A state government announcement this week could spell the end of land use conflicts between farmers and miners on the Liverpool Plains, but one local MP is concerned the government won't stick to it.
Roy Butler said maps issued this week with the government's Strategic Statement on Coal Exploration and Mining do show new mining exploration is banned in the region.
He just doesn't believe the government will follow them.
"The trust that government would stick to that is negligible.
"You look at the 16 recommendations of the chief scientist in relation to coal seam gas, we thought that was a commitment too, which they walked away from."
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP won the massive rural electorate last year, in part off the back of years of land use contests between miners and farmers.
Aside from a small portion near Narrabri, all mineral reserves in his electorate have been labelled as having "no proactive releases for coal exploration under the Strategic Release Framework. New coal exploration can only occur adjacent to an existing coal title".
Mr Butler said the statement gives a "degree of certainty to landholders".
This week's announcement won the rarest of things: praise from both the NSW Minerals Council and the Lock the Gate Alliance.
Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee described the government's broader coal strategy as a "generally reasonable and balanced" attempt to create certainty and consistency.
"There are also strong opportunities available from opening up new areas for potential new mines, and the jobs, investment and growth that follows," he said.
Lock the Gate was more muted, saying the strategy was a "small step in the right direction but a missed opportunity to decisively address land use conflict and diversification."
Spokesperson Georgina Woods said the maps were long overdue, but the government is still leaving a final resolution to land use conflict issues in the too-hard basket.
Deputy Premier and resources minister John Barilaro also this week announced mining communities including Gunnedah, Narrabri and the Liverpool Plains would receive at least $1 million per local government area from the Resources for Regions program.
Roy Butler said the money won't be enough to fund a just transition away from coal as the industry winds up.
"The most important thing here is with any kind of transition towards any alternative energy source, the economic benefits of coal mining and the employment it brings to regional communities needs to be replaced with something else," he said.
"A million dollars is a drop in the ocean. It's a lot of money for the average punter but in terms of communities and in terms of the benefits that they get from 100 or 500 jobs is negligible."
NSW Farmers' Tamworth branch chair Kevin Tongue said the two industries have to find a way to coexist with each other.
The maps were on Friday added to the region's State Environmental Planning Policy.