We won't back down: Hunter

SOUTH Australia's Environment Minister remains confident he will win a "staring" contest with New South Wales over funding to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

Both states are due to significantly cut their financial support for the MDBA next financial year after NSW backed out of a previous funding agreement.

But Environment Minister Ian Hunter said he would bank on the Federal Government siding with South Australia rather than letting the MDBA collapse.

"I expect the Commonwealth Government will sit down with the New South Wales premier and treasurer and impress on them the absolute importance of New South Wales pulling its weight," he said.

"If not, (the MDBA) will be under-funded.

"Why should New South Wales then get grants from the authority when they're paying less than a quarter share?"

Mr Hunter made the remarks before a speaking engagement at the Murray Bridge Hotel on Tuesday night.

In his speech, he also expressed pleasure that a new drought management procedure for the Lower Lakes had been agreed upon earlier this month.

"The basin jurisdictions are committed to early discussions regarding water availability to the Lower Murray, before water levels start impacting upon the environment or the economic activities reliant on our water resources," he said.

Mr Hunter's visit came as part of a Lower Murray road show intended to show off the region's tourism, agriculture and environment to Federal and State bureaucrats.

Between Sunday and yesterday, delegates visited local food producers including Coorong Wild Seafood; visited attractions such as Monarto Zoo and the Meningie Cheese Factory; and learnt about upcoming projects including Tailem Bend Motorsport Park, Murray Bridge's education precinct and the Gifford Hill racecourse and housing development.

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