Tamworth councillors are at a loss as to why a "no brainer" water recycling scheme has struggled to get government funding.
Councillor Helen Tickle told a meeting of Tamworth Regional Council this week that the government could face political consequences if it can't find the cash for the scheme.
The state is "floundering around" to fund a $1.3 billion dam and "won't put $100m on the table for something that we know would work", which she called a "no brainer" on Tuesday night.
"No government body seems to come up with the money," she said.
"So it would be a very good opportunity for anyone wishing to stay in office next March [at the scheduled state election] to put the money on the table, not with conditions, just to put it on there to help our region continue to grow with confidence."
The council unanimously voted to make a submission to the state government's new Draft Namoi Water Strategy process, calling on it to amend water rules including the valley's water sharing plan in the "short term".
Council director of water and waste Bruce Logan told media on Wednesday that the main holdup for the project was getting government funding.
"I don't know why the government is not providing us with funding," he said.
"That's the main one [holdup], I have to say. This will need to be regulated, this facility. And I don't believe there's a facility like that in New South Wales at the moment ... so we need the government and the agencies to get their head around what does the regulation of this facility look like, and that's going to take some time."
Tamworth MP and water minister Kevin Anderson praised the plan as a "fantastic idea" and said he backs the project "100 per cent" but said it is the responsibility of the minister for regional development.
"There is a process that needs to happen in terms of allocating funding, so that business case is being assessed at the moment," he said.
"It started out at $75 [million], now it's $100 [million]."
Mayor Russell Webb told media on Wednesday that the council continues to talk with both major parties and both state and federal government.
"We're working slowly towards hopefully a good resolution. Because to be honest with you, it's probably the best solution for the short term, for actually giving us a little bit more water security," he said.
Cr Webb said he'd like to have money committed before the next state election, so council can get started on the project.
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