“WELCOME Albury Wodonga” signs should be changed to read “Welcome Wodonga Albury”, a ratepayers’ leader believes.
The signs have been erected over the past seven weeks at highway gateways as part of the Two Cities, One Community initiative of the Albury and Wodonga councils.
The Wodonga Ratepayers’ Association president Ian Deegan is unhappy that the signs leading into his city do not give precedence to the Victorian centre.
“I think the signs should be Wodonga Albury,” Mr Deegan said.
“I’m upset we seem to be losing our identity.
“Yes Albury and Wodonga are joint cities and we do a lot together but I’m not in agreeance with losing our identity.
“I think that our mayor needs to stand up (and change it).”
Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie rejected Mr Deegan’s call, saying to put her city before Albury could be confusing to those outside the Twin Cities.
“The area is widely known and nationally as Albury-Wodonga and as a council, and as a city, we need to market our region in a way that resonates with not only our communities but also the many visitors that pass along those roads,” Cr Speedie said.
“The design aligns with the joint tourism brand – Visit Albury Wodonga - that has been in place for several years and is consistent across all of the two cities’ gateway entrances as well as at the Albury Airport.”
Business Wodonga president Graham Jenkin shares some concerns of Mr Deegan about the order of the city names, but does not believe the signs should be altered.
“Often when I speak publicly I refer to Wodonga-Albury because I believe it’s about changing the perception,” Mr Jenkin said.
“I just think it’s about evening up the perception of Albury-Wodonga to Wodonga-Albury.
“When I’ve done that people have said to me Albury comes before Wodonga in the alphabet and I’ve then used the examples of Cobram-Barooga and Yarrawonga-Mulwala.
“We don’t have to say Albury-Wodonga all the time but I wouldn’t change the signs.
“The signs are up, they are what they are.”
Green group Wodonga Albury Toward Climate Health is one body which flips Albury-Wodonga, allowing it to have WATCH as an acronym.