Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has dismissed fears Rangari Road won't be sealed until after mid-2021, but has been unable to give an estimated date.
It comes after a state government panel was formed this week to look at which roads might be transferred from local government to state control.
Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole has said the panel's task is to do "a thorough review".
Asked if he thought it was still a certainty the government would take over Rangari Road after this work, Mr Anderson said: "Both Gunnedah and Tamworth councils have identified this road as being suitable to be taken back into state control."
However, when asked if there was any guarantee the work would start or finish during this term of government, Mr Anderson did not give one.
"There is a process and I'm confident of the process," he said.
"Rangari Road will be sealed, it's an election commitment."
One only needs to look at how his language and messaging has changed to know he is back-pedalling.Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Mike Banasiak
Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers Mike Banasiak said "the writing was on the wall" that Mr Anderson was "back-pedalling" on his $9 million promise made in the 2019 state election.
"One only needs to look at how his language and messaging has changed to know he is back-pedalling," Mr Banasiak said.
"The minister in his election promise made clear that ... Rangari Road [was] unsafe.
"Now we are seeing the staged retreat."
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said the council would be "certainly looking for a commitment ... and the funds to seal Rangari Road before 2021".
"Council will certainly be taking a watchful, cautious approach and looking for more information during this consultation period, because council is committed to getting the best outcomes long term for our community," Cr Chaffey told the Namoi Valley Independent.