A Central West council says it is 'appalled' the State Government is refusing to pay for equipment to help prepare the community for future floods.
The Forbes Shire has asked for a gauge to be installed at the Iron Bridge to show how high the Lachlan River is and where the town is likely to be inundated.
It is part of the council's plan to prepare Forbes for emergencies after concerns were raised about the response and evacuations during major flooding in March.
The Mayor Phyllis Miller says the government's decision is disappointing.
"In times of flood the SES either have to paddle in or row in and try and get that reading and we just think that's unacceptable," she said.
"You know the latest letter I've received from Minister Hodgkinson is you know if you want it done, fund it yourself and I think that's appalling.
"You know we're talking about people's lives."
The gauge would cost $17 thousand to install.
Councillor Miller says it is vital it is at the Iron Bridges rather than west of the town at Cottons Weir, because it will give an indication of where Forbes is likely to be inundated.
"This is when someone is not listening, whether it be bureaucratic or minister they are not listening and not taking one skerrick of notice of what the local people know, what we require in times of floods.
"We need a gauge at Iron Bridge now I believe that that is a government's responsibility for the safety of the community of Forbes."
© ABC 2012
17:01 EST Sydney's offshore Sea Surface Temperatures (SST's) have remained above 21 degrees for the last four days.