The decision to upgrade Warnambool's saleyards should be a "no-brainer" according to the organiser of a petition which has attracted more than 1000 signatures.
The fight to save the ageing yards from potential closure has attracted 700 online signatures and hundreds more on paper, with the petition calling on the council to spend the money to upgrade the facility.
The campaign to attract more signatures is now ramping up after the council's own Have Your Say survey, which closed last week, attracted 700 responses.
Warrnambool Stock Agents Association secretary Peter Finnigan, who is also a producer, said closure of the saleyards would double the costs for his business.
Mr Finnigan said the location of the saleyards was not a big issue with Warrnambool having a major abattoir also located close to the centre of town and a major factory on the river near houses.
But its closure would have a big impact on his business.
"My cost of selling my cattle will go up because I'll have to cart them further. The cost of running my business will change, the direction of my farm will change. We work based around Warrnambool," he said.
"I'll have to upgrade the truck. It will double my costs."
He said his family had been selling cattle in the Warrnambool saleyards complex for more than 70 years.
Mr Finnigan said Warrnambool was the best prime market saleyards in Western Victoria.
"That's where I get my best prices. That's where I want to sell. I don't want to be dictated where to sell," he said.
He said the numbers through the saleyards had dropped slightly in recent years but with an upgrade he was confident it would rise again.
"Our numbers will come back," he said.
Mr Finnigan started the petition on behalf of the stock agents association and there was plenty of support from businesses who wanted it to be retained.
"It's a no-brainer," he said.
The petition can be found in agriculture-related businesses and pubs across the region.
Councillors last month voted 4-3 not to award a tender for $5.6 million worth of works to upgrade the ageing saleyards - a move which has upset farmers and stock agents.
The vote included a promise to carry out public consultation.
A spokesperson for the council said its 700 survey responses included a broad range of views and opinions.
"With a comment-based survey there is a great deal of data to analyse and we are currently working through it," a council spokesperson said.
The survey findings and the outcomes of focus group meetings will be presented at the November council meeting which will be open to the public.
While the council is yet to sort through the feedback, the comments on the council's Facebook page were mostly in favour of keeping the saleyards open.
"Why would you close a profitable business? Spend some money on it. You waste so much on Flagstaff Hill and it runs at a loss," one wrote.
Others feared the loss of the saleyards would lead to a loss of other businesses, saying the closure would be a backwards step and questioned the logic of possibly spending $40 million on an underutilised art gallery in uncertain times.
But there were a few vocal about its location suggesting it be moved to a new purpose-built facility because suburbia had "caught up" to the facility like it did in 1970.
The association president Jack Kelly said Friday's store sales were an indication of how many people supported the retention of the saleyards.
"It's the biggest turnout we've had - clients and buyers - than we've seen for two-and-a-half years," he said.
Mr Kelly said the canteen staff were run off their feet.
"There could have easily been 300 people there," he said. "It was huge."
Mr Kelly said the fight to save the yards was being supported by businesses who relied on the flow-on from the markets on Wednesdays and the last Friday of each month.