ALL SMILES: Australia's Kane Douglas after his team beat England 33-13 at Twickenham in last year's World Cup.
ALL SMILES: Australia's Kane Douglas after his team beat England 33-13 at Twickenham in last year's World Cup. Christophe Ena

New moves to name field in honour of Wallaby

CLARENCE Valley deputy mayor Jason Kingsley appears to have had a change of heart over naming a Yamba football field after home-grown rugby union star Kane Douglas.

This afternoon Cr Kingsley will put forward a notice of motion to the council's corporate governance and works committee calling for the renaming of the Yamba No.2 rugby field, after voting against a similar motion at the August council meeting.

The proposal to rename the field after the town's first Wallaby has some history.

In April former councillor Sue Hughes put up a notice of motion calling for submissions on the proposed ground naming.

But at the August meeting, the last of the former council prior to the September election, it was voted down without any debate. Crs Andrew Baker, Karen Toms, Margaret McKenna and Kingsley were against it.

Should council name rename Yamba Rugby Club Field No.2 the Kane Douglas Rugby Field?

This poll ended on 15 December 2016.

Current Results

Yes. He is a Wallabies legend and should be recognised.

52%

No. Naming sporting fields after a still-living person is contrary to council policy.

5%

Better yet - call it the Douglas Family Field.

42%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Douglas's father, Chris Douglas, said the renewed effort in naming the field after his son was flattering, but he would not be upset if it did not come off.

"It's a win/win sort of thing," he said. "I'm just flattered he has been considered. If it doesn't happen, well there are plenty of other deserving people around who they could name the ground after.

"There's pros for both sides. The local kids know him and know he's reached a real high level in his sport.

"But if they don't name it after him or choose someone who has worked as a volunteer, say, it's well-deserved recognition for them."

Mr Douglas said members of the community had expressed surprise at the failure of the first attempt to rename the field.

"People were saying they were bemused by the decision," he said. "They couldn't see why the councillors were against giving him that sort of recognition.

"When people told me they were going to have another go at it, I told them the same story, I was flattered."

In his notice of motion, Cr Kingsley acknowledges there was considerable disappointment in the community at the council's decision.

Naming sporting fields after a still-living person is contrary to the council policy on naming of parks and reserves. The practice is not supported by either the Department of Primary Industries Crown Lands Division or the Geographical Names Board.

But in the past decade Clarence Valley Council has twice voted to name sporting fields after a current player or coach.

It named the Grafton Hockey Association synthetic field after then Kookaburra captain Brent Livermore and more recently named an oval at Junction Hill after athletics coach Terry West, who was critical of the council's decision regarding naming a field for Kane Douglas.

"I have been privileged to have the Junction Hill field named after myself and cannot understand how councillors voted this way," Mr West wrote in a letter to the editor. "The policy of not naming fields after living people is the wrong policy.

"How wonderful and fitting it would be for Kane's father and family to be able to share with him such a well-deserved honour."



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