Federal Nationals slap down NSW Nats MDBP royal commission call

Federal Nationals slap down NSW Nats MDBP royal commission call

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FACE OFF: The leader of the federal Nationals, Michael McCormack, and the NSW Nationals leader, aren't seeing eye-to-eye.

FACE OFF: The leader of the federal Nationals, Michael McCormack, and the NSW Nationals leader, aren't seeing eye-to-eye.

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The federal Nationals says if the NSW Nats are hellbent on the idea, they could hold they're own state-based royal commission.

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The NSW Nationals' call for a royal commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan has fallen on deaf ears, as their national counterparts slapped down the idea.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and the state's Water Minister Melinda Pavey both backed the proposal, after a petition with more than 11,000 signatures was tabled by Shooters MP Helen Dalton.

However, federal Nationals MP and Water Minister Keith Pitt dismissed the notion.

He said if the NSW government was hellbent on the idea, it could hold its own state-based royal commission

"The government does not support a royal commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan," Mr Pitt said.

"If the NSW government wants to establish a royal commission, it has the powers to do so and it is entirely their decision.

"I'm focused on working constructively with Murray Darling Basin states and all stakeholders to achieve the best outcomes."

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Mr Pitt said he understood the "severe strain" the drought placed upon farmers, however there had already been several parliamentary inquiries into the MDBA, along with state, Commonwealth and independent reviews.

"There are a number of reviews currently underway due to report to the government over the next few months," he said.

Mr Barilaro said he couldn't ignore the petition from concern irrigators, which represented the "undeniable need for greater transparency" across the basin.

"I have made it abundantly clear that when it comes to the Murray Darling Basin Plan our basin communities need to come first - the plan needs to work for us, not the other way around," Mr Barilaro said.

"I have met with some of these irrigators, who are at breaking point, and I confirmed that the NSW Nationals support the petition, to which they are signatories, and calls for a Royal Commission and National Water Register."

Ms Pavey said enough was enough and NSW had no more water to give.

"NSW has done a lot of the heavy lifting," she said.

"With the support of local communities we will work towards delivering projects which enable good environmental, social and economic outcomes to be achieved.

"We are concerned that key NSW environmental assets like the Barmah Choke are being run too hard and are in danger of irreversibly damaged if unrealistic timeframes and community concerns around programs like the Constraints Management Strategy aren't taken into consideration."

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Murray MP, Helen Dalton, said the community pressure had forced the NSW Nationals to reverse its opposition to a water management royal commission.

"In August last year, they voted against a royal commission motion in parliament," Ms Dalton said.

"Now, they are on the record saying they support one. People power has forced their hand.

"I'd like to thank every one of the 11,000 people who signed the petition for forcing this backflip."

Ms Dalton says the challenge will be to hold the the party to its word.

"It's time for them to meet with their federal National Party counterparts are make this happen," she said.

"I'll be on them constantly to see if they do."

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