Mayor voices street name distaste

Wine Estate business owner Terry Roney has no problem with names such as Claret Street.
Wine Estate business owner Terry Roney has no problem with names such as Claret Street. Bev Lacey

IF Mayor Peter Taylor had his way, the street names used in one of Toowoomba’s more “bubbly” estates would be corked, shelved and allowed to age for the rest of time.

Speaking during yesterday’s committee meeting, Cr Taylor was unreserved in his dislike of the street names chosen for Wine Estate, a well-known area of Wilsonton Heights.

He claimed names like Chardonnay Street, Reisling Court and Shiraz Court were “appalling” and “not right in this day and time”.

Cr Taylor made the comments as councillors considered a new playground at Wine Drive park.

“I don’t think it gives the right image of the city or the people who live there,” Cr Taylor said.

He suggested a name change or two would be appropriate, but conceded it would be a task too difficult for council to take on.

“I understand how tough it is to change street names,” Cr Taylor said.

But former Toowoomba mayor and the developer behind the estate, Clive Berghofer, yesterday simply laughed off Cr Taylor’s concerns.

“I think the whole thing is a joke,” he said. Mr Berghofer developed Wine Estate in the 1980s when he was owner of the Wilsonton Hotel which at that stage sold more alcohol than any other hotel in Australia.

He said the wine theme had been inspired by the hotel’s success and was a way to distinguish the estate.

“I thought the names sounded quite good at the time,” Mr Berghofer said.

Terry Roney of the Wine Estate business, JJ’s Convenience Store, told The Chronicle that after 26 years living in the area had no problem with the street names.

But he admitted colloquial spin-offs such as Plonk Alley and Alcoholic’s Hill had damaged the image of the estate in the past.

“At the end of the day though, they’re just names,” Mr Roney said.

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