A Riverina MP has called for the federal water minister to abandon her buybacks campaign once and for all as communities prepare to rally against it.
With Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek's buybacks bill on apparent shaky ground, Member for Murray Helen Dalton has called for her to abandon her campaign once and for all.
Mrs Dalton has urged Ms Plibersek to accept the findings of the Productivity Commission that her plan to buy back 450 gigilitres of water from farmers and irrigators in the Murray Darling Basin is "doomed to fail".
"The Commissions says clearly in its 2023 Implementation review that the Feds should be getting additional water from its water recovery projects first, rather than just trying to buy water from distressed farmers and producers in the Basin."
According to Ms Plibersek, the plan is set to fall 750GL short of its 3200GL target.
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The new bill is currently being debated in the Senate and with just two parliamentary sitting weeks left before it needs to be enacted, time is running out.
"I'm asking every senator to review the Productivity Commission report," Mrs Dalton said.
"It will destroy our regional communities and not help our rivers. On top of all that, the buyback plan will waste millions of dollars of taxpayers money. How can Tanya think she is going to get away with any of this?"
Mrs Dalton is also highly critical of Ms Plibersek's lack of engagement with communities set to be most affected most.
"(Tanya) has been reluctant to discuss the issue. She thinks I'm exaggerating so I honestly don't believe she has the depth needed. She's more worried about the Greens impact and generating votes in her Sydney electorate which is where I think she feels safe," Mrs Dalton said.
"I've asked her to come out several times. She needs to see what is happening and she needs to understand this is a water management problem."
Rallies against the bill and water buybacks are being held in Griffith and Leeton on Tuesday.
Mrs Dalton said she will be at the helm of Griffith's, saying she expects a big turnout.
"Water is on everyone's minds. Everywhere I go in the electorate I hear about how much people are worrying about it," she said.
"We know towns like Griffith and Leeton in the MIA were purpose-built for irrigation yet out here we seem to be under constant attack for doing what we do best."
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