POLITICIANS and industry bodies have come out swinging after it was announced Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Greens made a deal to keep the Murray-Darling Basin Plan afloat.
A key deadline for returning water to the Murray-Darling Basin will be pushed back after the Albanese government brokered a deal with the Greens.
The $13 billion Murray-Darling Basin Plan aimed to return 450 gigalitres of water to the environment by June 2024.
The government has put forward legislation to move that to the end of 2027.
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek announced on Monday in a joint press conference with Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young amendments in exchange for crucial support needed for the bill to pass.
The proposed laws will be introduced to the Senate this week, after previous negotiations with the Greens had stalled.
The changes will put into place a new agreement with all basin states, except Victoria, after it was revealed water recovery targets would not be met.
The bill will now guarantee that the 450 gigalitres will be recovered by 2027.
Member for Farrer Sussan Ley labelled the deal between Labor and the Greens as "dirty".
"Tanya Plibersek's dirty deal with the Greens is reckless in many ways," she said.
"It firstly betrays the bipartisan agreement we reached in 2012 to balance economic, social, and environmental outcomes.
"Just as loopy, is promising all this extra water by 2027, while our dams are full at a cost of up to $4 billion.
"Why on earth would you ask taxpayers to buy water that will effectively shut down smaller regional communities, and also increase food prices at the checkout? Lunacy."
Meanwhile, Member for Murray Helen Dalton has also slammed the deal, calling on NSW Premier Chris Minns to make his position known.
"This deal is an absolute betrayal of families and communities up and down the Murray-Darling Basin," she said.
"Make no mistake, we are going to lose regional communities throughout NSW because of Water Minister Tanya Plibersek's disgraceful buyback plan. This simply cannot be allowed to happen. Premier Chris Minns must stand up for regional NSW and reject the federal government's mad buyback plan once and for all.
"I understand Premier Minns was trying to work with Tanya. But now that Tanya has done a side deal with Sarah Hanson-Young, surely our Premier needs to accept that NSW has been played. The only thing left for Premier Minns to do now is to say 'NO", you can't transfer productive water out of NSW."
The Ricegrowers' Association of Australia has also decried the partnering up between the two parties, with president - Leeton shire resident - Peter Herrmann calling it a "stitch up".
"The 'stitch-up deal' announced ... by Plibersek and Hanson-Young was a cheap political stunt, pre-empting the Parliamentary process," Mr Herrmann said.
"It's not over yet. All federal senators still have the right to consider the Basin Plan Bill on its merits, and make their own decisions about whether or not it stacks up.
"To be clear, this Bill will ravage Basin communities if it's allowed to pass in its current form.
"Plibersek's inability to consider practical alternatives is negligent and shows a lack of empathy for regional Australia.Our plea to all Senators hasn't changed.
"Vote in favour of common sense and demand a Bill that protects the balance between long-term community and environmental sustainability."
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