NAMING council reserves and sports fields after local identities occupied the minds of Coffs Harbour City councillors for more than half their meeting on Thursday.
It has proved a touchy subject with council staff, who have produced several reports outlining the benefits of using recognisable geographical names and generally avoiding memorials.
Councillors have been determined to stick to their intentions of recognising the work of volunteers
On this week's agenda was a proposal for councillors to adopt a new reserve naming and memorial policy to stop wayward proposals.
This policy was amended after sections of the draft attracted objections when publicly advertised last year.
It received further amendment on Thursday.
Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association president Ken Robinson addressed the councillors, pointing out the proposed policy forbade the naming of a reserve, including an outdoor sporting venue, after a commercial enterprise, but the C.ex International Stadium (formerly BCU International Stadium) had escaped this ban.
"So it appears that the pearl within the oyster can have a name if a commercial entity is willing to pay money for the privilege but we cannot honour local identities for service to the greater community within the oyster shell," Mr Robinson said.
Speaking also on behalf of Coffs Harbour Hockey Club president Debbie Baldwin and the COFFSAC president Phil Crofts, Mr Robinson argued it was beneficial to name individual venues within a sporting complex as it added clarity to directions for players and spectators.
The sporting groups want to name hockey fields at the Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park after the late Bruce Barnier, who drove development of the hockey complex.
During the lengthy debate, councillor Garry Innes spoke of his family's difficulty in reversing the Hornsby council's decision to name a field after his late mother, against the family's wishes.
Councillors finally adopted the motion hammered out by councillors Keith Rhoades and John Arkan to permit the naming of fields or facilities within a complex in recognition of an individual either alive or dead, with the permission of the family.
All such proposals will be advertised to prevent unwelcome memorials.