'Racist' name of idyllic Aussie suburb set to change

Yahoo News Staff
·2-min read

A motion has been passed to rename an area in the NSW Hunter Region after it was deemed “racist”.

Lake Macquarie Council tweeted on Monday after a meeting that it had decided to now hold community consultations to determine alternative names for Coon Island and Coon Island Point.

Coon Island is south of Newcastle.

Liberal councillor Kevin Baker told news.com.au the intention is to change the name.

Coon Island Point is seen on a Google Map.
Coon Island Point, pictured where the red marker is, might soon have a new name. Source: Google Maps (file pic)

Cr Baker told the news site earlier this week the name is “very offensive” .

“Herbert Heaney was a white guy who worked in coal mines and would come out with coal dust on his face and got the nickname ‘coon’; it’s just not appropriate in this day and age,” he tweeted.

Indigenous activist Dr Stephen Hagan told the ABC on Monday he was “flabbergasted” to learn of the name of the island.

“It shouldn’t be a debate. It should just be removed,” he told the ABC.

Lake Macquarie Councillor Kevin Baker is pictured.
Lake Macquarie Councillor Kevin Baker was behind pushes to change the name of Coon Island. Source: Facebook/ Kevin Baker (file pic)

Dr Hagan added if the island’s name isn’t changed he would contact Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“This is an absolute shocker,” he said.

Dr Hagan also made moves to change the name of Coon Cheese which is now known as Cheer Cheese.

Many spoke out about the issue last year during the period of Black Lives Matter unrest and called on the name to be changed.

Last year, Allen's also announced it was changing the names of its Red Skins and Chico lollies.

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