Councillors unanimously carried a motion at the first council meeting for 2021 that will see no further action taken regarding the renaming of the Kempsey Shire.
Councillors also noted that the term Macleay Valley, as well as Kempsey Shire, will continue to be used in council's marketing and branding.
The idea of changing the name of the shire has a long history, first being raised by a Mayor's Supplementary report in December 2004.
Councillors debated the issue at the August 2019 council meeting and decided to begin engagement with the community regarding a potential name change.
In November 2020, council engaged Micromex Research to undertake a biannual community survey on behalf of council.
This survey result indicates that there is no definitive widespread community support to change the shire's name at this time, and therefore, council should take no further action.
304 residents were contacted via phone for the survey, with 84 per cent of respondents somewhat supportive of leaving the name of the shire as Kempsey Shire Council and 47 per cent being completely supportive.
However, Macleay Valley Council was the most supported alternative option with 50 per cent of respondents being at least somewhat supportive of this option.
When asked which option would be preferred, 56 per cent of respondents chose not changing the name, with only 30 per cent selecting the second most popular Macleay Valley Council option.
Kempsey Shire Mayor, Liz Campbell, said she was delighted with the passion the community had shown for the existing name.
"Ours is a shire that covers a vast diversity of natural beauty, of incredible people and fascinating histories and to try and represent all of that in one name is an impossible task," Cr Campbell said.
"So we asked the question, and the answer was clear, for the majority of our residents, this is Kempsey Shire, and so it will remain.
"A place can have many names though. This is, and has always been, Dunghutti and Thungutti land. It is also the Macleay Valley. All these names have great resonance for our community and will continue to describe our home, and Council will always represent everyone in the shire."
The Kempsey name dates back to Enoch William Rudder who moved to the area in 1835 and felt it reminded him of the valley of Kempsey in Worcestershire, England. In 1886, the borough of Kempsey was proclaimed.
In 1975 the Kempsey Municipal Council and the Macleay Shire Council amalgamated to form Kempsey Shire Council, which embraces the entire Macleay district.
The decision not to change the name of the shire will not impact the continued use of alternative references by Council to the broader geographic area, such as the Macleay Valley Coast Holiday Parks or the Macleay Valley Food Bowl.