MAYOR Bobby Bourke says his counterpart in Dubbo needs to understand where local Aboriginal people "are coming from before he makes up his opinion" on the proposal to dual name the Macquarie River.
Bathurst Regional Council last week resolved to support an application to dual name the river the Macquarie River - Wambuul, planning to jointly lodge the application to the Geographic Names Board with the Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council.
The purpose of the dual name is to recognise European and Aboriginal culture.
Since then, Dubbo mayor Ben Shields has been quoted in the Daily Liberal speaking against the proposal.
Cr Shields said while there may have been good intentions from the renaming, the river goes all the way from Oberon to the Macquarie Marshes.
"The Macquarie would have gone through numerous different language groups and different clans. I cannot imagine they would have had a single name for the entirety of it. I don't think they would have had genuine consensus on what the Aboriginal name would be," he said.
"The Tubba-Gah people of Dubbo may have a very different name to what the people in Oberon may have had."
Bathurst council staff spent around six months working on the idea before putting the matter to council for determination.
In that time, various general purpose and Aboriginal land councils were contacted for their thoughts on dual naming the river.
Bathurst land council CEO Tonilee Scott said that the feedback received from the other land councils had been supportive.
She couldn't comment specifically on Cr Shields' comments, she said she understood where he was coming from.
While she hasn't ruled out there being another traditional name for the river, she personally hasn't heard of or seen any others in research.
"That's the traditional name for the Macquarie River here in Bathurst and that's the name that we use," Ms Scott said. "I've never known Macquarie River to be named anything else."
Cr Bourke reaffirmed his recent comments that dual naming the river to reflect Aboriginal culture was "long overdue".
He said Cr Shields had to "think about it again and speak to his land council and elders".
"It's only a thing to the Geographic Names Board, we are putting it out there for discussion and he should take more time to consider that discussion before making comments straight away," Cr Bourke said.
It is expected to take three to six months for the application to be considered and determined by the board.