An upper Goulburn River landholders says Water Minister Harriet Shing is continuing to "refuse to budge" on calls to increase airspace at Lake Eildon.
The minister met with landholders in Molesworth, after producers in the area said they'd been flooded by the Goulburn River three times in just over a year.
Landholders have asked for changes to the lakes operating rules, requesting air space in the dam be increased - something they say is within the minister's power to resolve.
"Landholders in the upper Goulburn have been flooded three times since October 2022 and with the weir currently at 99.7 per cent full," Yea beef producer Jan Beer said.
"It will only take another intense rain event of 50 millimetres to mean releases would have to be made and consequently flood everyone once more.
"We have asked many, many times that the minister instructs GMW to keep an air space in Eildon, keeping it around 95pc, to give some mitigation for flooding."
She said landowners were now extremely nervous about the forecast rain, this coming week.
"The minister has made it very clear that she will not intervene on our behalf until the Eildon Weir Assessment Report has been delivered in March next year," Ms Beer said.
Landholders had been in discussions with the authorities since March, and requested the minister's intervention in April.
Ms Beer said the minister's action, at the time, would have prevented the two subsequent floods
"Despite landowners arguing that the authorities have a legal obligation to mitigate flooding, the minister refused to budge," she said.
The minister was joined by Goulburn-Murray Water River Operations manager Andrew Shields and managing director Charmaine Quick.
Water authorities and the minister have constantly said the primary purpose of Lake Eildon was to provide a safe and secure water supply, while offering some flood mitigation "where possible".
Ms Shing said she regularly met with communities to listen and understand their concerns around water and other issues.
The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action was undertaking a technical assessment at Lake Eildon, with the community, local councils, water corporations and the catchment management authority (CMA).
That would determine if changing the way the storage was operated could help mitigate flooding downstream and the implications of those changes, Ms Shing said.
"Options being assessed includes changes to the target filling curve for Lake Eildon and a reduction of target full storage levels," she said.
Goulburn River Trout, Alexandra, director Ed Meggitt said it had been a "frank and robust" meeting but described the minister's response as "a political straight bat.
"They are hiding behind the "where possible" clause in the Water Act, which is dangerous as GMW has unlimited possibilities to mitigate floods," Mr Meggitt said.
"They could manage Eildon like Wivenhoe (Qld) and have the declared full supply at 50pc, leaving the top 50pc as a flood compartment."
Instead, GMW was holding the full supply level at 95pc, until December 1, each year.
He said he was also concerned about carryover rules, changed in response to the Millennium Drought, to help with water security.
"However in wetter times these carryover rules are leading to more dam release floods as the impoundments are fuller than ever," Mr Meggitt said.
"This year, Eildon has more than one million megalitres of carryover water, almost a third of its volume.
"Maybe we should be looking at the carryover rules and amending them or - as a trade off - to off et flood risk, just lower the full supply level to protect the downstream communities?"
Whanregarwen-Molesworth beef producer Andrew Perry said he was yet to see anything that resembled "meaningful consultation" with farmers.
"Apparently the input to this process from the agricultural industry is via GMW and CMA," he said.
"I would like to know what linkages these agencies use to gain a representative view of the various agricultural industries that rely on this storage and river?"
Considering the lake was "arguably the most valuable asset for Victorian agriculture" it would be prudent to give Agriculture Victoria a seat at the table, he said.
"We can hope the assessment suggests a more flexible water harvest process for wet years to prevent the front teeth from being knocked out of the built and natural environment."
GMW has been contacted for comment.