Leading WA health researcher Fiona Stanley has thrown her support behind a proposal to name a Perth road Telethon Avenue, saying it was a "lovely idea" to acknowledge the community's generosity.
A day after Premier Colin Barnett branded the name inappropriate for a Perth City Link precinct access road because it was "commercial", Telethon patron Professor Stanley said she did not see it as a commercial choice.
"Telethon is a charity but it's more than a charity," she said.
"Who gives the money to Telethon? It's the people of Western Australia."
Philanthropist and Telethon supporter Janet Holmes a Court also offered her support, saying she would "not be unhappy" to see the name used.
"Telethon has contributed millions of dollars to important community and medical research projects over many years," she said.
Mr Barnett's comments provoked a sharp response from Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, who said the event was as much a part of Perth as Cottesloe beach.
"It's OK to use commercial names for monetary commitments on a stadium but not to recognise and name a Perth street after an iconic event such as Telethon, which is so cherished by the people of Perth? Unbelievable," she said.
Mr Barnett said yesterday he stood by his comments.
"This Government has stopped the Perth Arena from having a commercial sponsor's name and I have also made it clear that the stadium won't have a commercial name," he said.
The City of Perth has previously endorsed Telethon Avenue as the preferred name for an access road to Kings Square built on land owned by Channel 7.
The name was put forward by Channel 7 in recognition of Telethon's association with the former Entertainment Centre site and its contribution to Perth.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said Telethon was not a commercial organisation but a charity.