Big deal over “drug” street name

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The name of a new Officer street faces being changed after thieves kept stealing its “drug connotations” signs.

The owner of an Ice Street property within the Aspect estate approached the council in November requesting that the name be changed due to “negative associations with the recreational drug methamphetamine”, which is commonly referred to as ‘ice’.

The council sent a letter to property owners in December to ask residents whether they would support a change of street name or prefer it to remain unchanged.

The proposed new street name, Dana Street, was selected from the list of previously approved street names for the Aspect development that had not been used.

Elizabeth Tibble, who rents a property in the street, said she was unaware of the local debate over the street’s name.

“We haven’t heard anything about this from our landlord,” Ms Tibble said.

“If it’s changed, I don’t even know if or when we should contact the post office for the redirection of mail.

“I didn’t even connect the name ‘ice’ to the drug.

“The sign keeps going missing, so I’d assume that’s why people might have complained.

“It’s frustrating because we only just moved in late November and it means we’re going to have to change our postal address on all of our accounts all over again.”

Kayleen Redman, who moved into her Ice Street home at around Easter, said she did not care either way.

“It’s just a name,” she said.

“People think that because the word ‘ice’ carries drug connotations, the street will attract the wrong sorts of people and affect the resell value of our houses.

“What I’m more annoyed about is that we don’t come up on Google maps.”

Steven Powell and Tetyana Derkach, who live close to the end of the street, said the sign was “pinched a couple of weeks after it went up”.

“The sign has been stolen several times at both ends of the street. I guess it’s because people think it’s a funny name,” Mr Powell said.

“We signed in favour of the name change.

“There’s no point in having a street sign if it keeps getting stolen.”

Cardinia Shire Council development and compliance services manager Debbie Tyson said the name Ice Street was approved in 2012.

“It was approved at a time when the use of ‘ice’ was not nearly as widespread and damaging to society as it is today,” Ms Tyson said.

“In response to the owners’ concerns, and agreeing that the request to change the street name was warranted, council gave property owners the opportunity to vote whether they wanted the street name to change to Dana Street or to keep the existing street name.

“Twelve property owners responded to the letter; 10 indicated that they would be in favour of the street name changing to Dana Street, while two indicated that they would be opposed to such a change,” she said.

The council has sent an application to VicNames to have the street name changed to Dana Street and the matter is currently under review.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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