The 2020 Stawell Gift has been postponed.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Murray Emerson said the postponement was going to have a "tremendous" impact to the region.
"It's a devastating decision that had to be made by the Stawell Athletic Club," he said. "Economically it will have a tremendous effect on our financial stability - there's no doubt about that.
"I haven't had a chance yet to have a look at what the figures might be, but there will be a very severe debt to our economical position."
Cr Emerson said the main message to people was "don't panic" when thinking about the impacts on economics and health.
"It's a very serious situation we are in," he said.
"But do not panic. Listen to the advice from the appropriate channels and seek advice if you are confused, don't understand or are needing help.
"I think we are all resilient enough to work our way through it and I'm sure we will come out the other side with a lot of experience and I'm sure it will work out ok."
The Victorian Government has implemented a State of Emergency that bans non-essential mass gatherings of 500 or more people in Victoria, effective midday Monday 16 March until 13 April 2020.
In respect of this announcement, the 2020 Stawell Gift will not proceed on April 11-13, 2020.
The Stawell Athletic Club said it is working closely with the Victorian Government, Northern Grampians Shire Council and the Victorian Athletic League in what is an evolving situation.
This included assessing options for potentially re-scheduling the 2020 Stawell Gift to a date later in the year.
The club said more information will be made available via the Stawell Gift website in the coming weeks.
The club thanked all participants, partners, spectators and suppliers for their patience and understanding at this challenging time.
More to come.
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