A petition has been launched in support of a new art gallery at Cannon Hill, with the organiser saying it would make Warrnambool a "world-class destination".
Last year the city council voted 4-3 to complete a business case on a potential new art gallery at Cannon Hill rather than rebuild on the current site - a move that sparked backlash.
A petition opposing the site gathered about 5000 signature and bumper stickers and corflutes declaring 'Hands Off Cannon Hill' have been put up.
Artist Shari Nye decided to speak out in support of the idea and started the Change.org petition this week.
"I think there is a lot more support for it than people realise. They've just got to be heard," she said.
"There's a lot of those (bumper) stickers around and I know that there is a lot of other people that are all for it and I decided to speak up for that side of the story."
Mayor Debbie Arnott said the business case was well underway and councillors would be briefed on March 27, and again in mid-April before a report was presented to the May 1 open council meeting.
Ms Nye, who also runs the Warrnambool School of Art, said she had a keen passion for art and culture.
"I understand the concerns of the people opposing it, but I'm hoping to see the business case is fair," she said.
"Everyone in the community has a right to an opinion on this.
"I think it is going to be a very considered approach. Respectfully designed."
Ms Nye said a gallery at Cannon Hill would take into account Warrnambool's Indigenous history and be a great storytelling venue for the Indigenous sites.
"Lake Pertobe has a lot of stories down there, and there are Indigenous middens at Thunder Point," she said.
"It also connects us to the maritime village. We have the largest maritime collection in Australia. So it's really going to be a connecting precinct."
Ms Nye said having an iconic building that linked the city to the ocean would be fantastic.
"Warrnambool would become a world-class destination," she said.
"We'd be the only gallery in Victoria with an ocean view which has huge potential, and the business that it would bring into the city would be enormous."
She said people travelled from far and wide just to go to the Bendigo gallery.
"To have a gallery with an amazing view that showcases our beautiful city would be incredible," she said.
Her petition has attracted more than 50 signatures after 16 hours.
The petition on Change.org says the city was presented with the rare opportunity for a major public facility.
"It would boast gallery space for large travelling exhibitions, larger display of our local collection, cafe and function rooms, with overall design that respects our Maar Nation and Indigenous communities," it says.
"There are plans for plenty of continued parking that look over Lake Pertobe and the ocean.
"The revenue and jobs this would generate will enhance our economy and create a vibrant precinct for the next generations moving forward.
"A development like this that links city to the ocean, that is sensitive to the environment, and show cases our unique Indigenous cultures, can't be a bad thing.
"We are now presented with the rare opportunity for a major public facility to powerfully connect the city with the ocean it sits beside.
"This is a legacy worth leaving."
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