City councillors have joined South West Coast MP Roma Britnell's call for an independent audit into the organisation.
In State Parliament on Wednesday Ms Britnell asked Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek to launch an independent investigation into governance procedures at the council in State Parliament on Wednesday.
She says the only way for the community to regain trust in the council is for a thorough independent investigation.
"Minister by now you would be aware of the fractious relationship between the Warrnambool City Council and it's ratepayers following revelations of inappropriate spending on council credit cards and following the successful application to raise rates above the prescribed cap," she said.
She said she was aware the council was conducting its own internal reviews of procedures and spending.
"... It is my belief that such is the relationship between the council and the community, no one will trust the findings of an internal review and the broken relationship will not start to recover," she said.
"Minister I believe the only way that trust can be rebuilt between the council and the community is for your department to launch an entirely independent investigation."
Mr Somyurek did not answer questions from The Standard about launching an investigation into the council.
"Residents expect their council to act in their best interest at all times - Warrnambool City Council needs to ensure it has the faith of its ratepayers," he said.
Chief executive officer Peter Schneider is conducting a review into credit card spending as well as an organisational analysis.
Cr Mike Neoh told The Standard on Wednesday on a number of occasions he had called for an independent external auditor behind closed doors.
"There may be investigations going on behind the scene that we aren't privy to because of legislative requirements, but my call for an external independent auditor is to look at the processes that have occurred between September and now to identify if we are dotting our Is and crossing our Ts and also to identify any policy gaps that we need to tighten," Cr Neoh said.
"My other concern is while there is an investigation I assume going on behind the scenes, I'm not quite sure why we wouldn't have called in an independent auditor over that to make sure that everything that needs to be done is being done, as well as looking at our general governance policies to make sure everything is tightened up.
"An auditor can provide information to feed into an investigation."
Cr Neoh said the council needed a fresh pair of eyes.
"In terms of community perception we need an audit," he said.
"I need to know have we done everything correctly between September and now to provide comfort to me as a councillor and a director of an organisation. This is in addition to any legislative regulation."
Cr Peter Hulin has been also calling for an independent audit for years.
Mr Schneider is currently conducting his own review into the organisation, but Cr Hulin said that should not stop the minister from "stepping in and having someone independent look at it".
"It has to happen," he said.
"As good as I think Mr Schneider is, and I think he's a good bloke, I can't see how he can do this substantial investigation and manage the city at the same time."
Cr Hulin said he had been a vocal voice for years about council's operational matters.
"In the past three councillors including myself expressed concern about the management of Warrnambool and in fact went to Spring Street to talk to the (local government) minister," he said.
"We were branded as trouble makers but we were elected councillors who represented the people of Warrnambool who saw things that we didn't believe should have been going on.
"What we are finding now with the credit cards is the beginning of all of these things being exposed."
Cr Hulin said if an independent auditor did investigate the council they would need a "significant amount of time for what I have to say".
"I find it absolutely staggering that Cr Neoh has never supported my concerns on the way this city had been run," he said.
Cr David Owen said he "fully supported" an independent review.
"I fully endorse it," he said.
"It needs to be done and it makes sense."
Cr Sue Cassidy agreed with her fellow councillors.
"I agree it is time for an external auditor, not to take over, but to help the chief," she said.
"It's disappointing Roma has come out now. There is a process to go through and it would have been better to wait for that process to finish. Then if it wasn't satisfactory it could have been taken further."
Cr Kylie Gaston backed a review.
"I believe an external audit review from September until now will be reassuring for both our community and staff once the results are known."
Previously councillors have distanced themselves from organisational issues within the council.
Cr Neoh said Crs Hulin, Kylie Gaston and himself had been asked at a council briefing if they had any knowledge of "anything untoward and all said no".
He said the three long-serving councillors had "categorically denied" any knowledge of financial mis-use.
The council and other councillors have been contacted for comment.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.