During his visit to the MIA last week, federal trade minister Dan Tehan reiterated that under the Coalition government there would be no water buybacks.
Earlier in April, the Labor Party committed to delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full, including recovering 450 gigalitres of upwater, along with a national water commission to drive reform and future-proof water supplies. It raises the possibility of water buybacks could be used to help address any shortfall in the amount of water due to be recovered by the plan.
Mr Tehan, who visited several exporters in Griffith and Leeton along with Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, was asked whether water buybacks should have been legislated against by the parliament.
"What you get under our government is no buybacks. Pure and simple," he said.
"We will not be doing buybacks."
Ms Ley said water is the critical difference to irrigated crops like rice, which led to jobs in the Riverina and Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.
"Labor's water policy would decimate this region," she said.
"Our commitment is firm, we've reinforced it and it's absolutely rock solid."
Despite not seeking legislation to prevent water buybacks, Ms Ley said the government meant what it said.
"Processing legislation through the parliament is of course the will of the parliament itself," she said.
"Let's see how that parliament is constituted after the election, but we cannot give a firmer commitment than the one we have.
Let's see how that parliament is constituted after the election, but we cannot give a firmer commitment than the one we have.- Member for Farrer, and environment minister, Sussan Ley
"The one that water minister Keith Pitt has given on several visits to this region including to SunRice here at Leeton to reassure people that we will not undertake to buy back a single drop of water.
"But Labor has already given up when it comes to our farmers, our irrigated agricultural production and what that means to the communities that I represent."
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