IMPROVED mobile phone coverage, the Western Highway duplication and real-time weather data are at the top of the Wimmera's wish-list for the federal election.
Horsham, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Ararat, Yarriambiack and West Wimmera councils have teamed up to put the region's priorities to the Mallee's 12 candidates.
The councils presented the three priorities to the Federal Government at the National General Assembly of Local Government in June. Hindmarsh Mayor and Rural Councils Victoria chairman Rob Gersch said the three issues affected all Wimmera residents.
"If we were able to improve on those three things it would be a huge advantage to our area," he said.
"There is not much point in standing in this election, if the candidates are not going to support their local area.
"We will continue to lobby after the election because we are going to need the support of whoever gets in."
The councils have argued that having real-time weather data would boost the region's agricultural industry, as well as emergency service responses and aviation safety.
Cr Gersch said the councils would fight to secure funding for the Wimmera, particularly the region's roads.
Despite plans to duplicate the Western Highway from Ballarat to Stawell, the project will be cut about 50 kilometres short under its current budget.
Cr Gersch said the councils wanted to ensure the Federal Government did not sacrifice regional needs in favour of metropolitan projects.
"From a Rural Councils Victoria perspective, we don't want to get involved in the East-West Link because it is in the metropolitan area but there are only so many dollars in the bin," he said.
"If that is where the money is going, we need to lobby collectively to make sure we are getting our share."
Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown said Wimmera councils also had their individual issues for the federal election on September 7.
"Each council has its own particular issues - Northern Grampians will focus on the Stawell Gold Mine and we pushed for funding for Longerenong College - but we also have these common issues," he said.
"They are the three issues we developed over time with Wimmera Development Association and through meetings with the five councils."
<li> Wimmera residents can hear from the Mallee's candidates at a Mallee Rally debate in Wesley Performing Arts Centre, Horsham, between 7pm and 9pm on Monday.