SHIFTING Murray-Darling Basin Authority jobs to the Riverina is "tokenistic" and "too little, too late", independent candidate for Farrer Kevin Mack says.
“The announcement that the MDBA will open a Griffith office with 48 jobs shared between Griffith and Mildura is tokenistic at best,” Mr Mack said.
“The federal government says there will be 103 jobs spread across the Murray-Darling Basin, but that will be only one-third of its total staff, most of whom will remain in Canberra.
“How long will we have to wait until these positions are relocated and this decentralisation plan is realised?"
Liberal member for Farrer Sussan Ley, who joined federal and NSW water ministers, at the announcement of the jobs, hit back at Mr Mack.
"Mr Mack is always complaining that the Liberals and Nationals aren't delivering for Farrer, we have certainly delivered for Farrer and it's apparently still not good enough," Ms Ley said.
"I would say that he's taking just a cheap political shot."
Ms Ley said "outcomes" in the basin would be improved by having authority staff in communities.
"(People) will have to live with the communities that are so badly affected by the basin plan, it will actually have an incredibly positive effect on bridging that gap in understanding between what often seems a remote bureaucracy and people living their lives in difficult circumstances with very little water," she said.
Ms Ley expects the relocation of water-related jobs will be more successful than the government's transfer of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority from Canberra to northern NSW.
Ms Ley said the move to regional offices had not been "foisted" on MDBA chief executive Phillip Glyde and "he embraced and welcomed it".