West Warrnambool could soon be home to a new $500,000 Neighbourhood House if it wins community support, but some councillors are unhappy with plans because they're only "temporary".
Under the project unveiled at Monday's city council meeting, two relocatable structures could be installed at the Pecten Avenue playground.
But before any decision is made to proceed with the idea, the council wants to carry out extensive engagement with the community.
Councillors voted 4-2 to begin the engagement process and come up with concept designs to take to the community for feedback.
The council has set aside $500,000 for the project in its draft 2023-24 budget.
In response to a series of questions from councillors about the project, the council's community development director Ingrid Bishop said the temporary facility would give the council up to 10 years to work on where to build a permanent facility.
"We have stressed that it is a temporary facility," she said.
Describing it as a "long temporary measure", Cr Angie Paspaliaris said it would be "better than nothing".
But councillors Ben Blain and Richard Ziegeler voted against the motion, objecting to the temporary nature of the project, fearing it could end up being there forever.
Cr Blain said there was a real need for a facility in west Warrnambool. "I feel the users, the workers, the people of west Warrnambool deserve better than a couple of demountables on the corner of Pecten Avenue," he said.
"In my view it's a very short-term solution to a long-term problem.
"A couple of demountables in a playground... doesn't cut it with me. West Warrnambool deserves better than that.
"It's not for disadvantaged, it's for young families. It's for anyone that accesses any council services."
Cr Blain said a temporary facility was not good use of ratepayers' funds.
He called on the council to get a community asset strategy in place across the city and do the work to provide a real facility.
With half the services from the neighbourhood house coming from the Department of Health and Human Services, Cr Blain called on the government to also chip in to help produce an "incredible outcome" and address the long-term problem.
Cr Ziegeler said the project didn't need to be couched in terms of a social service to disadvantaged people.
"Yes that demographic is relevant for west Warrnambool and yes we have to make that consideration," he said.
"Any project that gets off the ground for a neighbourhood house for west Warrnambool has to service the whole of west Warrnambool. It's relevant to everybody that lives there."
Cr Ziegeler said at one stage the council had looked at a centre on the other side of the highway but it would have been "completely useless" and out of reach for people who lived in the neighbourhood.
"It worries me that this has to be temporary. It has to be done extremely well even if it is temporary," he said.
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