can be recorded online.

Surveyors or council officers should search for the registered road name in VICNAMES and add the road name history.

Page last reviewed on 2 April 2015

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