Bendigo council voted to progress the forced sale of land in Marong for an industrial park at a fiery meeting on Wednesday.
Councillors voted 6:2 in favour of placing a public acquisition overlay on 313 hectares of land owned by the Carter family.
Chants of “keep fighting Carters” rang out in the council chambers after the decision, with members of the public gallery voicing their disgust at the result.
A deflated Max Carter, speaking a short time after, said he was disappointed the council “did not have the guts to stand up to council officers”.
“We were delighted two councillors showed up and did a very good job,” he said.
“We expected the councillors would put their hands up and do what they’re told.”
He maintained the family would not sell the land to council.
Mr Carter said the decision could set a dangerous precedent for land acquisitions in the future.
“If the council are allowed to get away with this, it’s just open slather,” he said.
Mr Carter hinted further legal action was possible.
Speaking of his daughter, who was visibly upset in the council chambers, he said: “She’s every right to be upset, she’s grown up there.”
Around 100 protesters gathered, many holding signs in support of the Carter family, outside the Bendigo town hall on Wednesday.
The group gathered around the town hall entrance and greeted Bendigo councillors, who were escorted in by police.
Read more:Marong Business Park decision looms
Police and private security were present during the meeting, and aside from one woman who voluntarily ejected herself and a few interruptions during councillor speeches, the majority of the public gallery behaved themselves.
The vote of council will be forwarded onto the state government planning minister, who will make a final decision.
The debate over whether to publicly acquire private land west of the city for an industrial park pitted the needs of a broader community against those of a farming family.
Councillors discussed the merits of forcibly purchasing the 313 hectares of land in Marong owned by the Carter family in an emotionally-charged debate.
Cr Rod Fyffe, against a backdrop of jeers from the public gallery, said: “What we need to remember is we are setting a blueprint for our community over the next ten, 20 years, particularly for economic development.”
“All in all I think it’s time we approved the public acquisition overlay, we continue negotiating with the family so that we can reach an amicable decision.
“We need to have a responsibility for our future generations to make sure we are on the front foot as a council and a region.”
Councillor James Williams added: “When I first came to council I was not convinced of its location, much has changed since then.”
“The business park could boost manufacturing and export opportunities.
“This provides an opportunity to grow the jobs and grow the value and provide an opportunity to our region to grow.”
Crs Julie Hoskin and Andrea Metcalf were the only two to vote against the forced sale, which went through 6:2.
“How can anyone have confidence something of this magnitude won’t be a disaster?,” Cr Hoskin said.
Mayor Margaret O’Rourke used her introduction to the discussion to address some issues with the debate surrounding the Marong Business Park.
Cr O’Rourke said no one on council had a conflict of interest.
“Bendigo manufacturing is growing and contributes $2.25 billion into our economy,” she said.
“We currently don’t have enough land to meet the (industrial) demand.
“Council has to decide on how it is going to source funding for the project.”
If the decision is approved by the planning minister, council will enter into negotiations with the Carter family after having an offer rejected earlier this year.