TRIBUTES have flowed for two councillors who took their seats in council chambers for the final time on Wednesday night.
Both Matt Emond and James Williams decided not to contest this year's election and their terms end on Friday.
Cr Emond is leaving to help juggle the demands of a growing family.
He and federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters announced they were expecting a second child last month.
Cr Emond has chaired the council's heritage advisory committee and helped shepherd through a number of important heritage studies.
He also focused on the arts and creative industries.
Mayor Margaret O'Rourke said she had especially valued Cr Emond's time as deputy mayor this year as the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.
"It's been a year of uncertainty with issues popping out left, right and centre. You've been there for all of us the whole way through," she said.
Cr Jennifer Alden thanked Cr Emond for his passion for those causes and for his sense of humour.
"We all need lightness amid the serious issues we consider around this table," she said.
Meanwhile, Cr Williams is finishing the second of two consecutive terms on council, much of which was spent focusing on environmental matters like water quality in the Bendigo Creek and wider North Central catchment area.
He also pushed for more better transport and connections to help primary producers maximise exports, including advocating for rail and highway upgrades.
Cr Rod Fyffe paid tribute to Cr Williams passion, which he said was worn on his colleague's sleeve.
"All of it came from the heart, all of it for Bendigo," he said.
Cr O'Rouke said she would miss Cr Williams' insights into the council and experience which stretched back to terms on Huntly Shire's council before amalgamation with Bendigo's in the 1990s.
"He always makes himself available no matter what. The community might not understand this this but he really is the definition of a 24/7 councillor," she said.
Cr O'Rourke thanked all councillors for their dedication throughout their latest terms, which end this week.
"I know I speak on behalf of all of you in saying it's been an absolute privilege to represent our community over these past four years," she said.
Voting across three Bendigo council wards will continue until 6pm on Friday, but the Victorian Electoral Commission will keep accepting postal votes into next week, as long as they are posted on time.
Exact dates for election results will vary depending on when all admissible ballots are received and counted, the commission noted in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
Official results will likely be confirmed at ceremonies for all councils and wards holding elections between Monday 2 November and Friday 13 November.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.