DISAPPOINTMENT is flowing in Leeton and surrounds following the passing of a controversial federal water bill.
The federal Senate had the numbers to pass the Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill 2023 on Thursday, November 30 much to the dismay of MIA residents, community leaders, stakeholders and politicians.
Leeton shire mayor Tony Reneker said he was disappointed the federal government hadn't listened to the pleas of regional communities.
He said Leeton Shire Council had received no feedback from a federal level following on from a large protest in town held prior to the vote which urged politicians not to passing the amended legislation.
"Our elected members seem to have ignored our concerns," councillor Reneker said.
"I believe there may be some further discussion around the socio-economic test, that would be great if they do that.
"But, I'm just really disappointed.
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"This could be potentially really disastrous for our community. I don't want to scare people ... but it does impact on our futures."
Meanwhile, Member for Murray Helen Dalton has called for a Royal Commission into the matter.
She said more transparency and accountability was needed.
"The federal government had announced it planned 450 GL of water buybacks, but given the deals Water Minister Tanya Plibersek has made with the Greens and independent Senators, the volume of water that is set to be recovered is now going to so much higher," Mrs Dalton said.
"Buying back 450 GL from distressed farmers was already going to devastate regional families and communities and anything more will just add to the pain.
"I cannot believe this government is so ignorant about this issue considering how many alternatives I have given them."
The legislation being passed and the subsequent predicted consequences is something Mrs Dalton and Member for Farrer Sussan Ley agree on, which isn't often the case.
"The Basin Plan is no longer a plan; it's a death sentence," Mrs Ley said.
"It's a death sentence that has been delivered by this government.
"Do you know what really hurts me?
"It's not the obvious political delight that the minister and the Prime Minister have just taken in this achievement.
"It's the faith that has been broken with the communities that I represent."
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