A new library in Tarneit will be named after former Lalor MP and Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard.
After almost two months of community consultation, the Julia Gillard Library Tarneit was the name agreed to by Wyndham councillors at Monday night’s meeting.
Harrison ward’s Intaj Khan, an ALP-endorsed councillor, said the 143 submissions showed keen public interest in the process.
But he rejected public opposition to naming the library after Ms Gillard on the basis councils should not support particular political parties.
Cr Khan said the name was not chosen for political reasons.
“The naming recognises Julia Gillard’s services to the country as a prime minister and her work in the field of education – across the whole country, not just in the Wyndham area,” he said.
Cr Adele Hegedich echoed her colleague’s sentiments.
“At the end of the day, not every electorate can claim to have a prime minister, let alone the first female prime minister ,” she said. “We can claim her as our own.”
But Cr Glenn Goodfellow opposed the library’s new name.
“While I acknowledge the human side of the former member for Lalor, I’m voting against this as there are many other locals who actually have more claim to fame, who we could actually use,” he said.
“Yes, she did some wonderful things, but I think there are other pioneers of this great city we call Wyndham.”
He said many other local identities made a “strong push for education”.
They were more worthy of the honour, he said. Cr Goodfellow was the only councillor to vote against the name.
The Julia Gillard Library Tarneit will officially open on December 14.