Greens pass motion to stop royal renaming

Senator Lidia Thorpe says naming Maroondah hospital after the Queen would 'colonise us, again'

Greens pass motion to stop royal renaming
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The Victorian Greens will move a motion in parliament to stop Maroondah Hospital being renamed in honour of the Queen.

The Greens have slammed government plans to rename the hospital as “disrespectful” to Indigenous people.

“What is Labor thinking changing the name of a hospital from a First Nations word to the name of a foreign monarch representing colonisation?” Greens Victorian leader Samantha Ratnam said.

“It is a disrespectful decision that erases precious Woiwurrung language. This is not what Treaty looks like.”

Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday that the hospital would be renamed as part of a $1.5b upgrade.

He said changing the name would be “a fitting tribute” to Queen Elizabeth II.

But Victorian Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe said the move was “an insult” that would “colonise us, again”.

The Premier, who has been criticised for not consulting Indigenous leaders about the name change, denied the move was insensitive.

The local government area in which the hospital was located would continue to be known as Maroondah, he said.

Maroondah is an Aboriginal word meaning to throw leaves, according to the Maroondah City Council website.

First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria co-chair Marcus Stewart described any attempt to rename the hospital as unjust and “completely against the spirit of reconciliation”.

“We’ve managed to have one hospital named in language, one hospital, and now this government had gone and taken this away from us,” he said.

The Greens have said they will urge both major parties and the crossbenchers to support their motion blocking any renaming.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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