We do exist: Norvell Grove residents stand under their new street sign after council changed its name from Ellis Road.
We do exist: Norvell Grove residents stand under their new street sign after council changed its name from Ellis Road. Jerad Williams

Street name change angers locals

FOR months now, residents in Norvell Grove at Alstonville have felt like they don’t really exist.

That’s because, until recently, the street was known as Ellis Road and the new name is only just being added to databases.

When the Alstonville bypass is finished at the end of this year, it will cut Ellis Road in half, so the ‘urban end’ of the street has been renamed Norvell Grove.

The ‘rural end’ has stayed as Ellis Road.

The situation has frustrated many residents.

Teresa Speziale and her family have lived on the road for more than 20 years.

She said their airmail packages were still being returned to the senders because of confusion about the street name.

“It took a while to come to terms with this, but we all learned to accept that this had to happen,” she said.

“What we can’t accept is the way it has been handled and the problems that have risen because of it.

“The council changed the street signs before we received our official notification of the name change, which we needed to change our address legally.

“But they also didn’t register the name change until then either, which basically meant that for three months, we didn’t exist.

“It’s been a nightmare.”

Wayne Marriott said he hoped the street was now registered with the emergency services.

“After that big storm last month, we had fire trucks and police cars going down our street thinking they could get through,” he said.

“We are still having trouble getting our details updated with the phone company.

“And the street isn’t registered on GPS systems or on Google Maps.”

Last year the RTA employed someone to help with the transition period.

Ballina Shire Council says it has also been proactive in helping residents adjust to the new street name.

Civil services group manager, John Truman, said that end of Ellis Road had to be renamed because there couldn’t be two streets with the same name.

‘Norvell’ was chosen in honour of Norvell Strong, an ex-serviceman who grew up in the area and had a dairy farm that bordered Ellis Road.

Cr David Wright said it was decided that the urban end of Ellis Road would be renamed because it was shorter and had less residents.

“We knew it would upset people, and it has,” he said.

“But it had to change.”

Norma Gray, who has lived there for 53 years, agreed.

“I have been through five changes of street numbers and names but I have accepted this because I feel the bypass will be of benefit to our town and main street,” she said.



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