A HORSHAM councillor's attempt to get a non-committal agreement on funds and a location for an alternative truck route raised tensions and ended in an outburst of applause.
Councillor David Grimble moved a motion at the heated Monday night council meeting that: "Council resolve to include a financial sum of $150,000 in the 2020/21 budget development and consideration phase as its contribution to the State Government for planning an alternative truck route, in the form of a South West Link through Horsham's industrial area and associated Wimmera River crossing."
Cr Grimble said the matter was a priority for the community because it addressed issues relating to public safety, connectivity and amenity use.
"Unless we put it in the budget I don't think it's going to happen," he said.
Councillor John Robinson seconded the motion, pointing out that an alternative truck route was already included in the council's Urban Transport Plan and in the CEO's agreement as a priority. He said there was support from businesses for freight movement to be improved.
"I was talking to one of the crane operators out at the industrial estate. He can spend up to 30 minutes I think it was, getting from where he is to the edge of Horsham to get out west and go up to Nhill," he said. "That's not good business and it's costing them thousands of dollars."
The motion was challenged by Councillor Les Power who was reluctant to specify the location and asked to amend it to remove the words "south west" and "industrial area". He said he was concerned about pre-empting the planning work of transport authorities.
Councillor Pam Clarke commended Cr Grimble on the motion she said put "some skin in the game" but along with Councillor Alethea Gulvin she wanted it amended to keep the route option to be broad.
Cr Grimble called a point of order that a motion up for debate could not be amended and then argued the amendments were "substantially changing" the notice of his motion.
Cr Power responded that the amendments were "enhancing" the motion.
Cr Grimble grew increasingly frustrated, arguing his motion was not "rocket science".
He said the motion was an opportunity for council to demonstrate leadership to the community on a major issue, as well as ensure they preserved the opportunity for future aerodrome expansion.
"What I'm trying to do is make a non-committal budgetary commitment of $150,000 and you're getting wrapped up in the rhetoric," he said. "Put the money in the budget and let Regional Roads Victoria tell us where the road should go.
"If you deny trucks to go through the industrial area then you have lost the plot."
The public gallery responded to this remark with loud applause.
Cr Grimble's motion was eventually carried in full but was opposed by Cr Power and Cr Clarke.
Respondents to a public engagement report last year identified reducing heavy vehicle traffic through the Horsham Central Activity District as the top priority to improve transport, movement and accessibility in Horsham in the next 20 years.