Place name policies

The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) is responsible for the naming of divisions (suburbs) and public places on Territory land in the ACT (nomenclature). Public places include streets, parks and geographical features.

The National Capital Authority administers the naming of public places on National land in consultation with the Canberra National Memorials Committee under the National Memorials Ordinance 1928.


Policies have been prepared on:

Building names

ACT Government does not have authority in regard to the naming of private buildings in the Territory. The Public Place Names Act 1989 does not apply to buildings and there is no statutory requirement to name a building or to include details of the actual complex name in a development application.

EPSDD is responsible for the allocation of street addresses and public place names in the ACT. The directorate encourages property owners to consult with the ACT Place Names Unit before selecting a building name. This is to check that selected names do not have the potential to cause addressing confusion, particularly important to ensure the effective and timely delivery of emergency services. The addressing guidelines also require clear and correct signage of a development's approved street address.

The Place Names Officer is able to offer research assistance and to provide advice by checking proposed names for uniqueness against others in the ACT address database. They can also offer advice about general place naming guidelines to assist with the selection of suitable names. Once the name is finalised it can be added to the ACT Cadastral Database and details distributed to relevant agencies, including ACT Emergency Services and Australia Post.