Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington has labelled last week’s State Budget “pretty standard”, but welcomed further funding commitments that will complete the Albany Ring Road project. Mr Wellington told the Advertiser he believed it was “a reasonable sort of budget that goes with the times”. He singled out the $37 million that had been allocated over the coming two years for the construction of Chester Pass Road and Menang Drive grade separation as a positive. “It’s very good that the ring road gets finished off in terms of being able to do that overpass at the start of the road, which was a very important part of the Budget request,” he said. “It will also be interesting to see how the $6m will be spent on housing for Spencer Park, but I think that is an old promise personally. He said he would have liked to have seen some State Government funding to address the region’s mental health concerns. “There are places like headspace which get funded on a Federal basis, but don’t receive State funding because they don’t merge the two,” he said. “There is a problem with mental health and I don’t know that we’ve got enough coming in to support that, so I think that could be addressed a little bit more.” Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Kristen Pyrz-Brown said the budget did not directly address the issues facing the region’s businesses in a tangible way. “Specifically for our region, there weren’t too many headliners that we can specifically point to but an alleviation of small business energy costs to the tune of $650 will some way to helping out,” she said. She said most of its highlights were socially and community-based, but that she looked forward to seeing how money allocated to Southern Ports will benefit local businesses and how the rollout of the apprentice subsidies will affect employer decision-making. She said upgrades at Albany’s TAFE campus were welcome, but feedback from members suggested funding to attract and retain lecturers in the same way the Government had “addressed the healthcare worker housing and regional experience incentives” was needed.