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Melbourne council’s name change approved

A Melbourne council has been given the green light to change its name, formally cutting ties with an 18th-century Jamaican slave estate by month’s end.

Moreland City Council will become Merri-bek Council on September 26 after the name was officially approved and published in the government gazette on Thursday.

The Indigenous name, meaning “rocky country”, was one of three put forward by Wurundjeri elders and supported by 59 per cent of more than 6300 ratepayers who filled out a survey.

The council in the city’s north started consultation on a name change after discovering it came from land between Moonee Ponds Creek and Sydney Road, which Farquhar McCrae acquired in 1839.

McCrae named the area Moreland after a Jamaican slave plantation his father and grandfather operated from 1770 to 1796, which produced sugar and rum and traded slaves.

Changing the name is an act of reconciliation with traditional owners, Moreland Mayor Mark Riley said on Thursday.

It will start changing its name on council materials this month.

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