A giant billboard protesting water buybacks will be the first thing politicians see as they are chauffeured from Canberra airport to Parliament House.
The National Farmers' Federation stepped up its Keep Farmers Farming campaign this week, as the controversial bill to rewrite the Murray-Darling Basin Plan hit the floor of the Senate.
NSW sheep and grain farmer Michael Chalmers, pictured on the billboards, is deeply concerned about the government's proposal to allow water buybacks from farmers in the Murray Darling Basin.
"Further water buybacks would potentially have devastating effects on our farm business and our local community," he said.
"If I were having a conversation with a politician in Canberra I would ask the question, 'why are you so fixated on recovering this extra water when it won't necessarily deliver a tangible benefit to the environment, but it will almost certainly decimate irrigated communities in the Murray Darling Basin?'"
National Farmers' Federation chief executive Tony Mahar called on parliamentarians to support farmers, rural communities by saying no to the Bill and no to water buybacks.
"The Basin produces 40 per cent of Australia's food and fibre, and buybacks will take some of this away," Mr Mahar said.
"Let's pursue smart options like eradicating carp, creating fishways and addressing bank erosion, not destructive buybacks that will reduce farm production and drive up food prices."
If successful, the Restoring Our Rivers bill will give the MDBP more time and money, while removing the restrictions on the Commonwealth to purchase water licences.
The bill will be debated in the Senate later this week, following the release of a report by a Senate committee investigating the proposal.
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