Bendigo is not Las Vegas, a councillor has declared as the City of Greater Bendigo stops a 17.2 square metre digital sign rising in the heart of town.
Developers wanted to install an electronic billboard on the second story of a building overlooking the corner of Mitchell and Queen Street.
Different advertisements would have rotated onto a digital screen every 30 seconds or so.
But councillors denied the bid on Monday night, in the latest showdown over signage in the city centre.
The vote took place as the council grappled with the aftermath of a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision to allow a digital sign 100 metres away on the corner of Mitchell and Wills Street.
In that case, VCAT rejected the council's arguments that the sign would dominate the streetscape or detract from a nearby heritage building.
The tribunal handed its decision down about two months ago, forcing the council into internal reviews of several other electronic sign proposals making their way through the city's planning processes.
Councillor Jennifer Alden opposed the "garish" Queen Street intersection bid, arguing Bendigo was not Las Vegas or New York's Time Square.
She believed the sign would undermine efforts to showcase the city centre's "understated and uncomplicated elegance".
'We are proud of the quality of our public realm. Indeed, we are famous for it," Cr Alden said.
It was unclear on Monday night whether developers would take the matter to VCAT.
Councillor Julie Sloan said it was important to consider past rulings that could have a bearing but believed the case would be assessed based on its own merits, should it go to the tribunal.
Councillor Margaret O'Rourke said the sign was "quite different" to the one previously endorsed at VCAT.
"For me, this one really is out of keeping with what we want to have in our city centre," she said.
The council also rejected a bid for a similar sign in Kangaroo Flat on Monday night.
The electronic sign would have been installed on the upper storey of a building on the corner of High Street and Lockwood Road.
Cr Alden noted VCAT refused a developer permission for a separate electronic sign close by in 2018.
She said the arguments for a new sign seemed to boil down to an idea that advertising already cluttered the streets and there would be no harm in adding even more.
"Our main roads contribute to the impression of our city. When it comes to Kangaroo Flat, there appears to have been some egregious errors made that mar the visual amenity," Cr Alden said.
Councillor David Fagg said there was no doubt the shopping strip had a lot of colourful signs.
"But they are all small, they're all low and ... in general are advertising the services of the shop or store on which they are attached," he said.
"With this sign, that would not be the case. It would be extremely high, it would be advertising whatever the advertiser chooses to sell and, in short, will be out of place."
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