Regional Australia was declared one of the big winners of the 2022 Federal Budget, but local leaders are divided on how much of the spending will reach the Mid West. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the Budget on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming Federal election, which is expected to be in May. The local project which received the most funding was the Mid West Secondary Freight Network, which was allocated $22.4 million. Member for Durack Melissa Price said the project would prioritise the upgrade of key grain freight routes on roads across the Mid West. “The project will focus on providing sealed shoulders, widening traffic lanes to safely accommodate grain trucks, signage installations and line marking working with a number of local governments,” she said. “It follows the very successful model of the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network which I helped establish with substantial Morrison Government funding across 42 shires in Durack’s Wheatbelt and into the Great Southern, supporting regional communities, agriculture and resources developments. “It is very good that this successful model has now been replicated into the Mid West and my determination on behalf of many in the region for the economic and safety aspects of this project has been heard”. But Labor candidate for Durack Jeremiah Riley described the Budget as “disappointing” and “short-sighted”, with little promised for the electorate. “(Prime Minister) Scott Morrison and the Liberals seem to have forgotten that Durack has powered the national economy through the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “They are giving very little in return, in particular, virtually nothing for the Mid West and Gascoyne. There is nothing in the Budget for the radiation therapy unit at Geraldton hospital that was promised by the current Member for Durack in the 2019 election. “Morrison is clearly more concerned about his own job than fixing health care, aged care and lack of wage growth in Durack.” City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn agreed, saying the Mid West had largely missed out in what was a “big spending Budget”. “There were large projects funded in the Pilbara, Goldfields, South West and Perth regions, with no big projects for the Mid West,” he said. “We still see no movement or commitment to Oakajee, power distribution to the Mid West, assistance with the Geraldton hospital, and no upgrades to the North West Coastal Highway.” There was also no funding allocated to the planning or construction of a new jetty in Geraldton, despite Ms Price last year pledging her support for the proposal. But Mr Van Styn said Geraldton and the Mid West would benefit from the extension of grant programs such as the Building Better Regions Fund and the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. “Whilst there’s no major projects that have funding in the Mid West, which is disappointing, there is significant increases in competitive grant funds to which the City can apply,” he said. He said measures to support rising living costs would be welcome relief for many Geraldton residents, with low and middle-income earners to receive a one‑off $420 cost of living tax offset in their next tax return. As the average price of unleaded fuel approaches 210¢ per litre in Geraldton, locals will also benefit from the fuel excise being cut from 44.2¢ per litre to 22.1¢ per litre.