THE City of Greater Bendigo says it is considering how the coronavirus pandemic will affect its budgets.
Meanwhile, the City of Ballarat expects to spend 10 years working to return to the financial position it was in at the start of 2020.
City of Greater Bendigo chief executive Craig Niemann said the financial impact of COVID-19 was yet to be fully understood.
"It is expected we will continue to provide essential services to the community," Mr Niemann said.
"It is necessary that these services continue and our current budget position will allow for that."
His counterpart in Ballarat, Justine Linley, released a statement this week acknowledging the challenges the community faced as it adhered to restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Among them were residents being unable to meet their financial commitments, including paying the rates local government relied on.
Asked whether the City of Greater Bendigo anticipated similar challenges, and how it intended to respond, Mr Niemann said council was considering a range of measures to alleviate pressure on businesses and families.
"The city is aware our community is facing a very tough time, particularly as businesses are forced to close or adapt and the impact this then has on their staff, who may not be able to continue working," he said.
Some announcements would be made "soon".
Many of the city's own staff are already working from home. Social distancing was in place for those still working from the office.
"The city's intention is to keep delivering services to the community for as long as possible," Mr Niemann said.
"If staff cannot work, in the first instance they will be required to access their leave."
Redeployment opportunities were also being considered.
The Municipal Association of Victoria has been advocating for the state government to enable council meetings could be staged virtually, to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
"The City of Greater Bendigo recognises there needs to be some flexibility in the current legislation to accommodate these unprecedented times and allow council to meet safely and adhere to current health guidelines," Mr Niemann said.
The city was considering how it could allow the council's April meeting to safely proceed in line with the Local Government Act.
It adopted measures to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus at its March meeting, including reducing the size of the public gallery, distancing councillors, and streaming the proceedings online so residents had more options to follow along from home.
In Loddon Shire, mayor Cheryl McKinnon said council was "playing this day-by-day and seeing what measures are put in place, and what they mean on the ground."
- with Tom O'Callaghan
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