TAMWORTH MP and cabinet minister Kevin Anderson couldn't confirm whether there would be money in the state budget for a new mental health unit.
More than 13,000 people signed a petition to the state government asking to build an improved and expanded public mental health unit 18 months ago, but progress has been slow since then.
Mr Anderson said the upgrade was his priority for the state budget last year.
Fast forward to 2019 and the MP is now sworn-in to the ministry and hoping to see money in the budget to "build a better Banksia".
But he was still happy with the progress.
"We want to get it right before we put a spade in the ground," he told the Leader.
"We want to make sure we've done the correct planning and the correct input has gone into it just like the Tamworth fire station."
In October, Mr Anderson announced the government would spend $365,000 on interior works at the Banksia unit which were "over and above" a promised redevelopment.
Since then, no further funding has been forthcoming.
But Mr Anderson has announced he'll meet with the Tamworth Mental Health Carers Support Group on Thursday morning for a media opportunity.
During the recent state election, Mr Anderson's opponents rallied to call on the government to establish a drug and alcohol rehab unit in town.
The Tamworth MP was strongly opposed to the notion of connecting a drug rehab with the Banksia upgrade.
"It's a completely separate issue," he said.
"I do not want this [Banksia] project to be derailed or contaminated with other issues."
Last year's state budget saw $700 million allocated for mental health infrastructure including "physical upgrades or refurbishments of a number of existing acute mental health units, including facilities in Tamworth and Albury".