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Sydney's 'Little India' yet to take off despite approval last year

Marion Street, Wigram Street and Station Street East in Harris Park were to be promoted as 'Little India'. Source: Supplied by Hitesh Patel

Geographical Names Board NSW has advised against temporarily promoting a Harris Park precinct as 'Little India'.

Officials at the City of Parramatta Council and a member of The Little India Harris Park Reference Group blamed the delay on COVID outbreaks and council elections.


  • On 15 June 2021, Parramatta Council approved a campaign to promote three streets in Harris Park as 'Little India' on a six-month trial basis 
  • Geographical Names Board NSW has advised Parramatta Council to send a fresh proposal for officially renaming the precinct
  • Locals had objected to the council's initial idea of officially naming Harris Park as 'Little India' in the past

But the project seems to have run into fresh trouble following the advice from the Geographical Names Board (GNB) of NSW on 19 October 2021.

"Under the Geographical Names Act 1966, the Board is the only authority that can officially assign a place name in NSW. The use of unofficial place names, even on a temporary basis, creates confusion and potential delay in the provision of services and should be avoided," a spokesperson quoting the GNB advice told SBS Hindi in a statement.

"City of Parramatta Council should submit an application to the GNB to formally assign the name of Little India. The name will be assessed against the guidelines and principles set out in the NSW Place Naming Policy," the spokesperson added.

Indians in Sydney
The Indian community celebrated the announcement on promoting parts of Sydney's Harris Park as 'Little India' on June 15.
Supplied by Sanjay Deshwal

In July 2020, the council floated the idea to promote all of Harris Park as 'Little India' through a resolution. However, the council dropped the idea following objections from locals.

On 15 June 2021, Parramatta Council decided to run a campaign to promote Harris Park's three streets - Marion, Wigram and Station St - as 'Little India' on a trial basis for six months.

The council told SBS Hindi in a statement that it was committed to promoting this 'much-loved dining and retail district' to help boost the local economy.

"The Little India Harris Park Reference Group (comprising officials from the council and members of the local business community) will be meeting again early this year to progress the advice from the GNB of NSW," the council said.

The council held elections in December last year. In its first meeting on 10 January, the newly elected council appointed Councillor Donna Davis new Lord Mayor and Councillor Sameer Pandey new Deputy Lord Mayor.

The council is yet to decide the agenda for its next meeting on 7 February.

Sanjay Deshwal, a member of The Little India Harris Park Reference Group, said the council and the local business community are grappling with COVID outbreaks.

"We are disappointed but working closely with the council," he said.

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