MARONG community members may have to petition for the return of their maternal child health centre, despite Bendigo councillors voting to reinstate Elmore's services.
Several councillors said they were open to pushing for a return of nurse visits to Marong, but the initial push would need to come from the town's residents.
The move came after a petition signed by 379 people called for their return.
The petition was a response to the City of Greater Bendigo not reinstating nurse visits to the Elmore Maternal and Child Health Centre after the COVID-19 crisis eased.
It meant Elmore's closest centre was in Huntly, more than 30 minutes away.
Marong's nearest MCH service is about 10 kilometres away at Maiden Gully, but there is no regular public transport linking the two localities.
Whipstick Ward councillor Andrea Metcalf said Marong's MCH services would likely be raised at council's Rural Communities Committee meeting on Tuesday night.
Councillor Metcalf said if Marong's situation was similar to Elmore's - which she described as "a process failure" - it would likely also come before council as a petition.
But she said, as Marong was in Lockwood Ward, she was less familiar with how the situation had been communicated to residents.
Cr Metcalf said the council's motion on Monday was directed purely at Elmore because it was the subject of the petition, which that community had driven.
She said Marong would likely need a community-driven petition to restore services.
Cr Metcalf said it was possible to deliver maternal and child health services under different models, but any change needed to be made in conversation with the community.
Lockwood Ward councillor Vaughan Williams said council's decision to restore Elmore services made it "pretty plain" how councillors felt about services for rural communities.
Councillor Williams said he expected Marong residents would petition for services in a similar way to Elmore, after which councillors could consider it as a motion.
Cr Williams said it was vital the state government come to the table to fund its share of maternal child health, so rural towns could be guaranteed services.
Lockwood Ward councillors Jennifer Alden and Rod Fyffe were also contacted for comment about Marong's MCH services.
The City of Greater Bendigo confirmed it had also closed its Eaglehawk Maternal Child Health Centre, but continued to operate five days a week from nearby Lightning Reef and Maiden Gully.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: