NAME CHANGE: An aerial view of Yeppoon CBD, the urban centre of Livingstone Shire.
NAME CHANGE: An aerial view of Yeppoon CBD, the urban centre of Livingstone Shire.

Seaside city: Ludwig explains major benefits of name change

LIVINGSTONE Shire Council has been considering a name change since 2014 and whether that is to seek city status or simply to make the region more marketable, the results would be the same.

Livingstone mayor, Bill Ludwig said the region could have applied for city status as early as 2000 when the population reached the numbers needed.

"The decision was deferred when Cyclone Marcia struck and more important considerations were prioritised,” Cr Ludwig said.

"Rockhampton markets itself as the beef capital, so city status or even simply changing the Livingstone name would offer a twin city status to complement each other.

"The region where the Outback meets the Coast.

"Rebranding would offer greater opportunity to grow tourism, job creation, business growth and attract more private sector investment in the region.

"There are still people out there looking for a a 'sea change' wanting a desirable place to live and work.

"For years we have been marketing the Capricorn Coast region, it makes sense for the local government to have the same name as the region.”

Farnborough Beach with Yeppoon in the background viewed adjacent to Todd Avenue.
Farnborough Beach with Yeppoon in the background viewed adjacent to Todd Avenue. Chris Ison

What makes a city?

  • It must be the centre of a region that provides commercial, industrial, health and public-sector services.
  • For the three years immediately before declaration it must have had a population of at least 25,000 people with at least 15,000 in its urban centre - in this case, Yeppoon.
  • Population density needs to be 150 people for each square kilometre in the urban centre.

Yeppoon Status

  • Council and government offices, works depot, primary and secondary schools including two boarding schools that attract students from across Queensland and Papua New Guinea, a Tafe campus, police and emergency services, public hospital, health and community services, shopping and business facilities.
  • It is the main tourism centre for the Capricorn Coast.
  • The 2011 Census showed Livingstone Shire Council area had a population of about 34,000 people, including 16,372 in Yeppoon and a density of 208 people per square kilometre.

Councillor Jan Kelly first moved the motion for the change in 2014, seconded by Cr Nigel Hutton, who is now the shire's deputy mayor.

Her motion sought council approval to proceed with an application to the Local Government Minister to request a name and classification change from Livingstone Shire Council to Capricorn Coast City Council.

Councillors decided to go ahead with the application but to first consult with the community for an appropriate name with the suggestion of Capricorn Coast City Council or Capricorn Coast Regional Council as suggestions.

Capricorn Enterprise CE Mary Carroll said Capricorn Enterprise via their Capricorn Destination Tourism Plan 2014 to 2020 had always supported a name change from Livingstone to Capricorn Coast to support the region's branding and awareness.

"A name change to Capricorn Coast Regional Council is a logical complement to our tourism destination efforts in regard to the locality and tourism product along the Capricorn Coast, including the country and hinterland areas and the islands of Keppel Bay and the Southern Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Carroll said.

"The natural publicity of a Capricorn Coast Regional Council brand would occur in print, digital and social channels, regular media interviews, at all levels of government and broader business, industry and investment circles.

"It would have been logical and less costly to change the name when de-amalgamation occurred.

"I don't believe there's any reason to expend huge amounts of ratepayer funds on surveying residents when this topic has been bandied around for years and largely supported.

"Some might argue there will be a great financial cost to changing the name, but that cost can be easily staged and managed, and is far less than the continuing lost opportunity of free publicity in the new name.”

Cr Ludwig said the cost of rebranding would be negligible.

"Should the change be made after reasonable consideration and community consultation, the rebranding would be phased in over a five-year period as things need to be replaced,” he said.

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