TAMWORTH'S mayor had a number of "fruitful" one-on-one conversations with some of the nation's most senior politicians at the Bush Summit earlier this week.
On Thursday, Col Murray and Tamworth councillor Russell Webb were among the hundreds that converged on Dubbo for event that brought together politicians, industry bodies and agricultural experts to talk about the future of regional Australia.
Cr Murray said he could understand the criticism of those who called it "another talkfest", but he thought it was "far more positive than that".
"These are all links in a chain, taking us towards getting a stronger recognition of the impact the drought is having on rural communities," Cr Murray said.
"Part of the solution, other than rain, is starting these conversations and there is no better platform to do that than a forum featuring the Prime Minister and a host of other high-profile politicians."
While there were plenty of grand speeches, the real action was happening off the stage.
The pair of Tamworth councillors wasted no time bailing up the nation's "movers and shakers", including Ag Minister Bridget McKenzie and Resources Minister Matt Canavan.
"You've got to go and make those opportunities," Cr Murray said.
"It was good to have that opportunity to get one-on-one with them, not in a structured way, to talk about stuff.
"You've got to put yourself in the game, because sometimes these casual one-on-ones are a better opportunity than formal visits in Canberra.
"When you go to Parliament House, you never get more than a scheduled half an hour, and if the bell rings and they have to run off, you're left talking to a senior staffer."
Cr Webb said they had a good discussion with NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro about the $484-million Dungowan Dam upgrade.
"That networking is where you get the work done," Cr Webb said.
It's been proposed to make the Bush Summit an annual event and Cr Murray has suggested next year it come to Tamworth.