A slice of land on Oatlands Road in Mt Barker could be renamed ‘Don Collins Park’ after the Shire of Plantagenet council last month voted to put the idea out for public comment.
Family members of Don Collins, who passed away in 2003, approached the Shire in June 2020 with a request to have the well-vegetated bush block named in memory of his contribution to the community.
Mr Collins helped appeal a council decision to develop Lot 285 on the corner of Oatlands Road and Martin Street more than 50 years ago, and the area has remained untouched since.
The parcel of land holds significant sentimental value to the Collins family, according to a Shire report.
Mr Collins was ever present in the Mt Barker community, residing as president of the Central Cricket Association and the North Mount Barker Football Club.
Son, Brad Collins, said his father always liked being out and about in the community mingling with people.
“I can remember as a kid I would always say ‘where’s dad tonight?’ and mum would always say he’s at another meeting, he’ll be home later for tea,” he said.
In 1979, Mr Collins was appointed Justice of the Peace and made chairman of the Senior Citizen’s Needs Committee in 1987.
An involved citizen, he formed a group called Ratepayers Against the Shire to appeal the council’s decision to open up Lot 286 for residential use.
Following an appeals process, the decision was reversed and the land remained untouched.
The Collins family requested the area be referred to ‘Collins Reserve’ or ‘Collins Park’, but Landgate knocked those names back on a few technicalities.
The name ‘Don Collins Park’ ended up meeting both Shire and Landgate requirements, with the proposal out for public consultation until June 22.
Brad hopes the community will support the decision.
“We just thought it would be good to have some recognition of the Collins family,” he said.