30 - 08
The Australian state of Queensland will discontinue several place names containing the racially offensive term nigger.
The official maps provided by Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines show 10 such locations, including 7 instances of ‘Nigger Creek’, a Mount Nigger, and Nigger Head.
The term nigger is one of many pejorative references to Aboriginal Australians.
“The department … commenced a proactive review of the place names database that identified nine other place names that had a similarly offensive term,” said the Department’s spokesman.
The review was carried out after a complaint this May over a place called Nigger Bounce in north Queensland.
The new place names will be known this September, when they will be published in the state’s official gazette.
However, the offensive names will not be purged from records, as they, like all other place names, must be recorded in the state’s Place Names Register for future reference; the names also appear on old maps.
While this renaming is commendable, there may be much more work to be done before such offensive place names disappear from Australia’s official maps and everyday use.
Within Queensland, there are places such as Mount Jim Crow, and several locations named Gin, like the alcohol, but is also an offensive word for an Aboriginal female. There are 16 Black Gin Creeks in Queensland.
A survey published earlier this year showed that, including the aforementioned locations in Queensland, there were 21 place names with the word nigger across Australia.