A motion to remove the shire's Welcome to Refugee signs has been defeated in council to rounds of applause from the gallery.
Deputy Mayor Mitchell Nadin introduced the notice of motion to remove the signs, designed to be a visible indicator of the shire's acceptance of refugees and asylum seekers.
In 2002, Bega Valley became the first council in Australia to become a Rural Australians for Refugees-initiated Welcome Town.
Since the signs were installed last June, one in Bega was so badly damaged it needed to be replaced while a sign in Eden has been stolen.
Cr Nadin was concerned these acts of vandalism could occur again.
"This is not a one-off now, this has become a pattern," he said prior to Wednesday afternoon's council meeting.
"They've become a sign saying 'stay away. Refugees, asylum seekers, we don't want them here'."
But Cr Liz Seckold questioned whether this motion implied all damaged signs should be removed.
"Thank you to the Eden Magnet for raising this," Cr Seckold said waving a press cutting at councillors.
The motion was defeated 6-3, with only Crs Nadin, Robyn Bain and Tony Allen voting for the move.