On this page you can:

  • find out more about the naming process and rules
  • make a submission on potential new place or road name

City of Melbourne is responsible for creating or changing the names of places and roads, and for allocating numbers to properties within the municipality.

Appropriate naming is essential for identifying locations when managing emergencies and delivering goods and services.

New names must comply with the State Government’s naming rules for places in Victoria, Statutory requirements for naming roads, features and localities 2016 (the naming rules), that are established under the Geographic Place Names Act 1998.

New names should also relate to the historical and cultural connections of the location.

Our current naming process

The Geographic Place Names Act 1998 and the Register of Geographical names (VICNAMES) guide Council’s place and road naming process.

Any proposed name must comply with the naming rules for places in Victoria (set by the State Government). The naming rules uphold the guidelines in the Geographic Place Names Act 1998.

Visual process overview of the main steps in place and road naming process

Draft Place and Road Naming Policy

We recently sought community feedback on our Draft Policy and Guidelines.

City of Melbourne's current approach to naming

City of Melbourne encourages and supports names that recognise our Indigenous history and connections, our diverse multicultural community and other local history, culture and citizens, with an emphasis on the following:

Aboriginal naming

  • City of Melbourne encourages opportunities to recognise and preserve the valuable contribution made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the use of Aboriginal languages for names in accordance with the Naming Rules. Should you wish to consider the use of the Aboriginal language for naming, it is highly recommended that a Cultural Heritage Management Plan be undertaken for the relevant locality. For further information, please visit the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS).

Women in history

  • City of Melbourne teamed up with the Victorian Women’s Trust to feature more Victorian women when naming places and lanes, providing an opportunity to celebrate women who have influenced and inspired our community. The result of this research was a short booklet ‘Women in the Life of the City’ with a curated list of women, each deserving of wider recognition. It is by no means exhaustive but it goes some way to highlight the influence women have had throughout the decades.

The State Government naming rules

The naming rules established by the State Government of Victoria provide processes and procedures for naming roads, features and localities across Victoria to ensure naming is undertaken consistently for the community’s benefit.

Any public or private road, feature or locality within Victoria can be named, or renamed, using the principles, requirements and procedures in the naming rules.

Download a copy of the naming rules here.

General naming principles identified in the naming rules

The general naming principles listed below must be used in conjunction with other components of the naming rules when considering street, place and road names.

These general principles are designed to ensure that names are enduring and there is no ambiguity, confusion, error or discrimination caused by the naming.

A detailed explanation of the principles can be found in Section 2 of the naming rules. 

You can also view a summary of each principle here.

The naming rules state that names must not:

  • create risk to public safety or operational safety for emergency response or;
  • cause confusion for transport, communication and mail services. 

The long-term effect of a road name on wider community must be considered when naming or renaming a road. A proposal will only be registered if the long-term benefits to the community can be shown to outweigh any private or corporate interests, or short-term effects.

Naming a road or lane is in the interest of public safety, as an officially registered name provides addressing to any properties which use the road, and leads to improved provision of emergency services and delivery of goods and services.

Road names should be relevant to the local area, with preference given to unofficial names used by the local community.

Names that link to the place could relate to Aboriginal culture and occupation of the land, local flora and fauna, Australian war contributions, European exploration and settlement, local geography and geology, significant events, the cultural diversity of past and current inhabitants, or patterns of land usage and industrial/mineral/agricultural production.

Road names must not be duplicated within 6kms of the location, irrespective of locality and/or council boundaries. Note the naming rules specify 5kms, but using 6kms allows for any duplication to be recognised, checked and cleared if needed before the proposal is advertised.

Duplicates are considered to be two (or more) names within close proximity, or names that are identical or have similar spelling or pronunciation.

This cannot be avoided by using a different street type.

Traditional Owner languages are often based on location. Languages are deeply rooted to the land and offer an ideal opportunity to connect a name to a place. The use of Aboriginal languages in the naming of roads is encouraged, subject to agreement from the relevant Traditional Owner group(s).

Section 7.3 in the Naming Rules guides the Development of a Traditional Owners language naming proposal. This section includes links to find the formally recognised Traditional Owners are for the location you’re naming.

Road names must not discriminate and or cause offence.

The naming rules encourage gender equality in the naming of roads, features and localities.  

The City of Melbourne also encourages and supports names that act as a reminder of local history, culture and citizens with an emphasis on women.

Dual naming cannot be used in the naming of roads.

Naming can commemorate a person, event or place including Traditional Owners, cultural events or following a theme.

When honouring a person Council must consider the persons achievements, relevant history and association with the area and the significance of the person/family to the area.  

Council must also:

  • make an effort to gain family consent.
  • not use the name of a person who has been deceased less than two years,
  • not use the name of someone still alive,
  • preferably use their last name.

Naming roads after businesses, community, trade names or commercial organisations is discouraged.

Names should be easy to pronounce, spell and write, and preferably not exceed three words (including feature or road type) and/or 25 characters.

An exception to this is in the use of Traditional Owner languages, when it is accepted that Traditional Owner names that initially appear complex will, over time, become familiar and easy to use.

Punctuation such as commas, full stops, apostrophes and diacritical marks are not allowed. 

Hyphens are not allowed unless they are incorporated in a surname or indicate the extent of the feature.

The following cannot be included in names - the word the, a numeric value, abbreviations or spaces.

North, South, East and West must not be used.  

Roads and features must be clearly defined and use an approved road and feature types located in the Naming rules (see APPENDIX A Road types accepted for registration).