Land assets should not be sold off to balance the books at Warrnambool City Council, a councillor warned during debate on a new policy.
Cr Ben Blain was the only councillor to vote against a new policy on the sale and acquisition of land.
Cr Blain said he did not agree with one aspect of the policy which says the first consideration was land being sold for the ongoing financial viability of council.
"According to the policy it is one of the first principles to be considered," he said.
"Getting rid of assets to square the ledger isn't right.
"This policy in my opinion does show some strategic appetite for council to be accepting of a sugar hit for a sale of land."
Cr Blain said the council should be made viable through management and not the sale of council assets.
"Outcomes for Warrnambool is what we should always be looking at," he said.
"I think this policy should be looking at only how we use land to deliver the best and strategic plan for Warrnambool, not for the financial sustainability of council.
"It's important council does have land to deliver important services and infrastructure for the Warrnambool community."
Cr Debbie Arnott said it was not suggested at all that the policy was only to make council viable.
She said it was there to guide the council on how to have best consistency, value and to be strategic in purchasing land or making a sale.
Cr Arnott said it provided guidance and parameters that any purchase and sale of land was done in a considered and responsible way.
"It gives us really good guidelines as to what and how things should be done," she said.
"It just will help provide greater consistency and value to council's strategic land sales and acquisition."
The policy was passed in a five-one vote at last Monday's council meeting.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we aim to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.
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.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.