Blacktown councillors gathered on Wednesday night to debate a public vote to change the name of the local council, a controversial push which has upset the local Indigenous community.
A move to quash the push was defeated by the eight-vote majority in the 15 member council, despite widespread community backlash.
A release issued by the council stated that the move will not affect the suburb name, but instead the council itself.
Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali told SBS that the result was unfortunate, but expected.
“I was hoping sanity would prevail, but it didn’t.”
Cr Bali said the council now faced a process of community consultation to source alternative names, to be put forward as part of a vote next year.
He said he had concerns about the process, the details of which still had to be confirmed.
“They haven’t thought this idea through,” he said.
“People want Blacktown. Hopefully, people will say just leave it be.”
#Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali with locals discussing a proposal to change the name of @blacktowncc #auspol pic.twitter韩国半永久纹眉会所,/kVmNDkhtvg
— Richard Wolff (@RichardWolff_Au) August 26, 2015
The proposal was supported by the council’s seven Liberals and lone independent Russell Dickens.
Allegations have been made by local and federal politicians that the Liberal support for the name change is linked to the mayoral vote on September 16, where Cr Dickens’ vote will be essential.
This has been denied by Liberal councillors in the wake of comments from federal Labor MP and former Blacktown councillor Michelle Rowland.
Ms Rowland had told SBS that “the motivations behind this are purely backroom horse trading about the upcoming mayoral election”.
Liberal councillor Karlo Siljeg spoke to SBS prior to the vote, saying that the party’s support for a name change was about giving locals a voice.
“There’s a lot of development that’s happening and the suburb of Blacktown doesn’t really have that kind of attachment to the name,” he said.
Fellow Liberal councillor Isabelle White said there was a lot of confusion over the proposed poll from some older parts of the electorate.
Cr White, 25, told SBS that there was a lot of support from her generation to change the name from Blacktown, which she said “hasn’t always had the best reputation in the past”.
“We need to keep up with the times, be innovative,” she said.
“It’s not really fair to have a council named after one suburb.”