A social media spat between South West Coast MP Roma Britnell and a former candidate has put a possible art gallery move to Cannon Hill back in the spotlight.
Warrnambool City councillors' decision to do a business case for a new art gallery at Cannon Hill has sparked backlash from parts of the community with a petition collecting more than 1600 online signatures and hundreds more on paper.
But Ms Britnell's visit to the popular Cannon Hill site on Wednesday sparked an online war of words with the sitting member accusing former Labor candidate Roy Reekie of a "cheap political attack".
"(He) should be ashamed," she wrote.
It was a Facebook post from Ms Britnell about eating fish and chips at Cannon Hill with her mum that prompted the exchange.
Mr Reekie posted: "Seriously! Is this what we get from our representative on this serious issue? I like fish and chips too?"
"What we need is a representative who investigates an issue like this, consults, thinks about it and offers both a considered opinion and leadership," he wrote.
"Again, Roma Britnell shows us that she comes late to the party with nothing to offer but bland echoes of what she thinks the popular opinion might be."
Ms Britnell said she was reluctant to respond to the provocation, lest she give the issue "more oxygen". But decided to defend herself online saying because Mr Reekie was a former candidate and was publicly supporting her political opponent, she felt she needed to address it.
Ms Britnell said her mother had been in hospital since having a fall a number of weeks ago and she was now well enough to go for a drive and wanted to publicly thank medical staff and well-wishers.
"Cannon Hill is a place where I have been going with Mum since I was a child and it was nice to recreate that with her yesterday," she wrote.
In response to claims she was "late to the party", Ms Britnell said: "I had no idea the individual is aware of what I am doing 24/7".
Ms Britnell said on the issue of Cannon Hill she had been consulting the community to form a considered view and she would have more to say at an "appropriate time".
Mr Reekie is publicly backing independent candidate Carol Altmann, who, unaware of the social media spat, had weighed in on the Cannon Hill issue on Thursday.
But when made aware of the social media drama she sought to distance herself from it saying: "I would not be going down that path".
She said Mr Reekie had posted on his own volition as an individual.
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