City of Greater Bendigo councillors are not just facing a major economic and health crisis as they begin their four year term.
The incoming council last night appointed Jennifer Alden mayor in the first of many major decisions it will need to make.
So what else will councillors rule on over the next four years?
Cr Alden has already listed a COVID-19 economic fallout and dealing with climate and biodiversity breakdown as priorities, but there are plenty of other issues that will come across the council table.
While the year 2020 has proven it can be hard to gaze into a crystal ball with clarity, a new document prepared by council officers could offer some hints to major decisions councillors may be asked to have a hand in over the rest of their term.
City officers prepared the list of major strategic works outlined in Bendigo's planning scheme, which is currently in the midst of the biggest update ever done in the council's history.
Some listed works are almost finished and could go before incoming councillors to review soon, others are about to start and still more are yet to get funding.
A few may fall by the wayside depending on future budgets or changing priorities.
All paint a picture of the city's needs as it transforms in the face of population growth.
Here are just a few questions to be considered:
Bendigo will need 1000 new homes over the next 20 years to fit a surging population, according to a pre-pandemic estimate.
It is unclear exactly how COVID-19 might change that but it it possible population growth with stay the same or accelerate, especially if Melbournians decide to permanently forego city offices in favour of working from home.
Councillors could be asked about a swathe of policies over the next four years concerned with where to settle people.
That includes weighing in on a municipal settlement strategy complete with plans for future growth areas, what to do about areas where homes and businesses mix and how to enhance neighbourhood character.
Council officers have plans for two such settlement strategies. One will be for urban areas that cover about 85 per cent of greater Bendigo and the other for rural areas.
The rural strategy will need thoughts on how to protect productive farm land and thoughts on intensive animal industries. It will also need to identify and protect "significant landscapes".
With so many houses needed in Bendigo many will likely rise on the edge of town in places like Marong, Maiden Gully and Huntly.
But the council wants developers to make sure they are contributing to pools of funds that could help the community once their tradies move on.
It is already close to putting a plan in place for Huntly's north eastern area requiring developers to pay a share of money needed to build shared roads, footpaths or parks that directly benefit the area.
The planning minister is currently assessing the plan.
The council could make similar plans for the western side of Huntly, as well as Marong's township and Maiden Gully's north east.
City planners are increasingly worried that climate change is going to expose more residents to heat related illnesses in the decades to come.
They want to cut down on the risk of heat-related illnesses by planting more trees and have even hired an "urban forester" to help shape plans.
The shade that trees cast can drastically reduce ambient temperatures in streets because they reduce the amount of heat roads and footpaths soak soak up and radiate onto the world around them.
Councillors could be asked to endorse plans to deal with the ten hottest streets in each suburb in coming years, and decide on a separate climate change adaption strategy.
Bendigo has been toying with widening heritage protections for some time, including for buildings once seen as too young and historically insignificant.
A recent plan listing significant heritage buildings in the city centre has already attracted concern from some owners and developers because they might clash with plans for a proposed hotel.
Public consultations for that plan are not over yet but the gradual shift to heritage protections for those buildings will likely only gather pace in the next four years.
Councillors may be asked to rule on a study specifically focusing on postwar architecture, subject to final approval from the planning minister.
They will also likely be asked to endorse recommendations from heritage studies on buildings in suburbs across Bendigo, as well as significant trees.
To see the full list strategic list or have your say on the planning scheme upgrade visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Services/Building-and-Planning/Planning-scheme-amendments