A former Warrnambool mayor says he is disappointed with the decision to close the city's saleyards saying it doesn't send a positive message to the region's agriculture sector.
Tony Herbert said while there were not many farms in the boundary of Warrnambool, the city's economy existed on the back of farmers.
"They all use Warrnambool as a service," he said.
"It doesn't project a good positive feeling that the city has about agriculture."
Cr Herbert said he would have voted to keep the saleyards if he was still on council.
"Keep them and invest," he said.
Mr Herbert, who listened to last week's meeting, said he was "continually shocked" about the blame placed on previous councils for the saleyards.
"Each council comes on with their own direction and their own emphasis," he said.
"Do they all follow the direction from the previous council? No they don't.
"The whole democratic process is that it's a new four-year term. You can build on the projects of the previous council or you can change them."
Mr Herbert said he couldn't comment on pre-2016, but in his term on council it had committed $1 million to the saleyards believing that was the beginning of some "serious money being spent on it".
"I just think it's just absolute crap to say that the money hadn't been spent," he said.
Mr Herbert said the previous council had quite quickly got a dollar-for-dollar grant from the state government for the new roof once it had decided to spend money on the saleyards.
He said the new roof had not long been erected, and now the facility was being closed down.
"I wouldn't feel too good about that if I was a member of the state government," he said.
"I'd be very disappointed."
Cr Herbert said councils often got into spaces where the private sector didn't.
It doesn't project a good positive feeling that the city has about agriculture.- Former mayor Tony Herbert
"The thing about the saleyards was that it was actually making some money," he said.
"I wouldn't say it was a booming business.
"So do we close down the art gallery? Do we close down AquaZone? Do we close down the Lighthouse Theatre because they don't make any money?
"Our rates go into those sorts of things because as a community we believe they are important.
"This is what councils do.
"They get into spaces and provide services where the private sector can't or won't.
"If you are looking at them through the lens of 'they've got to make money'...we wouldn't have anything."
"And then they go and do this. I think it's terrible," he said.
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