Community safety was foremost in Flinders Shire mayor Jane McNamara's mind as news emerged last week that the Department of Natural Resources was planning to create a new locality in the shire.
Said by Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham to be about resolving issues with postal delivery and to improve emergency service responses in the region, the department is asking for feedback on creating a new locality of Marathon.
It would do this by realigning the locality boundaries of Stamford and Dutton River.
Marathon was a north west Queensland railway siding between Richmond and Hughenden that never developed as a township despite having street plans drawn up.
It was named after one of the region's early pastoral properties that itself was christened by its lessees in 1863 at the suggestion of Mr William Lempriere Frederick Sheaffe, the then-Commissioner of Crown Lands for Kennedy District.
Dr Lynham said introducing the locality name also aims to connect the community with the historical significance of the region.
Cr McNamara said the Great Northern railway line that Marathon was sited on, and the line between Hughenden and Winton, were initially built to service the booming wool industry, which the large local properties of Marathon, Katandra and Afton were contributing to.
Her father talked to her about the vibrancy of Stamford in the 1920s when about 200 people lived there and supported a pub, a church, a post office and a blacksmith as well as the railway siding.
"I imagine Marathon would have been similar," she said.
Nowadays there's only a rest area with toilets and a map of the ghost town.
Cr McNamara said while she had only just been made aware of the department's plans, she said that if it was assisting emergency services to be able to access an accident in a more timely manner, the introduction would be a real benefit.
However, she would also be enquiring to ensure it didn't mean a change of postcode from 4821 (Hughenden) to 4822 (Richmond).
"The shire has done about 85 per cent of its rural addressing and we'd hate to now have to recalibrate that," she said. "I must say I'm surprised someone is worrying about this during the COVID-19 emergency."
Barcaldine and Bulloo shire residents were consulted similarly about name change proposals in November 2019.
Before the new locality of Marathon can cement its place in the history books, it is up to the community to make their voices heard through consultation.
"Community consultation is essential in any decision-making process and I encourage all interested persons or groups to take part," Dr Lynham said.
"This is a chance for everyone to have their voices heard."