A PROPOSAL to scrap the prayer that opens council meetings has received a flood of opposition.
Wagga City Council received 280 submissions over a five-week period when its draft Code of Meeting Practice plan was on public exhibition.
Of the submissions, 275 supported retaining the prayer, whereas just five sought to change it to an affirmation.
The council also received a petition of 29 signatures requesting the proposal be dismissed.
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The result "speaks volumes" to councillor Paul Funnell, who has described the proposal as an attack on Christianity.
"The majority are happy with the prayer, but they're fed up with the left's agenda undermining something that's inclusive," he said.
Cr Funnell said the prayer was "inclusive and non-denominational" and has urged councillors to take the submissions on board.
Cr Dan Hayes acknowledged that advocates for keeping the prayer have rallied, but said it should not be mistaken as a complete representation.
He believes the fear of being labelled with attacking the religion has silenced some residents.
"People raised concerns about not reaching out to council because there were claims this was an attack on Christianity and [they] did not want to be labelled," he said.
It is because of this, Cr Hayes said, the submission will not be the only factor influencing his decision.
The community can make submissions until Monday.
Kat van der Wijngaart, of Wagga, believes a non-denominational statement is more inclusive and intends to make a submission. However, she was not surprised by the overwhelming support for the prayer.
"Regardless of the side the submissions fall on, the councillors should consider them but there are also other factors to consider," she said.
A Wagga woman, who did not wish to be identified, wrote a submission and attended her first council meeting to protest the proposal. She feels the city's traditions are slowly disappearing.
"The council, state and federal government say we need to change, but they need to stop pandering to the small minorities without looking into it," she said.
The council will made a decision at a meeting on Tuesday night.
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