LOCAL irrigators have threatened to "go militant" after the federal water minister made the shock announcement he would consider taking even more water away from them.
Minister Tony Burke called a press conference yesterday to outline the "staggeringly different" outcomes that have emerged from fresh modelling for taking 3200 gigalitres from the basin up from the already controversial figure of 2750 gigalitres.
Local farmers and water advocates have been quick to condemn the minister's statements, saying the community and the NSW government would not stand for an even greater loss of water.
Griffith farmer John Bonetti was one of many who said the community would continue to take radical action to protect its food production capabilities.
Mr Bonetti declared he would lead a "whole set" of protests if his fellow farmers agreed to support him.
"We will not accept the plan if it's not right for us," Mr Bonetti said. "We have a lot of big machinery and we will use it to stop this and wake up the politicians,"
"I'm basically a law-abiding person but this is ridiculous. We will take a militant stand against this if we need to.
"Even if it means I have to spend time in jail, I'd be proud to do that if it saved our community and meant we could keep producing food for the starving people of the world."
Mr Burke expected to present the final plan to parliament by November 29.
Murrumbidgee Food and Fibre Association president Debbie Buller said it wasn't in farmers' nature to play dirty but it could be on the cards.
"Even if it is a good plan, which looks unlikely at this point, we're still in massive trouble if it's poorly implemented," Mrs Buller said.
"If that happens, we all need to fight back, stand up and speak up. We could cause big trouble if we had to we could block off all of the roads in a heartbeat.
"I hope we don't need to do it but the damage this plan could create is very scary and it's something we shouldn't accept."
After this latest announcement, local stakeholders were even more uncertain about the form the final plan will take.
"Once we get a feel for what it looks like, we will have to make a judgement call on whether we can live with it," Coleambally Irrigation CEO John Culleton said.
"If we find ourselves absolutely cornered with a disproportionate share of water cuts, I can assure you there will be some fight left in our farmers."