Kempsey Shire Council voted to begin engagement with the community regarding a potential name change, naming options and community support at the council meeting yesterday.
Council will also investigate the full expected financial impact of a name change and will provide a report to the June 2020 council meeting detailing the costs involved.
Councillor Sue McGinn spoke for the recommendation and said this would be an opportunity for council to re brand themselves.
"We will be going to the community for their input into the possible name change and will engage with them," she said.
"This could bring economic benefits and would be a chance to re brand ourselves."
Council doesn't have a specific name in mind, but instead are opening it up to the community to engage with council on potential options.
"We don't have a preferred name, but want to engage with the community about the options," general manager Craig Milburn said.
Cr Leo Hauville spoke against the recommendation and argued the costs would far outweigh the benefits of a name change.
"We are voting on something that will cost money," he said.
"We should know the costs before voting in favour of the recommendation."
A name change is a matter that has a long history at council, it was first raised in December 2004. In 2005 and 2009 council undertook community surveys to gauge interest in particular names, or to leave the name as is. These surveys explored options such as Macleay Valley Shire Council, Macleay Valley Council and Macleay Valley Coast Council.
The 2009 survey returned positive support for a name change; however neither resulted in any further action.
Mr Milburn said the decision made yesterday would not ensure a name change for Kempsey Shire Council.
"Councillors are simply voting on the process and to get more of an understanding and explanation of the cost," he said.
"The report will come back to the June 2020 council meeting before being put to the community as a poll next year if councillors decide to move forward with the change."
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