The State Government’s Royalties for Regions program has lost support from the majority of Mid West local government leaders, casting doubt over Labor’s management of the $1b annual fund. The Royalties for Regions fund was created in 2008 to promote and facilitate economic, business and social development in regional Western Australia, and has since invested $6.1 billion of the State's mining and onshore petroleum royalties in more than 3600 projects and programs. Nineteen of the 21 Mid West and Gascoyne mayors and presidents responded to a WA-first survey of 108 local government leaders by our sister newspaper the Kalgoorlie Miner, with none saying they were satisfied with the scheme under the current State Government, while 11 reported they were satisfied under the Liberal-National coalition. Conversely, none said they were completely unsatisfied with the previous leadership’s handling of the scheme, while 12 were completely unsatisfied with its current delivery. One reported they were fairly unsatisfied under the former government, and four said they felt this way under Labor. City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the transfer of R4R funding from development commissions to State Government-owned corporations which provided services in both regional and metropolitan areas had sparked the death of Royalties for Regions for local governments. “Royalties for Regions originally had money set aside, given to development commissions to lead projects that would lead to economic growth within the development commission’s boundaries,” he said. “There is now no direct application process for local governments or others to apply for funding for projects to deliver economic growth in the regions. “It no longer exists.” Shire of Mount Magnet president Jorgen Jensen said while his council felt “slightly ignored” by the previous government, he felt the current minister for regional development took its concerns a lot more seriously. “I and several others at the time felt that those in the previous government at a ministerial level ignored the outer Mid West right through to the Goldfields and Nullarbor, considering the gold royalties emitted from this area,” he said. “It needs to be remembered that we now have a huge increase in tourist and truck traffic up through this region and these amenities are required for all, not just the permanent resilient population who live here all year. “Government needs to factor this into their thinking when it comes to regional spending.” Shire of Murchison president Ross Foulkes-Taylor said while Royalties for Regions was dead now, the “rot” started under the final term of the previous government. Yalgoo was the only Mid West council which did not respond to the survey. Three-quarters of regional West Australian council leaders said they believed R4R was worse off than it was under the former government. Just 11 of 108 regional local government leaders said they were happy with the current direction. That compared with 72 country WA leaders who said they were happy with the former government’s R4R regime.