The decision to name a Sandon Point beach stairway after an avid Bulli surfer who died last month will be made by Wollongong councillors – and take much longer than supporters had hoped.
Isaac ‘Izzy’ Ryan’s family and friends have launched a change.org petition to have the stairs off Blackall Street, near Beach Street, at Bulli named in his honour.
The 26-year-old, who regularly used the stairs to get to his favourite surf spot, died on January 18 after suffering a dissecting aortic aneurysm.
The Mercury revealed details of the petition on Monday, prompting dozens more people to sign the appeal.
The petition, aimed at Wollongong City Council, had more than 640 online signatures by late afternoon.
A spokeswoman said the council received “quite a number of requests” to install memorial plaques within public spaces to recognise individuals, groups or organisations.
“The final decision of these requests rests with Wollongong City councillors,” the spokeswoman said.
The council has a number of conditions attached to its community recognition program.
Applications are considered “three or more years after the person’s death” and are subject to community consultation.
Petitioners want Isaac’s tribute in place by his birthday on June 7.
FULL COUNCIL RESPONSE
“Wollongong City Council’s Community Recognition Program provides the opportunity for individuals or groups can be commemorated through the naming of a park, sportsground or natural area.
“The details of the steps that need to be taken, and guidelines that need to be adhered to, are outlined in the Naming of Community Facilities and Parks (including Sports Grounds and Natural Areas) Management Policy.
“Both these policies note that Wollongong City Council will only permit commemorative recognition installations at the Wollongong Botanic Garden or where applications meet criteria that include the individual or group making a significant contribution to the Wollongong region for more than 20 years, which has been formally recognised, and the location must relate to the place of residence or area of service.
“Applications are considered three or more years after the person’s death. The application would need to be made, in writing, to Council and the consideration process would involve community consultation.
“Council receives quite a number of requests to install memorial plaques, rocks, seating and the like, within public open space in order to provide formal recognition for individuals, groups or organisations.
“The final decision of these requests rests with Wollongong City Councillors.
“In this instance, if an application was made to Council, the Sandon Point and McCauley’s Beach Plan of Management would need to be taken into consideration.
“This site-specific Plan of Management outlines what is permitted on the community land and how it’s managed. If the application was successful, Council would then forward the request to the Geographical Names Board.”