Shepparton Independent MP Suzanna Sheed has called for the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council to urgently meet, given two-thirds of the country's water ministers are new to the job.
MinCo - a forum for federal and state water ministers meet to discuss the vital issues regarding the Murray-Darling Basin - has not been convened since April 2021.
"The November 2021 meeting was cancelled and there has been no MinCo meeting this year despite four new water ministers on the panel of six," Ms Sheed said.
All but two of the six MinCo members are new due to the results of recent elections and cabinet reshuffles.
"The new Federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek has visited parts of the Murray-Darling Basin and has declared it would be challenging to meet the water recovery targets in the current timeframes," Ms Sheed said.
"Greens SA Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is calling for buybacks from irrigators and this is something we object to vehemently in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District."
Ms Sheed said Senator Hanson-Young mentioned "willing sellers" but the community saw what a negative impact there was on the entire dairy industry during the last round of buybacks.
"Having willing buyers and willing sellers does not eliminate a negative socio-economic impact on our region," she said.
"In 2018 the federal water minister and all Basin states' water ministers agreed upon a socio-economic test to ensure that there would be no negative impacts on river communities to obtain the 450 gigalitres for the environment.
"I am concerned that the lack of MinCo meetings indicates waning enthusiasm to work on the major water recovery issues that need to be resolved before the audit in 2024."
She said the major concern in the Goulburn Valley was that the southern Basin would not have met its water recovery target by 2024.
"We do not want any further water taken from the consumptive pool if this issue is not resolved when a full assessment of water recovery is undertaken in 2024," she said.
"In the GMID, we have given up so much water already, and this has had a disastrous impact on our dairy industry."
She said federal and state water ministers needed to meet before time ran out for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
"We need them to sit down together and discuss the introduction of a more flexible roll out of the projects, giving the plan a better chance of ultimate success," she said.
Water Minister Harriet Shing said it was unacceptable the last MinCo was held in 2021.
"I have confirmed my strong view to the federal minister and my NSW counterpart that we need to have a council meeting as soon as possible, and to discuss and progress a range of outstanding issues as a matter of urgency," Ms Shing said.
A spokesperson for Ms Plibersek said no date had been set yet for the next MinCo.
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