LEADERS and politicians have condemned councillor Elise Chapman's graphic tweet to a member of the public.
Ms Chapman tweeted a graphic photo of babies with mutilated genitals to a Bendigo woman earlier this week, after she expressed her support for the proposed Bendigo mosque.
Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said while the decision to resign was one for Cr Chapman, she believed she should resign over the issue.
"Any elected representative that behaves in this manner should resign, whether you're the Prime Minister or a local councillor," she said.
"You take on a responsibility when you speak publicly for this town.
"We are an incredibly inclusive community - that should be our reputation."
Dr Seyed Sheriffdeen, the secretary of the mosque applicant Australian Islamic Mission, said genital mutilation had nothing to do with Islam and the tweet would only incite hatred.
City of Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann released a statement on behalf of staff members, saying her conduct contradicted the standards of behaviour upheld by employees of the City of Greater Bendigo.
"I have been contacted by many staff who are appalled at the events of this week and this statement is the response to numerous requests from staff who wanted the broader community to know this is the behaviour of one person and does not reflect the values of the people of our organisation," he said.
"Staff are shocked and dismayed that this kind of behaviour might be seen to be representative of our community."
A petition calling on the council to remove Ms Chapman from office had garnered 841 supporters by 4pm on Friday.
However, by 4.30pm residents had started an alternative petition to publicly support Ms Chapman, signed by more than 200 people.
"We the undersigned residents, ratepayers and interested parties of Bendigo formally support Elise Chapman's position as councillor on the Bendigo City Council and insist that she does not resign or be removed from her position," it states.
On the Change.org website supporter Mark Schulstad wrote "This lady has only shown the truth", while Jacob McIntosh said he was signing because "she only did what a normal person would do. cant (sic) you see how muslims demand everything be the way they want it and it will only get worse (sic)."
A planning permit for a proposed mosque in East Bendigo was approved by council in June last year but opposed by Cr Chapman.
She has previously said she is "not a fan of Islam".
Ms Chapman did not answer the Bendigo Advertiser's call.