BARNABY Joyce has revealed he'd secured $10 million the Tamworth university campus as a line item in the budget, until the NSW government almost halved its commitment, leaving a funding shortfall.
The New England MP is now considering an election promise to deliver the remaining $16 million, as the campus has now missed out on the federal budget funding round.
Mr Joyce said after talking with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and "stepping on a lot of toes", he had convinced the Commonwealth to put a single line item in the budget.
However, not long after securing it, Mr Joyce learnt the state had reduced its commitment from $43 million to $26.6 million.
"We were walking up to the mark and had arrived there when, the amount we were asked for was basically doubled," Mr Joyce said.
"That throws a spanner in the works. You can't go for one line of funding, then go for a different line of funding.
"They have to re-do the whole budget, and they'll tell you to get lost.
"I went in to bat for what was asked of me, I delivered it - then it was doubled, then it was removed."
Mr Joyce said the $10 million couldn't be delivered unless the entire project was funded, as the federal government disapproves of stranded assets - such as the $75 million committed upgrading Dungowan Dam, which can't be used until the state government contributes a similar amount.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barliaro is still yet to answer The Leader's questions about why the funding was reduced, while Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has also been copping heat for the shortfall.
However, Mr Joyce said he didn't blame Mr Anderson "one little bit".
"I genuinely believe that he got the money he was asked for," Mr Joyce said.
"The [federal] funding round we are now moving in to is the election funding.
"At the election I will move forward and lobby for exactly what is being asked for. I'm not unrelenting, I want a university campus for Tamworth."