Gunnedah council was kept in the dark about the cancellation of the Shenhua coal mine, despite repeatedly seeking information about the project.
Mayor Jamie Chaffey said he was "personally" disappointed local government was kept out of the conversation.
"I can clarify that council were not aware of the details and today's announcement gave us clarity about what that is," he said.
"Personally, I'm disappointed that we weren't part of that conversation at a much earlier level and I can only assume that our local member was, and that he wasn't in a position or chose not to" bring the council in.
The local government body administrates the Breeza area the controversial mine would have covered.
He said the shire had attempted to seek information about the project from government, but was unable to obtain it.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro told media on Wednesday the state government had spent six months locked in negotiations with the giant Chinese resources company over quashing the 13-year-old mine project.
Mr Barilaro told a crowd of opponents of the project at an announcement in Breeza the government had spent $100 million buying back the project's exploration licence, and would ban mining in the area "forever and a day".
Cr Chaffey said many Gunnedah residents and businesses had made investment or personal decisions over the last decade on the assumption the project was going ahead.
"Today's announcement, where we actually have clarity over what the decision is rather than some suggestions that were advertised in Sydney media yesterday, gives certainty today. We know the details. Today's announcement will be celebrated by some, but it will be devastating for others in the community and that's what's important," he said.
"The project we know has been more than 12 years it has been discussed. And the plans that people have made in this community, whether they be residents or developers, were designed around that project going ahead. It is quite emotive for all people, no matter if you agree or disagree with the decision that's been made by the government."
He said the proponent had proven to be "fantastic corporate citizens", had employed a number of locals and had donated to community groups for years. Their employment will likely be affected, he said.
The neighbouring Liverpool Plains Shire was also not told of the negotiations in advance.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson told the Leader "like any negotiation, that negotiation happens behind closed doors and it was never certain until 4.30pm yesterday afternoon".
Cr Chaffey echoed remarks by President of the Gunnedah and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Juliana McArthur, that even without the mine the town's economy would remain strong.
Local irrigator Tom Bailey, a near neighbour who opposed the project, was still sceptical that the mine really was dead.
But he said cancelling it would actually be a boost for the local agriculture sector.
He said the project threatened his access to groundwater, forcing him to put the development of his farm "on hold".
"If I'd lost the irrigation we'd have halved the number of guys we employ and that is local workforce," he said.
"The irrigation farmers are definitely going to be in a much better position."
The farm employs six people.
With the land no longer to be used for mining, Mr Barilaro said it would be open to handing it over for management for Indigenous groups.
Indigenous man Mitchum Neave asked Mr Barilaro on behalf of local elders to "sign over" sacred sites at the mine to a Local Aboriginal Land Council for management.
The Deputy Premier said the land would be initially signed over to the Local Land Services "but we would be more than happy for them to work it out with you guys, it's your land".
"Local Land Services are paying the bill at the moment, but we can actually work through that long term if that's what you want," he told Mr Neave.
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