Calls defer Victoria's local government elections have elicited mixed responses from Wimmera and Grampians mayors.
In Horsham, these ballots will be mailed to residents from October 6 to October 8, and must be returned by 6pm on Friday October 23.
The Municipal Association of Victoria renewed its calls for a postponement on Friday, noting the NSW government has deferred its elections, now scheduled for 2021.
"Many rural and regional councils are highlighting concerns that some wards may not even have candidates prepared to run for election in the current environment," said MAV's Deputy President-Rural, Cr Ruth Gstrein, in a statement.
Hindmarsh Shire mayor and Rural Councils Victoria board member Rob Gersch he didn't believe keeping the election in October 2020 would make a big difference his municipality.
"At one of the RCV board meetings, there was a strong push it be deferred, mainly because of the workloads with the virus, floods, fires and everything else that's going on," he said.
"The only thing I feel that would perhaps be a little bit unfair is that it would restrict a candidate that is not already a councillor: That they wouldn't have the exposure or be able to go to meetings and promote themselves. That said, if someone is standing in the rural sector you're usually well-known."
Cr Gersch said running elections cost councils tens of thousands of dollars in fees to the VEC.
"I think if they did defer the elections, there would be quite a few councillors that resign, and then you would need by-elections" he said. "Four years is a long time for a commitment, and there are a lot of councillors that set themselves to finish up for October."
Northern Grampians Shire mayor Murray Emerson said the MAV's views reflected his own.
"As a board member of the Municipal Association of Victoria, I support the MAV's position that in light of dangers presented by COVID-19, it would be better to postpone the upcoming council elections," he said.
"However, the minister for local government has indicated the elections will go ahead in October and that is what we are preparing for."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.