NEW Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has been welcomed by south-west council leaders eager to continue on with their "one-phone-call" away relationship.
District residents awoke today to find their local MP had become the head of the state.
Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh said Dr Napthine had served well as regional cities minister, but warned he would need to remain committed to the local electorate.
"Now he will be under pressure for our local projects including stage two of the redevelopment of South West Healthcare and Peter's Project," Cr Neoh said.
"I hope he doesn't become 1 Spring Street centric.
"What I'd hate to see is if Dr Napthine shies away from the area because of bias - I think it's about catching up."
Peter's Project founder Vicki Jellie said Dr Napthine had been a founding member of the push to build an south-west cancer care centre, but she was keen to see $10 million committed to the project in the May budget.
"We're very lucky to now have the Premier in Warrnambool," Ms Jellie said.
Glenelg Shire Mayor Karen Stephens said Dr Napthine had been supportive of the council's calls to lift support to the manufacturing industry, which is coming under pressure in Portland.
She said the council would continue to make a case for the state government to support a $15 million upgrade of the Condah-Hotspur Upper Road where huge timber trucks and school buses compete for space.
"Across the board, we support him as Premier," Cr Stephens said.
The mayor said the council had a meeting scheduled with Dr Napthine again next week.