Coutts Crossing should be renamed.
Coutts Crossing should be renamed.

COUTTS RENAMING: Residents set meeting date

COUTTS Crossing residents have been invited to a public meeting to discuss a response to a proposal to change the name of the village.

Village resident Adrian Pryor has advertised the meeting that has been called after discussions with many long-standing community members.

The proposal to rename the village, named after early settler Thomas Coutts, resurfaced earlier this month after an article by indigenous columnist Janelle Brown appeared in The Daily Examiner.

The column discussed how some Coutts Crossing residents learned Coutts had been charged with poisoning 23 Aboriginal men, woman and children in 1847.

He had escaped justice because the law would not accept testimony from Aboriginal people.

The week after the column, a public meeting in Grafton to discuss how to proceed with renaming the village attracted about 30 people.

While it made no formal recommendations, a consensus emerged a first step could be to include a new name, yet to be decided, on signage around the village and to build a memorial to the murdered people in the village.

Indigenous people at the meeting said there would need to be a meeting of their people to discuss their issues, before they called a public meeting at Coutts Crossing.

Mr Pryor has called the June 27 event separately from the public meeting discussed at the Grafton meeting.

He attended the Grafton meeting and spoke against the proposal to rename the village.

Mr Pryor said renaming Coutts Crossing would create unnecessary identity issues for the village and be ineffective in redressing old grievances. He said all residents needed a chance to have their say about renaming.

The meeting will be held in the Coutts Crossing Hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Mr Pryor can be contacted on 66495018.