[singlepic id=268 w=320 h=240 float=left]Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt today announced that the far north Queensland town formerly known as ’Miriwinni’ was now officially named ‘Mirriwinni’.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management recommended the name change after an extensive consultation process in which it sought the views of the essential service providers such as postal, emergency and telecommunication services, and the Mirriwinni community.

Mr Pitt said the debate over the spelling of the town’s name has gone on for decades however there was a high-level of community support for the name change.

“I was first contacted in May 2009 by the ‘Restore the ‘R’ in Miriwinni Committee’ to support their campaign to officially recognise the spelling of Miriwinni with two Rs,” Mr Pitt said.

“I took up the matter with the Minister for Natural Resources Stephen Robertson who advised that the committee could proceed with a formal application under the Place Names Act 1994 after it had gained the approval of the Cairns Regional Council.

“I advised President Allan Kingston of the steps the committee needed to take and helped push the issue to a council vote last October.”

“The committee put forward a strong case and collected a stack of documentary evidence including photos, postal records, invoices and bank deposit slips which all added weight to their argument.

“During the two month consultation, the Department received letters from local residents and from community representatives such as local government and church leaders and a sporting group.”

Mr Pitt said Mirriwinni had a fascinating history, with many locals believing the name change actually restored the original spelling of the town prior to World War II.

“According to written accounts from the Mirriwinni Restore the ‘R’ Committee, the spelling with a double-R was commonly used prior to World War II including on a sign at a railway siding that was temporarily removed during the war,” Mr Pitt said.

“The successful application was assessed favourably by the Department against place names criteria such as community views, cultural and historic significance, Aboriginal tradition and Islander custom and commonly known names.”

Mirriwinni is located near the base of Mount Bartle Frere, which, at 1,622 metres, is Queensland’s highest peak. It’s believed that Mirriwinni is derived from the local Aboriginal word ‘merriwinnoo’ which means ’mountain rock’.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management administers the Place Names Act 1994 which provides processes for naming places and geographic features.

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