NARRABRI mayor Cathy Redding said it would be disappointing if state government funding was secured to upgrade Rangari Road.
The road has been a bone of contention between Narrabri, Gunnedah and Tamworth councils and state MP Kevin Anderson has urged the latter two to forge ahead without the former, after receiving “extensive reports from the community on the condition of the road”.
“We don’t want to be hamstrung by someone who doesn’t want to work with us on a solution,” Mr Anderson said.
“It has been a problem in the past getting everybody at the table that’s why it has taken so long.
“We made the decision to forge ahead with Gunnedah and Tamworth, we are really grateful they are willing to work toward to a solution.”
Mr Anderson said the cooperating councils were eyeing-off cash from the Resources for Regions program, but was unclear how the project would be delivered without Narrabri’s support.
He didn’t rule-out upgrading the road outside of Narrabri’s boundaries.
“That’s all up for discussion, I don’t think it would be an ideal solution to stop the bitumen at Narrabri shire, but we would hope they would maybe come to the party,” he said.
“Narrabri don’t want to be a part of that solution, so they’ll take care of themselves.”
Cr Redding said her shire’s position had not changed on the issue.
“It is not a priority to us,” she told The Leader.
“We have a lot of other higher priorities; two studies have been done and both studies found it's not economical to upgrade.”
The mayor said she’d be disappointed if funding was drawn from the Resources for Regions programs, as suggested by Mr Anderson.
The Tamworth MP didn’t estimate how much it would cost to upgrade the entire road, but early figures suggest it would cost $8.75 million to fix the 18km in Gunnedah shire.