THE region's councillors have welcomed news the state government will postpone its budget until after the federal election, saying it gives them more time to push for key projects.
The state government announced Friday it will hand down its budget on May 27, after the federal election on May 18.
The budget was initially scheduled to be handed down on April 30.
In a press release, the government stated:
'Until we know who we will be dealing with in Canberra, it would be irresponsible to finalise our budget at this time.'
'Only one side is currently putting forward a real partnership with Victoria.'
Ararat Rural City Mayor Peter Beales said it "made sense" to delay the budget.
"If you don't know who is going to be in government, and you make a budget and you have agreement with the current government and the next one comes in and says they don't agree with it, you just have to throw your one completely out," he said.
"It's actually quite sensible because if they came down with a budget ... it diverts everyone from the federal election back to the state.
"We've had our state election so we need to keep them separate."
Cr Beales said the delay will have no impact on council projects at all.
Horsham Rural City Mayor Mark Radford said it was positive news.
"From our point of view it only gives us more opportunity to advocate those sorts of things," he said.
"I don't see any downside to them pushing it back."
Cr Radford also said that it would give councils more opportunity to prioritise the federal election.
"Myself and the (council) chief executive are meeting with all the candidates, and that will be our priority for the next few weeks, and then we'll get back on the state side of things," he said.
However, Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the delay was an attempt by the state government to hide a bad budget.
"Today's announcement that Labor is planning to postpone Victoria's State Budget until after the Federal Election tells us one thing: it tells us that this is a bad state budget and Labor's trying to hide it from Victorians," Ms Kealy said.
"Labor wants to hide the cuts. Hide the new taxes. Hide the doubling of debt. That's the only reason Daniel Andrews is covering up his state budget and pushing it back to late May.
"Is Daniel Andrews planning to make further cuts to spending on regional roads and infrastructure and continuing to ignore desperately-needed upgrades to hospitals and schools in Regional Victoria like the Warracknabeal Education Precinct?
"Will Labor go ahead with its plans to axe the Regional Development Fund set up by the Liberal Nationals in 2011 which has invested $1 billion into country communities?
"Daniel Andrews is treating the Victorian Parliament like a campaign tool for the Labor Party and once again is putting his Labor politics ahead of people."
The Parliament will still sit as scheduled on 30 April 2019.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday morning from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.