The Hindmarsh Park Community Centre in Kiama will be renamed the Joyce Wheatley Community Centre in honour of Kiama’s former mayor.
Mrs Wheatley, who died in May last year, served on the Kiama Municipal Council from 1980 to 2008. She was mayor from 1992 to 2000.
The proposal received unanimous support from the council’s streets and reserves naming committee and was endorsed by Kiama’s nine councillors.
The renaming will be placed on public exhibition.
Last year there was controversy when Cr Neil Reilly, who ran on the same election ticket as Mrs Wheatley in 2008, requested a report on renaming Kiama’s The Pavilion after Mrs Wheatley.
Cr Reilly described the possible renaming of The Pavilion as ‘‘significant and appropriate’’, considering Mrs Wheatley’s community work during her 28 years on Kiama council plus her efforts in lobbying in ‘‘Labor circles’’ for the $5.4million pavilion, which was opened in 2008.
However, at the time the council shut down the debate and took it into confidential session, citing ‘‘personal matters’’. This was despite the cited clause in the Local Government Act referring to ‘‘personnel matters’’ rather than ‘‘personal matters’’.
Former Gilmore MP Joanna Gash even weighed into the debate at the time. She argued that though it was commendable to honour Mrs Wheatley’s civic contribution in some way, ‘‘renaming the Kiama Pavilion in her name eclipses the contribution of others and would set an unfortunate precedent’’.
Yesterday Cr Reilly said he still felt renaming The Pavilion after Mrs Wheatley would have been an appropriate honour.
But he was happy with the renaming of the building in Hindmarsh Park as recognition.
‘‘I think Joyce’s dedication to the community and council will be well and appropriately remembered by this initiative,’’ he said.