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Woollahra Council’s ‘powerful act’ against Russia

A Sydney council has passed a motion to rename the street that is home to the Russian consulate in a nod of support to the citizens of Ukraine.

Woollahra councillors agreed to change the street’s name from Fullerton St to Ukraine St. If the new name is approved, council would join a global initiative protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The diplomatic building has been the site of numerous pro and anti-Russian rallies since Ukraine was invaded in February.

It took two hours of debate for the majority of councillors to agree on the name change, which has gained the support of Australia’s Ukrainian Embassy.

The length of the meeting could be put down to questions surrounding consultation with people living on Fullerton St.

Ukrainian March
Camera IconUkrainian supporters clash with Russian supporters outside the Russian consulate in Sydney during a pro-Russia rally. NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone Credit: News Corp Australia

“I know the people who live in Woollahra and the people who live around the consulate are very keen to make their position clear,” councillor Luisa Elsing told the council.

“If you have the power to do something to support the people of Ukraine, you should do it.”

The council received more than 300 letters in support of the motion and more than 1000 signatures from online petitions.

One letter signed by the Ukrainian Embassy’s Charge d’Affaires Volodymyr Shalkivskyi called the plan a “powerful act of support for Ukrainians”.

Woollahra Council Chambers
Camera IconIt took two hours of debate for the majority of councillors to agree on the name change. Justin Lloyd Credit: News Corp Australia

“We have to do everything in our power, it‘s as simple as that,” said councillor Matthew Robertson, who seconded the motion.

The proposed change has to be approved by the state’s Geographical Names Board, which is responsible for authorising title changes.

Woollahra Council has been targeting the Russian consulate since the war in Ukraine began.

Councillors last month stripped street parking permits from the consulate and returned car spaces to the general public.

Ukrainian March
Camera IconThe street may be renamed Ukraine St after the council decision. NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone Credit: News Corp Australia

Woollahra Council would join a global movement to rename the streets surrounding Russian embassies and consulates.

In London, there are calls to rename Kensington Palace Gardens “Zelenksy Ave” in honour of Ukraine’s president.

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