Debate unfolded at the Tuesday, September 22 ordinary meeting about the opening prayer after Cr Greg Watson raised a point of order as Cr Kaye Gartner read out a Buddhist passage.
Later in the meeting, Cr Watson moved an amendment during the debate on the order of business, which was accepted by the the mover and seconder, for the "opening prayer" in the order of business be changed to "opening Christian prayer".
Cr Watson said alternative religious prayers had already been rejected by council.
"That was soundly rejected on the basis that the whole fundamental structure of law in Australia is based on the Judeo-Christian religion," he said.
"[The amendment] is reaffirmation of the decision we made four years ago - to do what you've been doing is to tear down the very structure, very nature and the traditions and whole basis of our government in Australia."
But both Labor and Greens councillors rejected the suggestion council's prayer had to be a Christian one.
"Some members of council and members of the community are members of lots of different religions other than christian religions - we have a large number of religions represented in our community," Cr Annette Alldrick said.
"People of true faith do not discriminate between the value of one prayer or another," Cr Kaye Gartner said.
Other nearby local councils including Kiama Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council and Shellharbour Council have done away with a prayer.
But Wollongoung City Council and the City of Sydney have both kept the civic prayer.
A Shoalhaven councillor's amendment regarding the opening prayer was lost in 2017. It proposed that there would either be no prayer or to distribute the prayer to other religions. It was lost four votes to nine.
Cr John Wells said if another religion's prayer was read out he would walk out of the room.
"My particular faith gives me the injunction that you should worship no other god but me," he said.
"If we are going to have a non-Christain prayer I am just advising the chamber I will be absenting myself from the chamber for the duration of the prayer."
By eight votes to five Shoalhaven City Council supported inserting the word Christian into "opening prayer".
For: Crs Gash, White, Wells, Parks, Watson, Proudfoot, Guile and Kitchener.
Against: Crs Findley, Alldrick, Levett, Digiglio and Gartner.