Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies told her party members that Albany was “on the cusp of something enormous” as she addressed a packed Nationals WA State conference on Saturday. Ms Davies was joined by more than 100 members at the Albany Surf Life Saving Club for the party’s annual general meeting and main policy discussion of the year. A frequent visitor to Albany in recent months, Ms Davies said the city was “thriving” and praised the council’s “ambitious goal” of becoming 100 per cent energy self-sufficient. She followed that praise with a shot at the McGowan Government. “(Albany) pinned its hopes on the Carnegie Wave Project, promised by Labor at the last election,” Ms Davies said. “Terry Redman has dug deep into this project and proved it was a dud, a pet project of Alannah MacTiernan’s that has not delivered.” A total of 29 motions were carried at the State conference, covering topics from regional doctor shortages to water scarcity. On water, the party supported the reinstatement of the Farm Water Rebate Scheme and Water Advisory Committee, while also calling for a task force comprising agricultural industry representatives, farming groups and other experts. Party members called for an independent review of the organisations and agencies tasked with improving the recruitment and retention of regional doctors. They also supported the concept of a WA Sovereign Wealth fund to save a share of resources profits for future generations. The Nationals WA Albany branch submitted motions for free entry to the National Anzac Centre and a 20-year plan to improve Albany Highway — both of which were carried. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack appeared at the State conference by video link, criticising the McGowan Government for producing a $1.7 billion Budget surplus during the COVID-19 pandemic — money he argued should have been spent. Ms Davies used her leader’s address to vow Royalties for Regions would be returned to its former glory if Labor lost at the next election. She committed to spending $250 million over five years in 11 regional cities and towns, allowing them to grow into “modern, sustainable, dynamic places to live and work”. “From Kununurra to Albany, we want to entice workers and their families to live in the regions,” Ms Davies said. “With these 11 local governments, we’ll create an investment framework to fund urban renewal projects to revitalise residential and commercial areas in need of transformation, invest in tourism and visitor infrastructure, (and) support infrastructure and planning to create water-sensitive cities.” The Royalties for Regions program was the brainchild of former National Party leader Brendon Grylls. Mr Grylls brokered a deal with Colin Barnett to designate $1 billion worth of royalties a year for the bush in return for forming an alliance government in 2008. The Nationals were largely in control of how, and whereM that money was spent. Upon winning government, Labor decided that the way Royalties for Regions was spent would be changed, so that projects that might otherwise been funded out of consolidated revenue were now funded out of the bush fund. “What they (Labor) has done in siphoning funding and underspending Royalties for Regions is unforgivable,” Ms Davies said. Ms Davies also announced a $35m Community Energy Fund to encourage regional households and communities to install “behind-the-meter” batteries for electricity storage.