"THIS is what happens when you have a safe seat."
That was the furious response of independent candidate Mark Rodda, when he heard the state government backed away from its $43 million commitment to the city's university campus.
"In the last week to 10 days, they've obviously done polling that suggests [Tamworth MP] Kevin Anderson is in a safe position," Cr Rodda said.
"This shows that they think they've confidently won Tamworth, and they don't need to entice the electorate with any more funding.
"The government has made a cynical call a month out from the state election to determine that the safe Tamworth electorate can be short-changed for such an important educational project."
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate for Tamworth, Jeff Bacon, said he was "bitterly disappointed" the NSW government would deliver just over half of what had been expected.
"I am bewildered to see Kevin Anderson go straight to social media to sell this as a success," Mr Bacon said.
"It was only a week ago that Kevin pledged to see this project through to the end.
"I just hope this isn’t some pathetic attempt to fool voters into thinking he has delivered, by magically finding the remaining funding at the eleventh hour of the NSW state election.
"We are constantly told the Nationals have a seat at the table and their hand on the chequebook; looks like stadiums and Sydney win again at the cost of regional NSW."
Tamworth Labor candidate Stephen Mears said he'd put the "disappointing setback" on the radar of the party's decision-makers.
"I'm seeking as much support from Labor as I can, to bring this fruition post the election," Mr Mears said.
"We're taking the matter very seriously. It's a must for the future plans for Tamworth and its growth.
"It's pretty clear Tamworth has been predicted as a safe seat for the Nationals, so they feel like they don't have to do anything."
Tamworth Regional Council is still committed to donating the old velodrome as the site for the campus.