How places are named

What can be named?

Under the Place Names Act 1994, features or areas of land, whether natural or artificial, can be named.

Some types of places such as roads and national parks are excluded from the legislation. There are also some other places that are named by other processes or agencies and are not covered by this guide.

A list of these places is given below.

Type of place

Further information

Government buildings and facilitiesA whole of government policy (PDF, 255KB) covers the naming and co-naming of government buildings and facilities. More information is available from the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

Roads, busways, bridges, cattle grids, culverts, ferries, fords, railway crossings, car parks, tunnels, viaducts and cuttings that are part of a road

These places are all considered roads. Major roads are named by the Department of Transport and Main Roads. Local roads are named by local government.

Canals and open drains, except where they connect parts of a predominantly natural watercourse


Buildings and similar structures (including establishments such as schools and hospitals)

There is no single naming authority for buildings as responsibility varies depending on the use of the building. Also see the entry below regarding homesteads and rural properties.

Dam walls and similar structures


Local government areas and divisions/wards of local government areas

Local Government Act 2009

Electoral districts

Electoral Act 1992

Marine parks

Marine Parks Act 2004

National parks, conservation parks, resources reserves, nature refuges, coordinated conservation areas, wilderness areas, World Heritage management areas, international agreement areas and forest reserves

Nature Conservation Act 1992

Maritime, navigation, coastal, hydrographic and oceanographic features external to Queensland waters

Named by the Australian Hydrographic Office

Undersea features located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Named by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Tourist regions, business districts, pastoral districts, agricultural regions, irrigation regions and similar

To avoid ambiguity and possible confusion for the delivery of emergency and location-based services, the only administrative boundaries named under the Place Names Act 1994 are the bounded localities and suburbs used in addressing.

Unbounded localities

No longer named. All localities must now have defined boundaries.

Airports, airfields, landing strips, runways, heliports, helipads and similar


Sports fields/grounds, courts, racing tracks, raceways and similar

Named by local government

Timber reserves and state forests

Forestry Act 1959

Municipal parks and reserves

Named by local government

Industrial estates, residential estates, business parks and similar


Statues, monuments and commemorative plaques


Survey marks, trigonometric stations, telecommunication towers, water towers and similar


Homesteads and rural properties

Named by the property owner and can be recorded as part of the property location address. Updates to rural property names should be advised to the relevant local council so they can update the rural property address. This information is passed on to DNRME and the geocoded national address file (G-NAF). Landholders can check their location address using Queensland Globe.

Mines, mine fields, oil fields and similar


Boat ramps, jetties, marinas, ports, pontoons and similar (but not harbours)

In this guide:

  1. What can be named?
  2. Naming processes
  3. Suggesting a place name or boundary change
  4. Naming principles
  5. Defining boundaries and extent
  6. History of Queensland place naming

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