OPPOSED TO PROPOSAL: President of Burrum District Community Centre, Faye Whiffin. Photo: Stuart Fast
OPPOSED TO PROPOSAL: President of Burrum District Community Centre, Faye Whiffin. Photo: Stuart Fast

Community rejects suggested name for centre, chooses another

Community feedback has quashed the suggested new name for one council building.

The Burrum District Community Centre will be renamed the Howard District Community Centre after more than a hundred community responses came in against naming the building after local identity Mal Chard.

Councillor James Hansen said results of the community engagement process indicated many respondents did not support the proposed change to Mal Chard Community Centre, but would support a change to the Howard District Community Centre.

"The motion I moved at a council meeting in June called for public comment to change the name of the centre to the Mal Chard Community Centre to posthumously honour the Howard community volunteer and 2005 Hervey Bay Citizen of the Year," he said.

"To gauge feedback, council set-up a survey on its engagement hub website in which residents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the proposal.

"During the engagement process, Council received 160 survey responses, and 23 submissions, as well as two unsolicited petitions containing 127 signatures.

"Many respondents stated that they did not feel the centre should be named after any one individual, but that the name of the Burrum District Community Centre caused confusion as the centre is located in Howard, not Burrum Heads.

"Council has listened to the feedback and will change the name to the Howard District Community Centre, while we will also look to identify an alternative method or location within Howard to acknowledge Mal Chard and the contribution he made to Howard and the Fraser Coast."

Mal and his wife retired to Howard in 1996 as it provided a lifestyle balance between the bush he loved, and the beach she loved.

In 1998 Mal became involved in the Burrum District community by attending meetings during the process of the community rallying for the space to be built. 

Working with the community and key stakeholders, the Burrum Community Centre was built in 2000.